For 50-odd years, the way insurance has worked has remained the same. But in the last few years, catalysed by the pandemic, the rise of digital solutions and insurtech looks to break down historical insurance preconceptions have emerged.
Our penultimate focus at The Fintech Times looks at the industry’s response to improving customer engagement in insurtech. From cutting down waiting times, to providing a tailored insurance journey, the introduction of tech in the sector has revolutionised the customer experience.
We reached out to experts to see what they believe the biggest improvements have been and how they can continue to grow:
More education needed
Daniel Brown, CRM, CPRIA vice president – operations, agency partners at insurtech, Bold Penguin highlighted how having advanced technology is great. However, if neither customers nor insurers fully understand how the technology works, then neither will get the most out of it. Consequently, more must be done in regard to education:
“The rate of innovation is happening faster than organisations can educate users on how to make the best use of their new products and services. Insurtechs seeking ways to improve engagement should focus on educating consumers and demystifying products.
“But that comes with some operational challenges like shifting consumer mindsets and behaviours to new ways of doing business.
“For example, technology enables digital carriers to underwrite more accurately by automating the data collection process required for underwriting. Many agents struggle with the idea and execution of quoting risk without gathering traditional underwriting information from prospective insureds. Such as: loss runs and/or building construction information.
“Insurtechs will need to provide more recommendations and guidance on workflows and processes to help both the business owner and agent work more efficiently. They will educate them on how to leverage the tech tools into working for them.”
The customer always comes first. But historically, it has been difficult to make sure this happened when time and resources had to be invested into manual compliance checks. Niji Sabharwal, CEO AgentSync, the insurance infrastructure provider, explains how there is a positive knock-on effect when compliance process use technology:
“Technology like AgentSync’s enables vastly better producer onboarding and compliance, which in turn improves customer engagement in insurance. When insurance producers don’t have to complete manual, time-consuming compliance and onboarding tasks, they can engage with the customer more closely. This allows them to provide true value to people who need advice as they make insurance buying decisions.
“Insurtechs can help carriers and agencies remove the greatest point of friction in insurance distribution. They can greatly improve agent/producer experience through modern producer management and compliance systems.”
One size fits all is a dated system
Ultimately, consumers feel most valued when they can see products tailored to them. Isavella Frangou, VP of sales and marketing at paytech, payabl made this clear when she said: “Insurtechs have access to valuable data and customer insights. They can leverage this data to improve customer experience, and create additional value.
“Customer engagement can be achieved through different approaches for varying generations. For example, the younger generation may appreciate a more gamified approach to selecting and managing insurance.”
A simple system when it’s needed
According to Risto Rossar, founder and CEO of insurtech, Insly, customer experience is more important than customer engagement: “Insurance is a bit like the doctors or the dentist in that you don’t really want to hear from them unless it’s necessary. Insurance is important to have but you don’t need to have a continuous conversation with your insurance company.
“What is important is ensuring that when engagement is needed, it goes smoothly. So, when you buy the policy, the experience should be simple and pleasant. The provider should make it easy to pay in instalments automatically, make it simple to make changes. At renewal, you should get 20 days’ notice and a discount or offer as a valued customer. It’s less about engagement and more that the experience during these key moments should be so good that customers don’t want to leave you.”