Insuring Digital: Transforming Insurance

Insuring Digital:  Transforming Insurance


Insurance Must Simplify Policy & Customer Interactions

The time for change is now for the insurance industry.  The days of clunky workflows, antiquated tech/applications, and manual processes are over.  Disruption from insurtech is real and continues to squeeze out savings and efficiency from the current insurance industry model.  With the COVID-19 crisis, we are seeing more insurance companies bracing for impacts and, more importantly, solutions to evolve.    

The insurtech ecosystem is fascinating, especially with on-demand insurance start-ups.  Slice is an exciting player in on-demand insurance and has positioned products for home share hosts using platforms like Airbnb and HomeAway. Insurtech companies are transforming business processes along with the way insurers handle vital aspects of their business.

Insurance companies are leveraging new technology to update their back-end claim systems, benefits platforms, customer portals, and more.

According to the PWC 2019 Insurance CEO Report, over the next 12 months, CEOs tended to say they would rely on organic growth (72%) and operational efficiency (70%). Both of these priorities should go hand in hand in hand. The efficiency and cost reduction should translate to customer focus and operational excellence.  

For insurance companies to stay relevant to customers and succeed long term digital transformation must drive significant change in IT.  

Insurance Agent

Defining Simple  

  1. Stop Asking Questions: The bottom line remains that insurance customers value a quick and easy buying experience. How do you simplify the number of questions before providing a customer with a quote? P&C is about utilizing data and insights to streamline qualification questions and move to “How can I get you covered?” For life insurance, it’s about limiting the medical questionnaires and focusing on peace of mind of being covered.
  2. Establish Relevant Product Options: Customers don’t know and could care less about options for deductibles and policy riders. They want real-time coverage. By tailoring coverage to customer needs and life events, you immediately are relevant. Nationwide recently expanded the types of small business products offered through its Commercial Digital Direct online commercial insurance platform. Now, 30 different business types can access the platform. Nationwide says business owners can get a quote in less than 10 minutes. The trend is keeping it simple, fewer options personalized to the customer needs.      
  3. Streamlining the Buying Process: Immediate issue seems to be the “buzz word” here. How do you focus on continuous improvement (“cutting out the waste”) to allow customers direct access to the bound policy? When done right, the process should elevate the customer experience (like Amazon). A simple buying process that people are willing and delighted to pay a premium on convenience and efficiency. According to Accenture’s Consumer Study: Insurance Report, 74% would be willing to consider buying insurance from Amazon or Google!      
  4. Customer-focused Policy Enablement: Access to customer information and data remains critical to the success of your organization and transition. Improving the customer experience hinges on knowing your customers – their interactions, transactions, behaviors, and intent. For more information, see “Why Financial Service Institutions Continue to Struggle With Digital Transformations.”  
  5. Cultivating Compliance: Automation helps to simplify complex workflows, including data collection/preparation, regulatory reporting, and communications. A great example is Packaged Retail and Insurance-Based Investment Products (PRIIPs). Insurance companies are required to produce a key information document (KID) which covers collective investment schemes and other packaged products offered. Having a product catalog synced with the customer profile, advanced AI to identify and alert help. Also, CCPA entitles individuals to know the information collected and stored on them by companies. Keeping track of all customers and where they are in California or out of state is very difficult. From our experiences, companies are applying CCPA rights across the board.   

Access to customer information and data remains critical to the success of your organization and transition. Improving the customer experience hinges on knowing your customers – their interactions, transactions, behaviors, and intent. For more information, see “Why Financial Service Institutions Continue to Struggle With Digital Transformations.”  


Setting the Game Plan 

Shifting the paradigm requires Insurance companies to take a proactive approach with the customer.  Digital enablement for self-servicing is table stakes in today’s world.  Customers have immediate access to information, so finding their insurance card or policy number is not a top priority. Let’s focus on setting the bar higher for engaging interaction before the phone call or processing the claim.  

You may see a customer who has been a policyholder for ten years and has a clean record with no previous accidents. You also know that they added a new member to their policy for their child, who recently got their license. Instead of sending out an impersonal email confirming changes to their policy, or worse, ignoring the event altogether, you can proactively show your appreciation by offering a personalized service, like accident forgiveness, on their first claim. The customer will be delighted that you proactively reached out to take care of their family’s needs.

Don’t be reactive and wait for customers to ask you about coverage or a claims incident happen. Take the information you know about the customer and proactively serve their needs.

You need to sync information to your back-office processes and systems now that you offer personalized customer service. The key is to delineate what data you need to serve customers at the moment, but not overwhelm your system with back-end processes. For claims, this could mean keeping email activity, policy information, and high-level claims records and documents in your CRM for easy reference for sales and service support. Back-office items like background checks, police reports, adjuster records, and other proprietary or sensitive files will likely be stored in other systems, appearing in the CRM only in certain situations.

The final step is to create easy to follow use cases and processes that unify the technology and a focus on the customer. This information could be checklists showing agents how to view customer history when handling a claim or identifying situations to reach out to customers with unique rewards and services. Every company will have different policies on how to use their digital transformation to serve their customers. The key is to have a framework that fits your company’s goals and make the most significant positive impact.

Insurance Plan

Establishing A Digital Product Framework 

  1. Vision – creating a product view would help to align stakeholders to measurable KPIs while addressing critical pain points – having this set for each of the guiding principles would help 
  2. Strategy – “Life’s Path to Success” – while the high-level plan provides some context here as discussed defining value drivers and success metrics (outside of fundamental business needs)
  3. Aligned Roadmap – prioritized MVPs aligned to quarterly release cadence and tied to KPIs/Adoption (change management) – this also helps cross-functional/team alignment and ownership 
  4. Themes & Capabilities – high-level themes and capabilities that fulfill them (similar to critical capabilities, but mapped to business value and drivers) – helps executive visibility, buy-in and decision
  5. Delivery plan (please note these are not specific to technical requirements – higher level based on business themes) – detailed feature functions aligned to the monthly or quarterly backlog (this helps to align cost and resources required – especially pre-RFP) – helps to prepare and align
  6. Adoption (while behavior change remains foundational – there is much more here to unpack) – combination across training/change management needs, business ownership and technology enablers


Also here are a couple of insurance leading questions:

  • Do you have a digital roadmap to transform or evolve your back-end claim systems, benefits platforms, and customer portals?
  • Have you assessed the simplification of the customer experience through process simplification? (i.e., Coverage assessments, streamlining questions, while implementing automation)
  • Do you have any strategies to unify the customer needs and policy enablement?
  • What strategies have you enabled to simplify product offerings? Specifically, policy (i.e., customers’ direct access to bound policy)?
  • How have you approached compliance (producing key information document (KID), CCPA, Best Interest (NY Reg 187)
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