Why insurance industry should adopt a mobile strategy

Robby Gupta

In our previous blog, we talked about how mobility in finance sectors helped organizations accomplish efficiency and enhance client experience. But can we expect similar results for the insurance industry too? Let’s find out.

Most industries in the marketplace have already embraced mobile technology, yet a few have barely given a thought to it. To industries who still don’t believe in the power mobility, let me tell you, mobile technology is the game changer for your business. With that being said, the insurance industry is one such industry that still needs to step up its digital game.

So, what’s taking so long for the insurance industry to mobilize their solutions?

Traditionally, insurance industry is lukewarm towards change. In fact, the business model of the insurance industry has never undergone any significant changes in the last few decades. Since it’s inception, the insurance industry has followed and is continuing to follow, the same traditional policies and strategies even after the mobile app revolution. Reasons for this could be miscellaneous, but the primary factor is that most of the insurance agents today perceive software solutions to be risky and baseless. Also going mobile brings in vast changes to the institutional arrangements of the system which is once again considered as a major risk.

[bctt tweet=”Change is inevitable, growth is optional.- John C Maxwell, Author.” username=”techjini”]

However, it is also a known fact that from industry giants to emerging startups, businesses are solely built on what’s going on in the markets. Since the rise of mobile app technology has been overwhelming for the past half decade, consumers are open to solutions which are seamless and swift. In other words, it’s high time that the insurance industry evolves it’s business model to meet the demands of the consumers and also get a competitive edge in the market.

Mobile Strategy

Are mobile strategies effective?

It is currently estimated that in the USA, there are approximately 260 million smartphone users in 2017 and that among them 40% of the users are likely to use mobile transactions. These figures convey that customers are more inclined towards businesses that are ‘mobile.’ Slowly across the industry, insurance agents are beginning to optimize their business strategies to meet the client’s expectations that involve real-time servicing. This radical shift isn’t that easy and comes with certain challenges.

To companies who view this as an opportunity to expand on, digitalization is a boon. It enables you to revise your operations from scratch. But digitalization is much more than just having mobile applications for your insurance companies and agents. It’s about restructuring every arena of your business and building a much stronger environment to expand on.

There are several reasons for why insurers can embrace mobile technology to improve their business growth. Strategically seen, these factors can be narrowed down to three primary reasons.

  • Introducing mobile channels to their business services helps them to be ahead of the competition.
  • Mobile channels are a great platform to attract new age customers who are in need of self-service.
  • Enhanced and modernized customer service tools help to increase satisfaction levels of both customers and agents.

The need for mobile solutions in insurance industry comes from the very fact that there are limited interactions between insurers and consumers and hence substantial structured efforts are required to bridge this gap between them.

Apart from this, insurers have high expectations of growth that involves increased self-service, lower operational costs, and enhanced productivity. To generate these aspired results, industries should move on to invest in mobile insurance teams which drive growth with definitive metrics and create an impact on the business. These teams ensure an increase in sales as well as an increase in loyalty and customer satisfaction.

So what are we looking at when you ask the question ‘why insurance industries need a mobile strategy?.’

Answering this question is not simple or brief. The insurance industry is enormous and complex. To understand why it desperately needs a change, we first need to understand what and who they are.

  • Insurance policies haven’t undergone any significant changes in a while and are using the old hacked-together tools till date.
  • Traditionally insurance is all about assessing risks, collecting premiums and paying claims.
  • At macro-level, insurance industry contributes to economic growth of the country while at micro-level it benefits us in all areas of daily life.
  • Insurance industry constitutes of a wide range of risks.

[Consider a scenario where a car accident has taken place recently. Following the accident, the inbuilt software of the vehicle estimates the damage and notifies about towing service, if needed. All the other essential information like the driver’s condition, electronic records, etc., everything can be uploaded on the mobile application ( if the insurance company has one) and can be accessed by the insurers. Clearly what needs to be observed is that a mobile application can automate most of the manual work like going to the place to gather facts and evaluating accident damage on site.]

Having a much evolved and adaptive business model that meets the demands of the customers can be achieved by understanding the trends and delivering innovative solutions, products, and services that are tailored to suit their needs.
Essentially, insurance industry requires a digital business and why it needs one, can be explained by three major factors.

1. Maximizing the power of buyers

Long gone are the days where customers are approached by an agent, and he/she opts a policy out of the listed policies. One-size-fits-all kind of concept does not work anymore. Today, policyholders have the choice to decide what can be included in the policy, like its duration, principal amount, etc., The new age customers are more tech-savvy and hence they need a digital platform to carry out all their tasks without much interruption by the physical world. They are more inclined towards a business that provides secure and context-aware experiences with better customer service.

Simply put policyholders today are looking forward to choosing tailor-made products in an always-connected world, which also increases customer engagement of the company. For example United American allows retired individuals to co-create their group plans and customize them online, depending on how much they can afford.

2.Having a competitive edge

If you take a look around, almost every industry has businesses striving to engage their customers with exciting apps, customized products, and innovative solutions. It applies same to the insurance industry as well. [bctt tweet=”Think smart and out-of-the-box” username=”techjini”]. With revolutionizing concepts and a deeper connection with policyholders, competitors are evolving faster and better.

Embarking on the newest technologies will give a competitive advantage to your business, bringing in more choices and enhanced services at lower costs. It enables you to gain great insights about your customers, explore market trends and attain targeted decisions.

 

3.Customer-centric Solutions

Deciding which technology to adopt, isn’t easy. It starts with understanding your needs, and latest technologies. Then assess which technology can go well with your requirements. Simple isn’t it? Not literally, though. Every time you think about choosing a particular technology, ask yourself if this improves the overall customer experience.

Aren’t we getting obsessed with our customers? Not really. A customer is your priority, especially if you are in the insurance industry. Your business is incomplete without a better customer journey. An ideal customer journey constitutes of higher transparency, better flexibility, simplified interactions and precise information. Insurance industry requires a strong platform that enables insurers and agents communicate easily, and this can only be achieved by adopting efficient mobile strategies.

[Consider a typical day at an insurance company where a customer calls an insurer. For a customer to speak directly to the insurer, he/she has to undergo many steps as it is an automated service. But if the same service is equipped with machine learning, a customer can be served faster and better. The system first analyzes the customer’s profile from the previous calls, emails, social media postings, etc., and then detects the tone of the message to determine if the caller is angry or confused. With all this information, assessing the customer’s problem is easy and hence solving it takes less time. And not just machine learning, but most of the latest technologies assist us to automate the workforce of an industry.]

All in all, insurance products and services are expected to leverage the power of software solutions to adapt quickly to the changes in the ecosystem. Keeping in mind that this is a rapidly evolving environment, insurers need to focus on bringing in new prototypes and improve them continuously through test-and-learn approaches. Insurers need to recognize digitalization as an opportunity to establish a digital culture in the industry, that delivers new services, increase profits and delights customers.

App Development

about the author

Robby Gupta

Robby Gupta is the head of US operations for TechJini, Inc. He has had varied experiences working in New York, Cupertino, and Bangalore with packaged & amp; custom web and mobile app development for an assortment of industries. His current focus is Immersive Technologies, IoT, AI bots and their applications in the digital enterprise.