By Mitesh Jain, Co-founder & CTO of Symbo
It is reasonable to assume today that no industry is immune to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic’s effects and the insurance sector is no exception to this disruption. Trade, business, travel, economy, and all other sectors have undergone significant disruption. Among them, the insurance business has also seen a paradigm change in terms of goods, services, operations, procedures, and claims. Given the blurring realms of the physical and virtual world, consumers are moving towards the online modes of procuring insurance. Instead of meeting face-to-face, customers shopping for insurance are increasingly using digital and mobile platforms to connect with agencies and brokers. Companies that currently have strong digital capabilities are in a good position to accommodate this increased demand. Examining insurance offers and interacting with customer support personnel via digital platforms is now feasible.
Policyholders value simplicity of use and agility with just a few clicks, from making rapid payments online to submitting papers from the comfort of their own homes. Easy access to facts about coverage and policies, improved comparison options, a digitized application process, quick insurance premium payments, and a hassle-free claim settlement procedure are some of the digital services that insurers have been mainly working on during this epidemic. In addition, following the Coronavirus outbreak, insurers have placed a greater emphasis on automating the procedure to provide a smoother and speedy client experience.
The pandemic has demonstrated that customers will not endure a lack of digital enablement and that better data and digitalization will be the key to transformation and improved customer service. The insurance business has already begun to investigate various digital avenues in light of customers’ propensity to move their insurance requirements more online. Pandemic anxieties sparked a nearly 7% increase in customers’ intention to buy insurance globally. Moreover, a survey by Capgemini Research Institute noted that half of the consumer respondents, stressed out by the COVID-19 crisis, said they wouldn’t hesitate to switch to BigTechs and new-age InsurTechs. Furthermore, nearly 60% of all customers prefer digital channels for completing their insurance purchases, according to the IIA report. This increase in digital adoption is expected to continue post-COVID-19, with urban consumers contributing a rise of 10% compared with pre-COVID-19 levels.
Going digital has aided insurance businesses in driving development in the face of Covid-19. As we go towards the post-digital age, a few insurance businesses have already checked all the boxes in terms of digital transformation by enhancing their services with AI/ML-based solutions. The insurance sector has now begun to transition to a customer-centric model that emphasizes customer experiences. Existing channels for communicating with consumers about policy concerns and claims have been improved, such as having hybrid products that combine human and artificial intelligence for direct and agent-facing customer interactions.
Leveraging Data for Hyper-personalisation
To satisfy changing customer requirements, insurers have reinvented their relationship with data. Demand for next-generation insurance, such as on-demand or usage-based solutions and customizable insurance, is increasing as clients become more aware of their true insurance needs as a result of this experience. Today, data-centric products and services are used by 71% of insurers. Customers appreciate being able to pay just for what they use, or only when an insured item is used, by “switching” protection on and off as required.
Data is used by general insurance firms for sales, internal client profiling for renewal tendency, and fraud prevention. Furthermore, data is the foundation of all decision-making. Several process enhancements have been created in which the underlying models aid in agile decision-making and fraud reduction. Data has been included in the ecosystem since it supports speeding up and simplification of procedures.
Harnessing the Power of AI
Artificial intelligence (AI) has improved customer delight and retention by incorporating it across the customer experience. Insurance firms have benefited from enhanced speed, accuracy, and efficiency thanks to extensive industry understanding and AI-based technologies. When clients can communicate with a speech bot or a conversation assistant, AI may be immensely helpful. Various organizations provide real-time evaluation and claim settlements via an image analytics engine that analyses the damage and offers prompt approval for the claim to be cleared. In the future, insurers will place a greater focus on their insurtech business and use the latest technology for the benefit of clients.
In India, insurance has been offered as a push product for decades. The utilization of data and advanced analytics have aided in the creation of a link between client behavioral features and spending patterns presenting an ideal fodder for insurtech players.