What Can Insurance Learn from Other Industries?

Jay Chitnis, Senior Business Consultant at Endava, looks at how the insurance industry needs to take inspiration from outside to keep ahead of technology and customer demands.

Insurance is an integral part of our lives, whether or not we really know it. We can’t drive a car, own a home, or go on holiday without it. We might also have health or life insurance and the places we go to for recreation will usually have to have some sort of liability insurance. It’s everywhere.

But, for such a ubiquitous industry, it’s one that still doesn’t always have the best reputation with its customers. Many people look at insurance as something they must have, rather than want to have, and it’s rare that people rave about how much they enjoyed the experience of buying insurance or making a claim.

Furthermore, for such an all-encompassing industry there’s still a lot of work to be done to make sure that it’s meeting the real needs of its customers. Legacy technology is still widespread, leading to outdated practices around documentation, the payments and claims process and dragging down the overall customer experience.

It’s clear, then, that the industry needs to really consider how it deploys the right technology and processes and ensure that it’s remaining current. Insurance companies should take the time to look outside to take inspiration from other industries and companies that are really using the right technology and processes to strike all the right chords when it comes to customer experience and staying at the forefront.

Payments Made Easy

The retail industry in particular has had a huge focus on payments and embedding payment options. Giving people a range of options such as Buy-Now-Pay-Later (BNPL) and integrating services such as Apple and Google Pay has made it easy to buy without ever leaving websites.

This has been the key to both meeting the challenge of the increase in online shoppers, and also building brand loyalty. The easier the process, the more often people will come back.

Insurance can learn from this and properly embed payments into their flow. This will not only help customers buy their insurance policies, but it will also make the claims process smooth, quick and easy, driving a positive experience. Hiring Heads of Payments and really focusing on getting the right solutions in place will go a long way.

Virtually Claiming

While the true metaverse is still being figured out, virtual and extended reality systems are changing the faces of industries. We’ve seen real estate companies being able to offer virtual tours, art galleries providing in-person experiences from the living room, and even car companies being able to ‘build’ a car in virtual reality so that engineers all over the world can work on it without ever leaving their homes.

This technology could make the lives of insurers and their claimants much easier. In the first place, assessing the value of the item being insured could be done through virtual modelling and without ever leaving the office.

What’s more, in the case of a claim, the insurer could virtually survey damage. This is particularly useful in the case of a breakdown of expensive machinery in a hard-to-reach place.

An assessor wouldn’t need to send someone to carry out a physical inspection at great cost and at the risk of severely delaying the claims process. Damage assessments could be done virtually and quickly, cutting down on time to claim. It would also mean that repairs could be virtually planned before contractors are engaged, shortening a potentially lengthy process.

Embedding Insurance to Serve the Customer

As consumers, we’ve come to expect a seamless, embedded experience. When we buy online we don’t expect to be shifted around various websites for booking, payments and all the constituent parts of the transaction.

In fact, when we’re booking a holiday, we may use a site that allows us to book our journey to the airport, the plane, hotel transit and our rental car, all in one place. This convenience not only provides us with a smooth customer experience, but it also means that we’re more likely to add on these services.

Embedding insurance at the point of sale, or even within the product, brings insurance to where the customers are, removing the need for them to go out and search for it separately.

For example, when you buy a new cat or dog, the pet store can offer you pet insurance on the spot. When you buy a new smartphone, you can get gadget insurance straight from the manufacturer or retailer’s website. Not only does this provide quick and easy access to customers, it also provides richer data sets for analysis to the insurer, particularly around buying trends or which products face the most claims.

At the same time, it supports the purchaser, who are able to buy a product and insure it on the spot, without having to go home and search for policies.

The insurance industry does very well at keeping up with technology trends but, by taking inspiration from the right places and making sure that the right systems are in place, it can do even better and really get ahead, changing perceptions and showing that it’s genuinely a customer-centric industry.

By Jay Chitnis, Senior Business Consultant at Endava.

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