This latest article is from Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, (pictured below) CEO and Founder of Tapoly, an award-winning Insurtech providing business insurance for SMEs and Freelancers and insurance technology solutions.
Janthana was named Insurance Woman of the Year at the Women in Finance Awards 2021, was listed by Forbes as number 6 of the Top 100 Women Founders to watch and was named in the Insurance Business UK’s Elite Women List 2022. Janthana is a chartered accountant and former internal audit director at top-tier investment banks.
The insurance industry has been undergoing a period of rapid transformation in recent years. According to a McKinsey study, businesses have seen their digital transformation agendas accelerate by seven years, fuelled largely by the Covid-19 pandemic. While this is a positive step, and a rate of change previously unheard of for a more traditional industry like insurance, customer’s digital expectations continue to evolve, requiring a radical shift towards digital-first, agile services. With the recent news that 80% of customers would switch their insurance provider due to a lack of user-friendly digital interface, it’s more important than ever to meet customer expectations when it comes to technology, or be left behind.
With trends and technology changing all the time, it can be difficult to know what to prioritise. In today’s digital world, customer expectations are often set by the leading technological giants. For example, a key reason Amazon is so popular with consumers is that deliveries are fast and, if something does go wrong, communication is clear, effective and the problem is put right as soon as possible. This kind of online purchasing experience becomes the mark against which customers judge all other digital experiences – it’s safe to say the insurance industry has got some catching up to do.
Ultimately, customer expectations for fast, effective, digital services mean that businesses should be developing a digital-first strategy that improves both front and back-end operations to truly meet customers where they are. Here are four key areas to address:
1. Design for mobile-first
Most people today have both a laptop/desktop computer and a smartphone as a minimum, giving multiple opportunities for them to interact with your brand and website. While some tend to favour one device over another, making it difficult to know what to prioritise in terms of site optimisation, the trend suggests that mobile is pulling ahead of desktop usage. In fact, one study found that, as of January 2022, mobile use is now at 55 % of the global market, with desktop taking 42%, proving a strong case for making sure your site design is user friendly, fast and intuitive for mobile users.
This will also help future proof your digital strategy, particularly when you consider the prevalence of smartphone use amongst Gen Z. According to IBM, 75% of Gen Z would pick their smartphone as their device of choice. As your future consumers, it makes sense to get ahead now and make sure your services are optimised for mobile, or risk losing out on a valuable market sector in the future.
2. Personalise offers tailored to the individual
We live in a truly connected world. Many people now have access to smartphones which connect to smart watches, speakers and more, providing a wealth of data about the minutiae of everyday life. As the Internet of Things gains widespread popularity, customers say they are willing to offer their personal information for individual pricing, discounts and offers. According to the latest Accenture Insurance Survey, 69% of customers would happily share significant data on their health, exercise and driving habits with their insurers if it meant they could access lower prices.
However, customers are unwilling to share their data without an incentive. The same survey reported no customer interest in sharing data for no reason. This emphasises the importance of building robust security measures into your digital strategy to ensure any information collected is kept safely.
3. Embed insurance to streamline customer journeys
While embedded insurance as a concept is not a new one, the insurance industry only just seems to be waking up to the possibilities it presents. By leveraging technology to seamlessly integrate insurance into existing online purchasing systems – for example, offering flight delay insurance at booking, or device insurance alongside checkout for a new gadget – the hassle is taken away from the customer of having to seek out cover. Instead, embedded insurance utilises the data already entered to provide tailored insurance covers in real-time, resulting in a much more personalised, quick, and vastly more efficient way to deliver insurance products.
Customer benefits aside, the opportunity presented by embedded insurance is huge. InsTech London predicts the market size for P&C insurance will be more than $722 billion in Gross Written Premium by 2030 – so it’s definitely not a trend to ignore.
4. Use emerging technologies to improve operating efficiency
It’s not only customers who can benefit from improved digital systems. Streamlining your back office functions using emerging technologies can help improve efficiency, save money and free up staff time to focus on more value-adding tasks. Systems that incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) can be deployed to find customer data quickly and intuitively across multiple databases, while AI-powered chatbots can be integrated into websites to help answer out-of-hours questions.
It’s important to get the balance right however, emerging technologies are not there to remove or replace humans, but to optimise and streamline the operational processes. Any resulting cost savings from increased automation can then be passed onto customers, while offering them the all-important peace of mind they are covered.
Customers have increasingly high demands when it comes to digital services from their insurers. This presents an ideal opportunity for companies to provide an outstanding user experience while focusing on digital initiatives. Agile approaches, enabled by data and analytics that put customers at the centre of the strategy will ensure insurance businesses stay relevant, even as trends change.