The Benefits of Digitizing the Insurance Customer Experience

digitalizing the insurance customer experience

Among other benefits of digitizing insurance, customer experience flourishes with advanced digital capabilities including broker portals. Digital transformation and InsurTech products make services more personal and customers find it easier to reach out for support. Insurers can start small. Setting up a self-service portal is easier than you think and could make a world of difference for your clients.

Read on to learn how to streamline and modernize insurance for better customer experiences.

What is digital insurance?

Digital insurance is a growing industry for good reason. A number of products (sometimes known as InsurTech), which include AI applications and digital features, have grown to prominence in the past decade. The global InsurTech industry market size is forecasted to reach almost two billion by 2028 according to analysts at Precision Reports.

Digital transformation is an urgent need for an industry beset by manual processes and legacy systems. In a report on digital insurance trends, Deloitte notes that insurers now need to rethink their business model. The future of insurance increasingly looks likely to lie in a platform model, where insurers have a means to create and service products from a standardised platform that can generate scale and flexibility.”

In the same report, 95% of insurers say their company has adopted a more advanced use of analytics over the past three years.

“95% of [surveyed insurers] say their company’s use of advanced analytics has increased over the past three years” — Deloitte

Insurance companies don’t want to get left behind while the industry is changing so rapidly.

Why digitize the insurance customer experience?

The insurance industry has historically been risk averse and late adopters of new technologies, but the landscape is changing rapidly and digitizing the insurance customer experience is now a necessity.

New start-ups are leveraging a myriad of new technologies, and customer interactions have become almost completely digital.

The current generation coming into the workplace is buying insurance products with the expectation that they can do everything online.

Now insurers are given the challenge of living up to these customer experience expectations before their competitors figure it out first. Insurers are working to deliver greater customer insights, reduce costs, increase customer value, and manage risk through digital insurance offers. However, the majority of insurers have not yet unlocked the full potential of digital to deliver great insurance customer experiences and better operational efficiency.

One of the biggest differentiators between digital leaders and digital laggards is vision.

Insurers need to think beyond just updating their legacy systems and start realizing the potential of AI, the Internet of Things, and cognitive services to create more personalized, convenient experiences for their customers, and more efficient operations for their organization. In order to rapidly create these new personalized, digital insurance experiences in a market of uncertainty, insurers need to start small.

Self-service insurance portals for claims management

Another benefit of digital insurance is the possibility to digitize existing claims management products through self-service insurance portals.

It isn’t realistic to try to make your entire organization a digital machine all at once. Rod Willmott, Fast Track Director at LV= Insurance advises insurers to “focus on your core strategic objectives, test and experiment quickly rather than bundling everything into one project.”

The first step for insurers can be as simple as bringing their existing products online through self-service portals.

One life insurance company created a self-service customer portal where policyholders can change the beneficiary, update an address/contact information, or access policy documents directly online. Previously, doing any of these seemingly simple tasks required a much more manual process.

Not only have these self-service customer portals created a more convenient system for policyholders, but digitizing and automating the process becomes a much more efficient operation for the insurer. No longer will insurers need to expend additional cost and time into making calls, mailing paper documents, and transferring customer information from paper to computer.

Once these self-service customer portals are in place, insurers can start to experiment with creating new interactions and forms of value for customers, such as incentive programs for cross-selling into new product lines, or a more efficient way to handle claims management.

Creating a central, multi-channel customer engagement portal where policy holders can access all their information across multiple product lines will begin to offer a better understanding of behavior and needs, helping to drive more tailored products and services.

This model of starting small with a simple but effective initiative to increase operational efficiency and experience can also apply to broker portals.

One insurance company started with the challenge of eliminating the convoluted, manual exchanges with a self-service broker portal. After realizing how quickly they could get this solution off the ground and how much more efficient this solution was, they have now added an entire application set that covers: web sales, back-end policy management, claims management, and a customer service portal.

4 benefits of digital insurance

The benefits of digital insurance include:

1. Personalized service

Insights from data and other analytics can be used to tailor services to a client’s needs

2. Efficiency

Automation and other technology lead to a reduction in costs and more efficiently deployed resources

3. Accuracy

Data from analytics helps pinpoint accuracy in the claims journey and other aspects of insurance

4. Better insurance customer experience

Live chat and portal-based communication means more connected clients

Experiment with Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Once an online portal strategy is in place, you can build upon this foundation and begin experimenting with new technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Large Language Models (LLMs), and Cognitive Services to help drive down costs, improve customer experience, and manage risk.

But easy does it: Creating a simple self-service portal to enable better engagement around existing products is a significant advance and a great way to deliver quick wins for your organization.