Here are five steps insurance companies can take in their digitalization strategy in order to serve their customers better.
- Put the entire insurance product portfolios online
Most insurance companies still provide online offers or online contract issuing for a selected few products from their portfolios. Reasons vary from restrictions in the existing insurance software solutions to strategy consideration of the relationship with intermediaries. Customers who prefer the online channel, unfortunately, cannot purchase all the insurance products they want through their preferred channel and are forced to find other ways of buying a product or simply to carry the risk themselves.
2. Provide better experience to your agents and brokers, so they can provide better service to the end customer
Cumbersome administrative processes “behind the curtain” can significantly affect customer experience. By providing a better experience and more efficient processes to agents and brokers, the insurance company (indirectly), but seriously optimizes the customer experience. Brokers and agents are often on the front line and have to deal with customers’ frustration when adjusting an offer, issuing a contract or a mid-term adjustment take longer than necessary, but in reality, they more often than not, are bound by limited functionalities in the insurer’s software solutions and the corresponding intermediary portals.
3. Digitize the entire value chain
Fragmented insurance software leads to fragmented and cumbersome insurance processes. Even if you have a customer portal, an intermediary portal, and an online process to issue a contract, ask yourself this – do you ask your customer for their policy number in the claim process? If yes, then your process is probably not fully digitized and the claim notification a customer submits via a form on your website ends up in a back-office employee’s mailbox, awaiting a lot of further manual post-processing.
4. Leave the choice to your end customer
Which channel a customer wants to use – whether they want to get a policy online or through an agent or broker, these are all valid choices, if your company works through all three channels. Do not push your customer to close an insurance policy through an agent, if the initial contact was via a broker, and provide your customer online access where they can purchase further insurance even if they are brokers’ customers. There are other ways you can ensure that the intermediary partners get properly remunerated according to your agreed terms for the business from a customer that was initially brought to you by them.
5. Put procedures in place and automate as many of them as possible
If you can define a procedure when a certain situation occurs, then it is highly possible that it can be automated on a digital insurance platform. And when there are procedures in place (whether for underwriting or for the claim payouts), the decision-making process is clear and transparent. Unfortunately, many insurers still leave a lot of room for interpretation, and the decision-making process in many aspects of the business continues to be unclear because employees interpret similar conditions differently. Procedure automation also leads to huge process optimization, thus cutting administrative costs and leading to faster and better service to end customers.