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This post The Top 5 Insurance Trends You Should Know was originally published on the Silverline blog.

In the age of digital transformation, insurance companies are making major moves to up their industry’s ability to meet customer and employee needs. Here are five top trends working their way through the world of insurance.

Trend #1: Value and efficiency throughout the customer journey

We’ve all had to deal with a long process to get a new insurance quote. Or felt the agonizing experience of explaining a claim to one service agent only to be transferred to another agent where we were asked to relay the same details all over again. Insurance companies who want to compete must make better use of technology to improve the customer journey from quote to policy service and on to claims management. A good first step is to give all agents and service representatives a complete view of customer history and data so that they can serve all customers using the channels they choose at the times they choose to engage.

Trend #2: Legacy system transformation

An insurance company’s operations and processes are heavily tied to core systems. If those quoting, policy administration, and claims management systems aren’t able to provide the experience expected by an insurance company’s employees and customers, then one option is to replace legacy systems with newer and more flexible technology. There are a number of new options in quoting, policy admin, and claims management that can enable a more customer-centric experience. Often, due to budgetary constraints and other practical considerations, a complete system replacement simply isn’t an option. To compete on the same level as emerging insurtech players, established insurance companies must take advantage of options that integrate modern technology into their legacy systems.

Trend #3: Leveraging big data & AI in underwriting, claims, and customer journey processes

Experts believe AI will soon deliver more accurate risk assessments, superior customer experiences, and serious cost benefits for insurers. A recent study found that 63% of insurance executives believe AI will transform the industry. The insurance industry has historically been dominated by what McKinsey calls the “detect-and-repair” mindset: leveraging artificial intelligence and big data gives insurers the potential to shift the mindset to a “predict-and-prevent” philosophy. For underwriters, that means fewer educated guesses, more accurate information, and the ability to use the troves of data most insurers have collected in the course of doing business as a competitive advantage.

Some ways insurers should consider leveraging big data and AI include:

  • Exploiting data from connected devices
  • Fraud detection in the claims process
  • Mining publicly available data on insureds
  • Identifying white-space in client risk portfolios

Trend #4: Enhancing policyholder engagement and experience with value-added services

Traditionally, most policyholders engage with their insurance company at two points: quoting & buying the policy, and submitting a claim — and neither experience is something a typical insurance buyer is excited for. Insurance companies are beginning to realize the importance of having more frequent, positive interactions with their policyholders. A recent Bain & Company study found that policyholders who had at least one interaction with their insurance company in the last 12 months had a 15% higher net promoter score than those that didn’t. The key to making those interactions positive is to couple them with value-added services related to the policy coverage being provided.

As an example, several insurers are now offering services such as roadside assistance and home monitoring. These services can enable their policyholders to get driving tips, receive notifications of possible loss during weather events, and even dispatch roadside assistance quickly and easily within the company’s app. Insurance companies have a lot of leeways to get creative with the value-added services they provide to their policyholders.

Trend #5: Emerging non-traditional players and business models

Excitement and anxiety are building in the insurance industry amid reports that Amazon has been engaged in discussions with insurance executives in the UK and India. Even without the entry of the formidable customer friendly giant, there are plenty of other providers emerging to give traditional players a run for their premium. New business models such as on-demand insurance and usage-based insurance are gaining traction because they have the potential to generate substantial benefits, including a significant reduction in claims and policy administration costs and more efficient (and attractive) policy pricing.

Make a change with a robust CRM solution

With a shift toward more omnichannel, intuitive support for new customers and policyholders, insurers today need to consider technology solutions that move as fast as the market does. Salesforce solutions for insurance companies from Silverline ease and connect siloed business operations so you can better manage prospects and policyholders and stay ahead of the competition.