Strategy Meets Action (SMA) recently released a report outlining the top priorities for insurers in 2014. Unsurprisingly it revealed that analytics and mobile technology are top priorities for insurers this year. Analysts have been harping about the importance of these technologies for a long time now.We all know technology has advanced over the past 10-20 years. Think back to the first cell phone you owned, and look at the difference between that one and the one you use today. You could even be reading this on your cell phone – remember having to use dial up to connect all those years ago? Similarly, an insurance carrier still using the same twenty year old processing system is not going to have the same advantages they would with a newer system.
What is not revealed very often is how these technologies can benefit insurers, or how to implement these technologies across the business.
The word Big Data is thrown around so much these days that it is hard to understand exactly how it benefits a business: Just think of all the information available in your claims system. First there’s the consumer demographic information, and secondly data relating to benefits claimed. Just these two pieces of information can provide you with powerful information such as; “how many females make a claim against a life insurance policy before the age of seventy?” or “What is the average age to take out a life insurance policy?” These are just two examples but the possibilities are endless.
This information can then be used to improve or adjust in other areas of the business, such as marketing to specific demographics in a more personalized manner, or adjusting pricing based on risk.
Of course consumers have changed due to these advances in technology, and at a much quicker pace than businesses. Mobile technology is changing the way people and businesses interact. Personal lines insurers are now planning to improve agent portals according to a recent survey carried out by Real Time/Download Campaign.
Real Time co-chair Joyce Sigler says, “The consumer is pushing agencies a lot more, the world is app driven—it’s instantaneous for the most part. Industries similar to ours, like banking, healthcare or medical, are governed by the same time and are able to react quickly. Consumers wonder, “why can’t we?”
There are many different uses of mobile technology for insurers such as:
- Insurance apps incorporating a rate quoter or agent locator,
- Mobile payments for payment on-the-go,
- Location based information, and
- Mobile advertising, such as banner adds.
According to ClaimVantage CEO, Leo Corcoran, insurers in South Africa have already implemented these techniques. “On a recent visit to South Africa we met with a number of insurers that use mobile technology to both sell to and service the customer. The mobile technology in South Africa is world class and most of the insurers actually advertise the use of mobile technology on TV adverts.”
There are concerns in the insurance businesses surrounding the use of mobile technology, such as device management and protection of sensitive information. However, technology providers have been addressing these concerns through the use of a two-step verification process and/or restricting use by specified IP address. These are just two ways in which businesses can restrict cyber criminals from accessing sensitive information.