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5 key ways new tech will change online insurance in 2015

Yieldify Group Financial Controller Tom Coward shares his insights into the tech innovations insurance marketers should leverage in the year ahead.

Change is afoot in online insurance. New technologies are paving the way for insurers to connect with their customers in game changing new ways across touchpoints.

New tech paired with insurance marketers adopting more customer-centric practices mean that online user journeys will reach new heights of personalization this year.

The next generation of customers are going to demand insurance products that are interactive, constantly changing to meet new needs, and which keep up to date with fast social and technological change.

Jim Carroll, Innovation Expert[1]

But what will these new technologies look like? And how can insurance marketers leverage them in their favour?

1. Mobile will bring you closer to your customers

“It is tempting to see the transition on to mobile as simplistic as ‘I’ll take my existing process and put it on a phone”. While an understandable reaction for marketers still coming to grips with the switch away from desktops, taking this attitude nevertheless ensures you will always stay that one step behind the curve.”

Mark McLaughlin, Global Insurance Industry Leader, IBM[2]

Insurers on top of their digital strategy are already using mobile effectively as a consumer touchpoint.

35% of site visitors who didn’t get a quote online said they wanted to talk to a human being.[3]Using mobile, brands can enable a cross-channel journey which speaks to this consumer pain point. For example, providing a ‘click-to-call’ button can encourage mobile site visitors to complete their insurance purchase by ringing the broker directly from any stage in their mobile journey.

Mobile technology is ripe with opportunity and smart marketers will be working to create deeper and more engaging experiences specific to these devices.

In 2015 insurance marketers will look to apps to form a key part of their digital strategy. Online insurance specialists need to work hard to figure out how to utilize these tiny squares of gold that take you directly into the hand of the consumer.

Considering the recently announced Apple and IBM partnership, developments in app technology points ahead to a world driven by better, more personal B2C engagement. Future-thinking insurers are already exploring the possibilities here.

US based group State Farm Insurance built the app CarCapture which enables people to photograph a vehicle, find out its model, gain access to specs and nearby dealerships – and request a motor insurance quote for said vehicle – all in the same user journey.

2. The Internet of Things will fuel opportunities for insurers

We are living through The Great Optimisation where everyone is empowered by devices to become more efficient, healthy and astute in the way we handle our finances and insurance.

Wearables integration is part of a bigger picture: the Internet of Things where individuals sit at the centre of a seamlessly interconnected system of devices.

Telematic technology is already making motor insurance smart. Black box insurance firm Ingenie recently won the SMA Innovation in Action award for their progress in this field.[4]

One-size fits all vehicle insurance is dead. Telematics makes usage-based insurance a much more likely prospect. It may feel to some customers that this is inviting their insurer to spy on them but as soon as the safe driver gets a reward in their premiums – that objection is likely to evaporate. Risk Heads[5]

3. Wearable tracking will enable tailored insurance

As wearable tech proliferates this year, insurers will be able to monitor and reward customers with really specific insights into their customers’ offline behaviour.

Already, health insurers in the US are using early wearable tech to enhance customer experiences. In the US, for example, the Pact Health app syncs with fitness wearables to give Americans the opportunity to save money on their medical insurance.[6]

4. Automation will make data work harder

Sophisticated information analytics progresses to a point where no more useful information can be extracted and all key decision-making has been automated; competition shifts to prevention and productivity gains. 

PWC Report: Insurance 2020[7]

Big changes will take place in data arrangement. Data collection is not the problem: it’s having the engines to filter that data and convert it into actionable insights. Then insurers will be able to recommend more dynamic and personalized plans for their customers. We are edging ever closer to this reality.

5. All experiences will join up across channels

Multichannel access is becoming the norm for insurance customers. The task will now be to join up those experiences across touchpoints, breaking down silos between channels to create a coherent omnichannel customer journey.

Now it’s more about utilizing all of these capabilities in a unified way. That’s the overarching trend.

Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action[8]

The industry will be closely watching new technologies mature in 2015. But it’s the smart insurance marketers who will be taking action right now to pave the way for a fully joined-up future.


[1] https://www.jimcarroll.com/2009/03/the-insurance-industry-in-2015/#.VMZ4JS6sVdI

[2] http://www.insurancetech.com/channels/ibm-apple-partnership-could-yield-trove-of-insurance-apps/d/d-id/1318372

[3] http://www.insurancetech.com/data-and-analytics/is-e-commerce-right-for-insurance/d/d-id/1314575

[4] http://www.ingenie.com/blog/2014/09/ingenie-wins-innovation-in-action-award/#.VMkkrl7kc9w

[5] http://www.riskheads.org/2015-year-insurance-mobile/

[6] http://www.forbes.com/sites/parmyolson/2014/10/14/pact-health-app-insurance-plan/

[7] http://www.pwc.com/en_GX/gx/insurance/pdf/insurance-2020-turning-change-into-opportunity.pdf

[8] http://www.insurancenetworking.com/news/enterprise_technologies/top-5-tech-trends-for-2015-35337-1.html