Incorporated into company strategy, in the insurance market digital transformation affects all aspects of the profession, from customer relations to distribution, from partnerships right up to Management. But what are the digital opportunities on offer to insurers, and how can they make the most of them in a digital transformation project?
Insurance and its trades are redefining their image. For administration staff, going paperless speeds up processes. In distribution networks, general workers are developing digital interactions with their customers. Products and services are being developed around self-care. IT Managers are responsible for analysing the masses of data sent from connected objects (IoT).
The following terms are now embedded in everyday language: digital interaction, data science, smart machines and the Internet of Things. But what are they hiding? Moreover, where in the company should they be used to maximise their benefit?
Professionals from the insurance sector have defined 4 digital opportunities which we will list here:
First is digital interaction, because digitalisation naturally changes the relationships between a brand and consumers by putting the brand’s attractiveness at the heart of that relationship.
Second of all comes data science, which consists in sorting and analysing mass data to gain insight into consumer habits.
Next comes the smart machine, a technology which can learn from its own experiences thanks to machine learning (robots, driverless cars, etc.).
Lastly, the Internet of Things (IoT) denotes connected objects with varied uses (eg. home automation, quantified self, etc.).
…and what they change
- For the insurer and their internal services
Processes common to all insurers such as internal intelligent data automation and document management are increasingly more intelligent thanks to digital interaction. Not only does this accelerate processes but also enables efficient document sharing. To illustrate this point, let’s imagine a company were to receive a note through the mail issuing a refund following a completed service. Processing the refund would be much more efficient if it were paperless.
The front-office brings together distribution networks and agents, brokers, and financial advisors, for example. Digitalisation will enable a company to find new clients, improve sales, facilitate multi-distribution in an omnichannel and multi-access approach.
For the IT Manager, data science means that we can build efficient algorithms to extract the most relevant information from a mass of data. The data scientist is, then, able to provide recommendations internally relating to business practices and cybersecurity.
- For the customer
Data science comes in particularly useful for customer relationship matters, service quality, and also for winning new markets. Thanks to digital interaction and connected objects, insurers are able to develop products which are well-suited to multi-channel distribution networks (eg. phone apps), as well as self-care focused services (virtual advisers, risk prevention, etc.). For example, to encourage risk prevention, some home insurance policies may include a connected smoke alarm at a reduced price.
To take out a policy and consult on their contract, the customer can also use their insurance company’s digital interface instead of going into the agency. To manage a claim, the insurer can connect directly with an electrician, plumber, auto-repair shop, etc. Putting these expert partners in touch with the customer has to be quick, efficient, and above all, multi-channel.
A wealth of connected objects are available from partnering suppliers. Customers can take advantage of lower prices and get fully equipped. For example, they could remotely monitor their home when taking out a home insurance policy from an estate agent.
If the prominent players from the insurance sector succeed in digitalising every level of their company, they’ll succeed in greatly renewing their profession. Finding new drivers for productivity and profitability can be achieved by integrating R&D programmes for products and services until processes and service management are re-established.
Deborah Osada & Emmanuel Gambart de Lignières
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