How Emerging Technology is Changing the Shape of the Insurance Industry

From automation to the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to offering policy quotes in real-time and more, insurance agents are looking for their carriers to boost the implementation of new and emerging technologies not only for their own benefit but for the benefit of their policyholders as well.

When the world as we knew it was turned upside down by the COVID-19 pandemic, the insurance industry, like many other industries, embraced remote business models seemingly overnight. As world economies have slowly emerged from pandemic-era restrictions, insurers have been looking to accelerate their reliance on emerging tech as a way to strengthen customer relationships, boost profits, and prepare for an uncertain future.

Some things, however, haven’t changed. For example, no one looks forward to shopping for the right insurance policy or filing an insurance claim. A solution? Insurance companies should use algorithms and digital platforms to speed up these processes and make them far less tedious for consumers.

What Tech-Savvy Consumers Want from Their Insurance Carriers

A recent study found that insurance customers long for increased engagement, in the form of relevant and frequent communication, from their insurance carriers and more usage-based policies and product add-ons. While the study did reveal that many consumers rate their insurance buying journey as an overall positive experience, they also highlighted what they believed were gaps in communication. Respondents showed a particularly strong interest in deepening engagement through digital channels, as well as better communication, particularly when it comes to the claims process.

Specifically, the study found that 14% of the consumers interviewed had not received renewal reminders from their insurance carrier, a third said that they did not hear from their carrier annually, and a whopping 95% noted that they want to hear about claim status more often.

Based on this data, it is clear that for an insurance business to be successful, it must listen to its customers, act quickly, and be ready to provide quality products and relevant services consistently. Furthermore, the growing demand for usage-based policies and product add-ons offers a real strategic opportunity for carriers.

At the heart of all this is the use of technology to maximize the customer experience. Customers are clearly willing to utilize online services for making policy changes, switching carriers, and staying engaged with their providers. Thankfully, technology is now at the fingertips of insurance carriers. They have access to the tools necessary to increase their online presence, enhance distribution channels, maximize data, and create effective persona-based engagement that will anticipate and ultimately exceed their customer’s preferences and expectations.

What Carriers Stand to Gain from Emerging Tech in the Insurance Industry

New insurance industry business models are cropping up all around us and are helping insurance companies generate new revenue streams thanks to emerging technologies. For insurance carriers already embracing technology, the exponential growth they have experienced in the last decade has been phenomenal. However, the insurance industry continues to undergo a significant transformation partly due to the pandemic.

It is not a stretch to say that the insurance industry remains at the forefront of tech innovation that reduces fraud, automates services, and lowers operation costs, making it a model for other sectors. Best of all, these emerging technologies have become so beneficial to carriers that they’ve had more time to focus on the critical task of bringing in new customers.

It’s not just technology itself that has helped the industry evolve. Many of the consumer expectations outlined above have had a significant effect on the evolution of the industry. As a result, carriers are pivoting away from reactive forms of risk indemnification to more proactive approaches that look for ongoing risk mitigation.

Insurance technology advances are a win-win for carriers and customers, from promoting safe driving habits and healthy living to offering smooth onboarding and policy management experiences.

How COVID-19 Impacted the Insurance Industry’s Use of Technology

For most companies, regardless of the industry, the pandemic disrupted almost every part of their business, and the insurance industry was certainly not immune. In the early days, most insurance carriers were forced to focus on meeting customer needs, as well as the needs of their workforce, to ensure operational resilience. It wasn’t easy, but most emerged victorious, and, ultimately, there was a silver lining, technologically speaking.

Worldwide, the COVID-19 pandemic helped to accelerate digitalization and forced countless industries to look past longstanding practices and processes. The disruption caused by the pandemic created an opportunity for insurers to enhance customer experience and boost product and service offerings through automation trends now dominating the market.

The pandemic set a new standard for convenience as customers seek increased mobile capabilities, round-the-clock customer service, and more personalized risk profiles. Automation transforms underwriting, policy management, and claims processing, improving accuracy, reducing error, and saving time and money. AI is being leveraged as well, making policy management easier than ever. Automation is even useful in ensuring regulatory compliance as governmental requirements evolve.

The Outlook for the Insurance Industry and its Ongoing Relationship with New Technologies

At the end of the day, adopting emerging technologies should remain a top priority among insurance carriers. The automation and AI tools that are available and continue to evolve will certainly continue to assist insurance providers in giving customers what they desire most.

Today’s insurance customers want more personalized experiences and flexible on-demand services. They are even prepared to share their personal information with insurance companies in exchange for faster, lower rates and better services. Thankfully, a wide range of powerful technologies available to incumbent insurers will not only automate critical tasks but also help meet the needs of consumers in real-time.

In today’s digital world, insurance providers would be wise to restructure their existing models using these new and emerging technologies. These great tools will help to improve fraud detection, enhance underwriting capabilities, set policy rates, develop new products, and increase customer engagement on a hyper-personal level.

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