Matthew Lehman examines the rapid pace of change in technology and the opportunities it creates for claims organizations, particularly those that embrace InsurTech.

In my previous post, I looked at the customer experience and what it means for insurers as they attempt to meet a set of liquid expectations shaped by technology. Today, we’ll explore technology as the fuel of industry-wide disruption.

Today, most insurers are still tied to a business model based on pooling risk, calculating average pricing and generating gross premium income—a model which is increasingly threatened by digital technologies. However, these technologies also offer claims organizations a rich new source of data and provide new possibilities for improving underwriting, enhancing the customer experience and cutting costs.

It’s no secret that the number of mobile devices has grown significantly over the last decade and continues to grow. According to Verto Analytics, data reveals that smartphone usage has overtaken PCs as the most prevalent household device in the United States and the United Kingdom in the past two years. The company also reports that the number of active tablets in the US will exceed the number of active desktop PCs by the first quarter of 2017.

The Internet of Things (IoT)a universe of intelligent connected devices from smartphones and smart meters to medical devices and sensorsis also growing at a rapid rate. A BI Intelligence report projects that there will be 22.5 billion IoT devices in 2012, up from 6.6 billion in 2016.

Capitalizing on the growth of mobile devices and on the data available from the IoT, FinTech companies are creating technology that supports banking and financial services, developing new forms of payments, money transfers, loans and asset management. And now InsurTechs are shaking up the insurance industry. As money pours into FinTech and InsurTech startups from venture capitalists, private equity firms and corporates, and as disruptors and challengers arrive on the scene with new customer-centric products and services, insurers are rightly nervous of maintaining their position.

But the good news is that opportunities abound. Insurers who collaborate with InsurTechs are already seeing the benefits. For example, Oscar Health Insurance partners with wearable-device company, Misfit, reward fit customers by automatically linking their biometric information to their health insurance. Meanwhile, Censio has developed software that automatically monitors and measures drivers’ data for auto insurers—a tool that has been adopted by Progressive, a US-based insurer. 

Technology holds the key to shaping the world around us—and it’s giving claims organizations that do it right an opportunity to increase their use of automation, enable customer self-service, drive claims handling with analytics-based insights and digitally enable the entire claims process from end-to-end.

In my next post, we’ll take a closer look at the data deluge, and how claims organizations can take advantage of all this new data.

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