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Innovative real-time customer experiences captured the spotlight at this year’s Efma-Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards.
One of the big features of this year’s Efma-Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards was the enthusiasm across the industry for real-time experiences. Many of the carriers that are looking to provide their customers with outstanding experiences are also teaming up with business partners from outside the insurance sector. They’re securing alliances that enable them to extend their real-time offerings well beyond their traditional activities.
Several of the insurers that participated in the awards are using their extensive digital ecosystems to collaborate with new business partners and deliver enticing real-time experiences to their customers. They’re combining their innovation initiatives with strategic partnerships to push into new markets and provide customers with additional offerings.
There was an array of splendid real-time solutions at this year’s Efma-Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards. It’s difficult for me to only mention a few of them. However, the three solutions below I thought were particularly good. They’re not only innovative. They also address the changing needs of customers and deliver exceptional user experiences.
- Toggle Insurance: Farmers company, Toggle Insurance has developed an app-based service that provides highly flexible, real-time cover to people renting accommodation. The digital “open-peril policy” allows users to customize their cover. They can opt for basic, standard or premium insurance, add items and risks to their cover, and receive real–time pricing when they adjust their insurance. Furthermore, they can add cover for travel, pets and high-value belongings; insure themselves against losses related to “gig” employment; obtain online identity protection; secure no-claims rewards; and enhancing their credit ratings through regular on-time rental payments. By toggling between the options offered by the digital policy, users can see variations in price and cover and settle on an offering that best meets their needs.
- FWD: The insurance business of Hong Kong-based investment group Pacific Century, with offices in 12 Asian countries, FWD has developed a digital onboarding system to authenticate new customers. The service overcomes one of the biggest obstacles that blocks consumers from using insurers’ web-based services. Most consumers know the passwords they need to log onto their banking services but very few can remember the passwords they require to access their insurance provider. The JoChek electronic “Know-Your-Customer” (eKYC) system uses facial identification and optical character recognition technologies to resolve this problem. Furthermore, the JoChek system enables FWD to sign up new customers in real-time and at a much lower cost than traditional manual processes. Other advantages of the biometric system are that it uses pay-per-user cloud computing facilities and is scaleable. FWD plans to roll out the JoChek system at its operations in Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines.
- Aditya Birla Sun Life Insurance: Indian carrier Aditya Birla Sun Life Insurance (ABSI) has overhauled its customer engagement processes to improve the company’s competitive advantage and enhance its operating efficiencies. It has migrated an array of processes and systems to an integrated collection of real-time digital solutions that the company terms “Client-for-Life” initiatives (See illustration below).
ABSI now performs multi-language customer verification and onboarding electronically and uses advanced analytics to guide its customer engagement and drive its risk modelling. The company has also switched to telephone and video communications for underwriting and claims handling and keeps in contact with its commercial customers using the WhatsApp Business service and an AI-enabled chatbot facility.
Three companies that are pushing the boundaries of the insurance industry especially caught my eye. Two of them are enhancing their digital ecosystems through innovative partnerships. The third has enlisted a big partner to help it unlock a specialized market that could grow substantially in the next few years.
- Zurich Connect: A division of Zurich Italy, Zurich Connect has teamed up with local insurtech firm Yolo to provide home-owners and renters with a suite of digital services. It’s HomeFlix app-based service offers Zurich Connect customers a variety of insurance offerings as well as complementary concierge facilities such as laundry, plumbing, electrical and wine-delivery services. The company expects to add food delivery, babysitting and cleaning services in the near future. Zurich Connect has enhanced the HomeFlix user experience by including an intelligent virtual assistant, Flix, that guides customers through the service offerings. It has also introduced several gamification and rewards features.
- Allianz Partners: As part of its transformation from a travel-insurance company into a global travel protection and assistance provider, Allianz Partners has expanded its TravelSmart app into an ecosystem platform. The digital platform offers Allianz customers access to a variety of the company’s support services. It also allows them to use a wide range of third-party offerings, such as geo-located safety and security alerts. Allianz has built application programming interfaces (APIs) into the platform’s supporting technology to encourage partners to offer third-party services on its ecosystem.
- Energetic Insurance: Specialist US underwriter, Energetic Insurance, has teamed up with international reinsurer SCOR Global P&C to develop risk-management products for the renewable energy industry. The company’s EneRate Credit Cover policies protect the developers of commercial solar energy projects from payment defaults. This innovation overcomes a long-standing barrier to growth in the commercial solar energy industry. It covers potential payment defaults by businesses without public credit ratings that buy electricity through long-term purchase agreements. The lack of such cover in the past often hindered the financing of commercial solar energy projects.
Real-time solutions are addressing the changing needs of insurance customers.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought home to insurers the need to stay close to their customers. In my next blog post, I’ll discuss some of the eye-catching solutions at this year’s Efma-Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards. They use advanced technologies to close the gap between insurers and their customers. For more information about the awards click on the link below. Don’t delay in getting your insurance innovations ready for next year’s awards.
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