In order to deliver personalized experiences at scale, insurers need digital—and in particular, the Internet of Things, partnerships, and data and analytics.

Today, the bar for the insurance customer experience is set not by other insurers, but by customer-centric companies like Amazon and Netflix. In addition, digital and retail giants like Google and Walmart are collecting vast quantities of consumer data through smartphones, loyalty programs and other sources. That data offers the potential to define richer, more comprehensive customer profiles—and in turn, more personalized customer interactions.

The Internet of Things can enable insurance personalization

Rapid growth in the Internet of Things (IoT) offers insurers many opportunities to leverage data to better meet customer needs. Connected homes, vehicles, sensors and wearables provide opportunities for insurers to:

  • Protect customers from loss—and prevent loss in the first place
  • Optimize pricing and coverage
  • Offer value-added services, such as proactive risk prevention or lifestyle offerings

These opportunities have not been lost on insurers. For example, the Accenture Distribution and Agency Management Survey found that between 2014 and 2015, the number of insurers with IoT-related products, services and pilots nearly tripled.

Partnerships can create opportunities for insurance personalization

A small number of insurers are already capitalizing on partnerships to drive digital innovation. For example, 16 percent are working with start-ups and external partners, and 17 percent are partnering with non-insurance companies to offer a broader range of relevant services and products.

Consider Vitality, a wellness and loyalty-based program, which has partnered with several insurers around the world. In the United States, it has partnered with John Hancock, using wearables to help the insurer offer fitness and lifestyle coaching, as well as discounts for participation.

Data and analytics are key to insurance personalization

Leading insurers will respond quickly to customer expectations for personalized experiences. Keys to success include the ability to tap into the rapidly forming IoT infrastructure to obtain real-time data, and forging new relationships and partnerships to enable delivery of services that go beyond insurance.

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