Life and annuity carriers recognizing the opportunities of the next surge of digital disruption will go beyond simply looking at new industries or customer segments. The scale of potential change allows carriers to consider whole new ways to find value—such as consumer brand loyalty.

Digital disruption

In the insurance industry, customers have traditionally been willing to change providers for small differences in pricing. Accenture research finds 67 percent of insurance customers would already consider buying from organizations other than insurers. We see this trend affecting life insurance and annuity carriers, in addition to P&C insurers.

These marketplace challenges are just the first stages of disruption, as emerging technologies show the basic assumptions of the insurance business model being potentially undermined. Taking advantage of this change of shape could be the route to gaining and retaining customers. So, how to do that?

Personal service through digital

In my last post, I talked about personalization and service relevance as being central to success in the mobile-enabled market. The same characteristics provide the key to developing insurance brand loyalty: providing personalized services relevant to the consumer’s needs.

For example, Accenture Software for Life and Annuity’s SmartVideo offering already provides an advanced customer retention service by generating video communications on demand, using client and policy data for high-relevance connection to the consumer.

As consumers continue to enjoy the personal benefits of customized services, they develop a relationship with the life insurance and annuity carrier (or agent for a white labeling solution), whose services can in turn use longer-term data to become more and more focused on the customer’s needs.

First steps taken

Accenture Technology Vision 2014: From Digitally Disrupted to Digital Disrupter
Read the report.

Some carriers are already taking these first steps toward personalization and relevance.

One Accenture client, a large financial services group, uses the camera, GPS and other features of the customer’s mobile device to deliver highly-automated, always-on customer experiences. The client can find an agent, submit a claim, make a bank deposit and access a wealth of value-added services from a single screen at any time.

I believe carriers wanting to seize the opportunities offered by the next wave of digital disruption can guide their strategic innovations by looking through the lens of customer brand loyalty. In my next post, I’ll talk about the structures needed to support those opportunities.

To learn more, download the report: Accenture Technology Vision for 2014.

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