Over the last 12 months, insurers have largely come to accept that there is no turning back from the digital revolution. It’s time to stop talking about digital strategies and why insurers should leverage digital technologies to remain competitive in an environment threatened by innovative new competitors. Instead, insurers must decide on a path of implementation—how can they best use the digital insurer ecosystem to grow their digital presence and offer customers better value?
The digital insurer ecosystem is evolving rapidly
In the digital insurer ecosystem, insurers take advantage of digital technologies, big data analytics and new collaborative partnerships to offer customers lower prices, and more relevant products and services. Companies that have embraced this new reality and are leading the way include:
- Google: Launched Google Compare for car insurance.
- Metromile: Partnered with Uber to offer pay-per-mile insurance.
- Airbnb: Offered $1 million worth of free liability coverage to all Airbnb hosts with listings in the United States.
- HelloSoda: Launched a product that predicts a person’s creditworthiness, propensity to commit fraud and a number of other types of intelligence.
The ecosystem is changing so quickly that if you blink you might miss something vital.
How does digital affect insurers and their customers?
The digital insurer ecosystem has a critical impact on the way insurers and customers interact. Until recently, many insurers thought the way forward was to digitise every customer interaction. However, now, despite the fact that there will be 4.2 connected devices for every person on the planet by 2020, leading insurers recognise that it’s important to identify “trust points” with customers. Digital is not the best option for every interaction. We have to return to an organisational culture that reflects the human element and explore how to be a part of a customer’s life rather than simply focussing on selling more products.
Insurers also need to consciously design experiences that are resilient in the space between physical and digital channels, and across devices, to create holistic customer experiences. By mapping the customer journey we can find the gaps and then build services and offerings to fill those needs, and shift toward selling a lifestyle not just a standalone product. By leveraging partnerships and perhaps crossing industry boundaries, we can generate new ideas and innovations to make customers’ lives safer and more convenient.
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