In my last blog post, I chatted about how insurers could be looking towards more aggressive strategies to grow loyalty and retain their customers. I argued that to achieve this, they need to form a part of the customer’s everyday life beyond the times he or she pays premiums and makes claims.

One way to achieve this is by leveraging mobile apps to form closer relationships with customers—relationships that position the insurer as an everyday advisor or risk manager rather than as a company that simply takes the customer’s money and then pays out when something bad happens.

Many insurers already offer mobile apps for purposes ranging from checking and changing policyholder details through to filing claims on the scene of an accident. But there is potential to use them for even more, given that most customers love the user experience of their phones and that mobile phones offer a wealth of contextual information about the customer.

One of the most promising aspects of mobile apps from a P&C insurer’s point of view is the fact that they offer experiences that are fun, convenient and personalized for customers. In the past, ‘fun’ and ‘interesting’ were not adjectives that customers would use to describe their interactions with P&C insurers.

Now, however, P&C insurers can use mobile apps to offer customer experiences that are more engaging and convenient for customers than phoning the call center. For example, they could gamify safe-driving and allowing customers to track their risk rating through their apps.

In the background, they could be collecting data about the customer’s driving habits through a device in their motor vehicles. They could link rewards for safe driving to rewards from retail partners or simply offer lower premiums to customers who consistently drive safely.

This approach simultaneously rewards customers for low-risk behaviour—potentially reducing claims—while also providing a customer experience that promotes loyalty. Going into the future, the mobile phone could provide new opportunities for increasing customer intimacy by interactions that are more and more relevant, thanks to context-related advice or offers.

The insurer that manages to deliver enough value through a mobile app to persuade a customer to download it and use it regularly can weave itself into the customer’s everyday life, since the smartphone is the command centre of the modern consumer’s world.

It’s a hub of information, transactions, and information for the customer—and his or her entry point into social media and networking. It is the power of social tools and environments for P&C insurers that I will investigate in my next blog post.

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