Personalization is more than putting analog applications into a digital space. It’s about using data wisely to simplify for consumers the complexity of selecting, buying and servicing insurance online.  It’s about relevance – rethinking the individual insurance market from the outside in, from the customer’s journey. After all, insurance is personal, and 80 percent of insurance customers are looking for personalized offers, messages, pricing and recommendations from their insurance providers.[1]

Most, if not all, insurers understand the need for personalization and to deliver on their digital imperatives. Technology and technology partners can help insurers garner useful insights from their data—insights that can be used to:

  • Personalize the consumer experience
  • Simplify the purchase of insurance policies across the sales channel
  • Improve margins and provide opportunity for more new business for both insurers and their channel partners
  • More deeply engage consumers and increase retention rates

Applying data to personalize and simplify how consumers purchase life insurance online

Accenture Technology Vision for Insurance 2017[2] explains that the biggest innovations in insurance over the next three years will not be in the technology tools themselves, but in how we design them with employees, customers, intermediaries and other human partners in mind. And one of the most profound findings from the report is that this new wave of disruption is driven by humans, who are in control of how technology reshapes our experiences.

Those of us with years of experience in the life and annuity industry may overlook what a consumer may find complex about selecting the right policy for his or her lifestyle. We must be cognizant too of the context in which people buy products online. Consumers, experienced at shopping online from popular retailers including Amazon, are accustomed to receiving personalized recommendations based on a profile that considers previous purchase history, among other things. Similar personalization is expected when they purchase life and annuity products.

Technology platforms and cloud computing scale make it possible for insurers to draw insights from a combination of structured and unstructured data, and then respond in formats conducive to online consumption such as video and chatbots. When insights are applied to applications running on a technology platform, personalization not only addresses an immediate need, but also anticipates a need of which the customer may not be aware. It also helps insurers overcome silos that isolate different lines of business.

For example, a consumer buys a life insurance policy. Using a combination of data and logic you instantly create a personalized video that anticipates and addresses her questions about the policy—a much more welcoming and engaging experience than a large thick envelope stuffed with pages of legalese. SmartVideo technology is here now, embedded within the insurance policy administration workflow to make it easier for consumers to understand their life insurance policies and for agents to onboard them.

In fact, a Gartner report: “Hype Cycle for Life Insurance[3] cites video as an example of one of the new capabilities next-generation insurance portals will require to improve customers’ experience and provide them with more communication options. A separate Gartner report: “The Next Frontier of Insurance Customer Experiences Requires a New Model and Technology Innovation”[4] references video as one of several channels to consider to meet customer needs.

Customers patronize companies that make it easy do business with them. Personalized video is one example of a current technology that can move your organization forward in relevance and customer satisfaction. Imagine in the near future, being able to grow your business by applying data insights to deliver personalized products to individual customers—mass personalization for life and annuity insurance. That’s where platforms, ecosystems and rules of engagement are headed in the insurance industry. Look for more on that in my next post. In the meantime, learn more about how personalized video can help easily onboard and retain policyholders.

[1] Accenture Strategy, Satisfy the Craving for Insurance Personalization:  Delivering highly relevant, omni-channel customer experiences

[2] Accenture Technology Vision for Insurance 2017, p. 5.

[3] Gartner “Hype Cycle for Life Insurance, 2016,” Kimberly Harris-Ferrante with analysis by Richard Natale, June 24, 2016.

[4] Gartner “The Next Frontier of Insurance Customer Experiences Requires a New Model and Technology Innovation,” Kimberly Harris-Ferrante, March 9, 2017.

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