Matthew Lehman explores the ways digitization will transform the customer experience in claims—how insurers can meet customers’ liquid expectations and what the future of the industry might look like.

In my first post, I explored the drivers that are transforming the claims industry: customer experience, technology, the data deluge and the new workforce. Today, we’ll delve more deeply into the customer experience and what it means for insurers as they attempt to meet a set of liquid expectations shaped by technology.

The way we purchase goods and services has changed radically in the last few years—the rise of online retailers like Amazon and eBay have allowed us to compare prices and products, ask questions and make purchases from any platform we choose. Collaborative consumption through sites like Airbnb and Buzzcar have changed the way we purchase some services. Digital technology has created an on-demand world of liquid expectations for magical user experiences.

Technology has allowed insurers to standardize their software over the years, but many companies haven’t yet made the leap to self-service in a way customers have come to expect. Fjord, in their Trends 2017 report, suggests that in the future, reliance on technology to drive communications with consumers will increase even more.

If insurers want to keep pace, they will have to innovate.

The anatomy of excellent claims service

What will future innovations need to include? I think they will need to be:

  • Responsive, fast and flexible. Customers will expect a more sophisticated level of self-serviceone that requires minimal effort on their part and that encompasses the entire customer-insurer relationship, from first quotes to claims settlement.
  • Transparent. Customers have become used to shopping for the best value online, and the ability to compare products quickly and easily can already set some insurance providers apart.
  • Proactive. The new consumer is less loyal and more likely to make a decision based on price, so insurers will need to differentiate themselves through their communications. This will likely involve more social media and interactivity than ever before. 

As consumers begin to use more connected devices (fitness trackers, cars, homes and more), the data generated will enable insurers to become part of the fabric of peoples’ daily lives. Industry leaders will use this connectivity to connect with customers outside the claims process, and in doing so will meet another expectation—interaction throughout the relationship—as they create a positive claims processing experience and reduce the risk of further claims occurring. 

The very nature of claims: changed

The new customer relationship, complemented with big data and analytics, will mean a shift toward more consumption and experience-based products. Connectivity such as driverless cars and smart homes will mean claims shift away from the individual to manufacturers. All this new technology will also mean a shift to new claim types—as customers look to protect their data and focus on security, there will be more demand for loss prevention products.

In my next post, I’ll look at how technology will drive insurers toward the Claims 2020 future—a future that increases the customer-directed experience and changes the way insurance organizations operate from top to bottom.

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