Sixty-three percent of insurers see digital technologies as a way to improve the customer experience.

In my previous blog, I essentially argued that insurers run the risk of misreading the true potential of technology by seeing it primarily as an enhancer of efficiencies. And yet, at the same time, these same executives clearly do see the value of using mobile technologies in emerging markets and of big data in all sorts of ways.

Forty-two percent of them rate mobile technology as an important tool.

Hearteningly, nearly two-thirds (63 percent) see digital technologies as a prime way to improve the customer experience, an area in which most insurers do not excel.

All of these points do not co-exist well with the prevailing view expressed by these same executives about technology’s primary goal of increasing efficiency. The point is simple: the impetus to become a digital insurer is driven by the greater power enjoyed by customers and increased competition. And everything we know about today’s and tomorrow’s customers is telling us that they want highly personalized services. Personalization has to be highly dynamic because people are not static, hence the importance of big data to analyze customers’ behavior continuously, and then act on it.

All of this will require immense flexibility from insurers—the kind of flexibility that only a truly digital and transformed business model can deliver.

So I guess that my final point would be that insurers seem to be only half way there when it comes to understanding the full impact and potential of technology. It’s an omission that they should remedy promptly, especially given the fact that their customers are prepared to switch providers and are not averse to buying from non-insurers, among them the big online companies. Companies that are already wholly digital, enviably flexible and with deep pockets! Something else to keep us all awake at night!

Customers are prepared to buy insurance from non-insurance companies
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