7 insurance gamechangers
to watch in 2020

By Martin Stewart : 22nd of January 2020

It’s easy to think you’ll need to implement expensive systems to play in the big Fintech park: everything from base-level infrastructure technology to software development tools and new design concepts. And you know it’s not just about the initial outlay – there will be plenty of extra costs such as updating (or creating) your data lake, analysing what is happening, keeping the solution secure and the need to stay competive requiring constant updates.

But in 2020, bringing new tech into your insurance company can be easier than ever, by bringing in smart technologies and using what you’ve already got to build a better business.

Here’s what we’re recommending for insurers of all sizes in 2020.

Intelligent process automation that will learn as it goes

Intelligent process automation or IPA combines other types of automation, like robot process automation, and decision-making capabilities to create more powerful processes. For insurers, IPA brings together multiple types of unstructured information to automate claims processes, understand claim details, and flag fraudulent applications.

Different types of automation coming together

Robotic Process Automation
Digital Process Automation
Machine Learning & AI
Creating better customer experiences with Artificial Intelligence (AI)

In 2020, more insurers will use AI to help them identify and solve problems. Even small AI applications and use of A/B testing can recognise patterns that signal an issue, often using technology already available.

AI can identify …

Loss of sales
Higher costs
Poor customer UX
Low conversions
Negative sentiment

Solutions could be as simple as:

Rearranging form fields
Adding assistive text or changing wording
Reviewing digital accessibility like colours and contrasts
Using familiar UX positioning and workflows
Simplifying everything
Clever application of AI will give your customers a better experience, give you higher quality information, and grow your business.
Data analytics will help you see customers as individuals

We’ve got more data about our customers than ever, but it doesn’t mean anything unless we actually use it. Without changing anything, you can start:

Tracking quote strike rates and form completion
Monitoring loss ratios relative to rating factors
Watching social media mentions
Analysing market sentiment

Good data has the potential to determine the real impact on an insurance business. Let’s say you add a new product, but you don’t yet know what the claims cost is. Is it a loss-leader, or a profit-generator? Do customers understand how it works? How many policies do you need to write?

Data analysis will answer all of these questions and give insight into the answers.

Data for Dental Insurance

US insurer Beam uses smart toothbrushes to understand how people are taking care of their teeth. That data becomes personalised plans and premiums, rewarding customers for doing the right thing.

Be proactive. Dig into your data and find out where customers are exiting, so you can improve the process. Rule out hassles before they become a problem. Find the info to help you understand your customers as individuals, not just the segments they fit into, and tailor the experience based on what you now know.

And track all requests to your help staff, and then implement changes so customers can resolve the issue on their own without needing to contact you.

More broadly, with a clear understanding of your customers as individuals, not just the segments they fit into, you’ll be better able to tailor a more personalised experience based on what you now know.

Bring it all together through digital ecosystems

So, we know data is coming from everywhere. We’re all generating it constantly, through the devices we use, the conversations we have and the places we go.

Where data comes from
Wearables
(e.g. Fitbit)
Vehicles
Smart buildings
SPS / nav systems
Digital Activity
(e.g. social media)

Digital ecosystems bring all these players together, with many real-world applications for insurers. When you know what your customers actually need, there are practically endless opportunities to give them a better deal and save your company money at the same time.

Merging technologies paints a clearer picture of what’s going on. For example, you might work with health clubs or wearable manufacturers to better understand customer wellbeing. You could use data from IoT devices to see what customers are doing to ensure they’re safe while driving, or how they’re keeping their home and contents secure.

You might be able to work with customers, security companies and other businesses to reduce the likelihood of a claim, and having real information may even help you to avoid potentially fraudulent payouts.

More agile claims processing

As in other industries, insurance customers will increasingly manage their own accounts. Omnichannel user experience will lead them seamlessly through quotes, policies and claims, with minimal human intervention, across every device.

Different Devices
Mobile/tablet
Watch
Fitness wearable
Laptop
Car

Products like Axelerator are highly flexible and highly configurable with many inbuilt integration options, giving insurers total control over the user experience. All policies, claims and reinsurance exist on a single platform, and can be rapidly assembled to change with your company.

Everything will be voice-enabled

The personal touch will continue in 2020, with voice becoming part of every stage of the process.

Examples
Voice to text
Phone menus
Credit card payments
Lodging claims
Robo help desks

As potential customers keep using virtual assistants – in their homes, workplaces, cars and schools – insurers will become part of that experience. Some insurers are already integrating services like Alexa and Nest to automate insurance quotes and claims, answering simple questions instantly and using APIs to interface with their policy systems for more complex queries.

Improved customer experience, helping them in their own spaces
More efficient processing without human intervention
Better integrity with information going direct into secure systems
Skilled staff have more time to focus on value-adding tasks
Taking the lead from InsureTechs

But we think 2020 will see more insurers looking to them for inspiration instead.

While some gamechangers can be integrated simply into existing systems, there are always risks with bringing in new assets. More endpoints mean greater potential vulnerability – as we move to digital ecosystems with many players, it will be more important than ever to make sure we’re on top of data regulation and cybersecurity.

Customers have high expectations. They’re used to having tools and information at their fingertips, and they will walk away from a poor user experience. In 2020, good insurers will be using what they know about their customers to make sure their journey runs as smoothly as possible, and bringing in the technology to make it a reality.

We are Axe, a leading insurance solution provider helping our customers shift to meet their customers’ needs. We’ve built our reputation on having the most innovative and adaptable software in the market. So, if you’re wanting to change the rules, we should talk.