- Alok Bansal – Founder of PolicyBazaar
- Roopa Malhotra – Head of Customer & Digital (Asia Pacific) at Zurich Insurance
- Jonathan Rake – CEO Asia Pacific at Swiss Re Corporate Solutions
- Glenn Rogers – Partner at EY
- Michael Waitze – Founder of AsiaTechPodcast.com
Prior to COVID, customers in markets with low insurance penetration never considered purchasing insurance for protection. People’s tendency to assume that anything bad will most likely happen to someone else rather than them means insurance doesn’t have enough touchpoints. Consumers were pushed into purchasing a personal insurance savings product or mandatory insurance policies. COVID, on the other hand, raised awareness of this issue and encouraged consumers to start considering insurance as a crucial component in their financial planning. Customers are now starting the dialogue and approaching insurers with product demands, which represents a significant shift for the insurance sector. Learn more about the topic from the speakers at the ITC Asia panel discussion.
Key Insights from the Panel
- Operations in the insurance industry were significantly impacted by COVID. Concerns about resolving insurance and data privacy issues were present. Customers attempting to submit motor vehicle claims through the outsourced customer center in another nation were unable to call the hotline or receive email responses. The operations workflow was impacted, and the processing of claims was delayed because of the downtime for outsourced resources.
- In corporate commercial insurance, COVID brought about greater risk awareness amongst the corporate risk managers as customers were disrupted in the same way as the supply chain. Overnight, in agriculture, farmers went from buying and trading insurance at their local agricultural center to using digital platforms. Suddenly, businesses had to deal with a whole new changing risk landscape on top of cyber risks. While there was growth in sales with digitalization and access to open markets, it is essential to note that customer-centricity can be achieved only by helping customers understand their new exposures, the evolving risks, and how they can receive support.
- COVID challenged companies to be more agile and questioned whether their businesses could handle client demands in the face of market constraints during situations like a pandemic.
- The supply chain interruption did not only affect the insurance business. Airlines suffered because their customer service departments lacked staff, and their existing chatbots were unable to handle the inquiries that customers were asking at the time. Therefore, despite the advancement in technology, we are still working toward a point where all digital channels are fully connected. The customer experience that businesses are required to provide is changing from analog to digital, but there are still integration and communication problems that need to be handled.
Improving the Customer Experience
- Transactions have always been facilitated by someone, so the emphasis is on the middleman rather than the customer. This causes the result and the process, respectively, to become two distinct problems. Since we don’t know the customer well, the product has not evolved. Although every individual represents different risks, the insurance products on the market are still designed to cover all potential risks.
Utilizing the information gathered during client interactions to provide a tailored solution is how you may enhance the customer experience through product evolution. For instance, a customer might ask about insulin while speaking to a customer care agent. Even though they haven’t mentioned diabetes as one of their existing medical issues, we can improve the customer experience by advising coverage for this risk. The next concern is whether this information may be included in product pricing to protect clients from a risk they are unaware of disclosing. Looking at the process side frictions, can we also consider leveraging automation to enhance the client experience in an offline process, such as a physical medical test?
- The rising demand for personalized solutions may not necessarily align the customer journey and consumer interests with financial goals. It is therefore important to consider how we might address the gaps in protection. For example, in corporate insurance, corporate clients that are unable to obtain solutions like natural catastrophe cover from traditional businesses are turning to alternative risk transfer marketplaces outside of regular insurance markets. The consumer sector is experiencing a similar trend. As a result, insurers can consider using big groups of gathered data and modeling to determine whether bespoke product solutions are viable.
- Insurers developed customised solutions during the pandemic when they saw the shift in manufacturing industry, from purchasing equipment to choosing lighter assets and renting it. The optimal insurance solution in this situation would be one that protects the assets while they are being used by the customer and aids the insurer in growth. Prior to COVID, consumers used to own these assets, but because of the changing market and environment, they now desire the flexibility to be able to adapt to the pandemic. As a result, they chose to rent the equipment rather than purchase it to enable quick pivots and adjustments.
- Insurance is at an inflection point around industrialization. In terms of value offering, customer-centricity is now more defined than ever. Customers prefer a smooth claims process, competitive products, services, and price options, as well as the feeling that they are properly taken care of. The prioritization of the focus area and the deployment of technological innovations to help the consumer will become the insurers’ differentiating factor.
Trends and Developments
- The pandemic has escalated the adoption and distribution of parametric insurance because you can get immediate payouts with certainty. Consumers have realized that alternative solutions like parametric will ensure a pay-out to assist a company in its financial recovery in cases of financial loss unrelated to any non-damage business interruption during the pandemic. As a result, whether it’s commercial lines or personal lines insurance, the product complements traditional insurance, and the market demand is there. Consumers are ready for it.
- Everyone has a credit score, but there is no central scorecard for risk. Although the idea of a credit score is well understood, there is no risk score for an individual, a family, or a specific asset. We can create various insurance products based on the different profiles by establishing a risk score, and we can also create solutions for these micro-segments by using insurance technology to speed up business innovations.
- There are three parts to the whole insurance value chain—the product, the process of buying it, and the most important one, claims. Claims continue to be the moment of truth. For example, in some big partnerships, claims scenarios are shared with companies before they happen, so that it brings some level of certainty and awareness around where the company might be hit the hardest based on their insurance policy in the event of a claim. That is delivering on your promise with claims certainty.
Before the pandemic, risk engineers in risk engineering might assess an oil rig, a structure, or an industrial company physically in-person. However, the disruption resulted in the rapid development and deployment of insurance technology such as 3D scans and drone technologies for this purpose instead. Similarly, for flood risk assessment, drones were used to address their concerns and identify the risks more accurately. This transformed the entire customer experience and journey.
- In the consumer landscape, depending on the target demographic, insurers can take advantage of different solutions or approaches at a UX-level to address the shifting needs of the workforce. Based on the individual’s digital activity footprint, segment your digital channel accordingly. Taking the Gen Zs for instance, they spend a lot of their time on websites like Twitch and participate in a lot of esports and gaming activities. Insurers may get closer to meeting the needs of this generation by engaging with them through these digital platforms, understanding how important these platforms are to them, and gamifying their insurance services to make it more like the rest of their lives.
- Ecosystems are developing all throughout. When considering the entire payment landscape, credit insurance products are created because parties in the ecosystem are taking different parts of the insurance value chain and accepting the various risks. Therefore, to survive within the ecosystem, it is crucial to stick to your core competencies. Because the ecosystem partner owns the customer connection, it is crucial for the insurance industry to identify its distinctive value in the ecosystem partnership.