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The Rise of InsurTech Ecosystem for Frictionless Consumer Journey

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Saurabh Tiwari - Chief Technology Officer - PolicyBazaar.com

Insurance has traditionally functioned through various offline channels. However, it has now evolved to a great extent and the technological innovation is taking it to greater heights. It is all about offering an array of consumer-centric products and further customize them to effectively cater to their needs.

However, insurance sector is still evolving to make consumer journeys even more frictionless, leading to the rise of an InsurTech ecosystem converging insurance and technology. Today, technology’s crucial role comes into play right from identifying the consumer to predicting their needs pre-emptively to offering the right product to them.

The last two years, with multiple lockdowns and social distancing norms, have made it crucial to improve the efficiency of digital channels with personalized service in the insurance sector. As per the Capgemini and Efma’s 2021 World Insurance Report, an overwhelmingly three-fourth of patients and policyholders expect insurance providers to understand their needs and expectations, while 84 percent feel that they would prefer insurance providers that ‘treat them like a person and not a number’. Around 80 percent of the respondents said that immediate responses to their requests are important to gain their loyalty.

Technology Collaborates with Innovation
In today’s digitally-fuelled world, deploying cutting-edge technology is not just an option, but a mandate to keep up with new-age consumer. A seamless experience across physical and virtual platforms goes a long way towards consumer satisfaction, especially in case of insurance where the companies do not sell a physical product, but a promise that they would be there in the customers’ times of need. It is through technology that insurance companies can effectively deliver on that promise.

It has been several years now that technology has been driving every single aspect of consumer experience right from visiting the website to purchasing the product and customer service interactions after making the purchase. Since the consumer can interact with the insurer on multiple channels, it is of paramount importance that the context of the conversation is remembered and even predicted upfront when the interaction begins.

Technology can enable companies to create a comprehensive profile of the consumer based on data collected from real time events and customer interactions, including payment, purchases, ticket, call and browsing activity. This profile, once created, can help in follow-up interactions across any channel, thus creating an extremely personalized experience for the consumer.

Today, various technological advancements like blockchain, machine learning (ML), data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and automation are contributing to revolutionize the insurance sector, helping it become more consumer-centric.

Automating Journeys for Better Experience
The future belongs to a data-driven, consumer-centric approach. Technology aptly completes the puzzle to help insurance ecosystem attain that approach. For instance, smart contracts can enable insurers settle claims without the need for a lot of paperwork, time-consuming meetings, and obsolete manual processes.

Right from digital onboarding to offering personalized products, and from offering fairer premiums to hassle-free claim settlements, technology is at the forefront to make this all possible

Especially, if we talk about common case of motor insurance claims, the whole consumer journey has been made a lot easier and frictionless. The conventional process of having to manually coordinate for repairs and then for claims after an accident can be a harrowing process for the consumer. This has been eliminated and now, the consumer can simply report the accident online, choose from an approved list of network garages and plan a tow or pick-up. The insurance company, on the other hand, can also generate an automated turn-around-time while the document are uploaded and scanned online, making consumer experience much more hassle-free. In such a case, technology comes as a saviour to the customer who might be dealing with aftermath of the accident and can focus better on recovery.

Big Data Analytics
In today’s hyper-personalized world, even the everyday products come in a huge variety for customers. So, why should something as crucial and personal as insurance should follow a one-size-fits all approach? Technology like Big Data Analytics today enables insurance providers to use data from multiple sources to accurately identify customer needs and provide them a personalized insurance product that is tailored to suit their needs. This is exactly what the customer wants – to respect their diversity and to be treated as independent individuals rather than just numbers or transactions.

Similarly, companies can also use big data analytics to accurately predict the risk value and define risk profile of different individuals while offering them insurance products. This helps them arrive at fairer premiums based on the accurate identification of risk. So rather than just using age and medical history of a customer, companies can take into account their lifestyle and even their vulnerability to diseases in future, making it possible to lower the premium for the ones who are less risk-prone and generally keep the premium low for the entire ecosystem.

Today’s constantly evolving world of technological innovation has made it possible for industry stakeholders to make the entire consumer journeys seamless virtually. Right from digital onboarding to offering personalized products, and from offering fairer premiums to hassle-free claim settlements, technology is at the forefront to make this all possible. The InsurTech ecosystem is at the cusp of a digital revolution that is all set to transform the insurance and its consumer experience forever.

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