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Digital disruption exacerbating insurance personalisation

22 February 2021 Anton Keet, Head of Risk Services at 1Life

Digital disruption continues to change the game in the insurance industry, with Covid 19 accelerating the process – leaving the industry faced with a paradigm shift in a world powered by technology.

What is very clear is that this significant disruption has forced the industry to revise their business models in order to stay relevant with customers and more importantly strive to create a more resilient business model in the face of the ‘new world’.

A one-size-fit- all approach in today’s evolving world doesn’t fit at all and it is no longer applicable. Customers in the ‘new world’ are becoming more and more demanding and expect personalised, unique, and tailored services and products, not only this but they require efficient experiences, quick claims process and more versatile products that will be available, anywhere and at any time – in a way that makes sense for their lifestyle as well as budget. Meeting customer demands in an innovative and forward-thinking manner is on the agenda, and 2021 will be no different.

2021 will see the insurance industry seeing massive growth as new technologies transform the traditional operations within the industry. The industry will be seen driving:

1. The use of disruptive technologies
The use of Robot Process Automation within the insurance industry will grow immensely as this software technology works based on software robots that use Artificial Intelligence to perform tasks. These tasks range from controlling desktop-based applications, to easily gathering data from numerous data bases – dependant on requirements, feeding the gathered data to certain applications and analysing it for convenience. Robotic and cognitive automation across the insurance value chain will be significant - RPA, when applied correctly will offer better customer experience, less documentation, quicker turn around, more productive claims agents, less processing time etc, eliminating errors – where claims can be processed in 3 minutes.

2. Embracing predictive analysis of data
The insurance industry will be seen using predictive analytics to data to review and understand it while predicting the behaviours of customers. This will aid the industry in calculating risk factors that are often associated with their business. Furthermore, the predictive analysis of data will assist in is assessing the risks of fraudulent claims which is a huge ongoing issue within the insurance industry, not only this, but identifying the risk of insurance cancellations from existing business customers.

3. Using Artificial Intelligence to lead the way in the ‘new world’
The game has already changed significantly and the opportunities for growth are huge in the space where long-term insurers are seeing significant investment in data analytics and modelling techniques to enable quicker, better, and more convenient insurance. Artificial Intelligence also known as AI, will be seen assisting in dynamic underwriting processing – where insurers will be enabled to create, and design simplified and convenient solutions that will meet unique ‘new client’ requirements and expectations. Now, with digital transformation, we will see the industry embracing automated underwriting systems far quicker

4. Diverse communication channels
One key change in this space is the intrinsic focus on simplified communication channels going forward – ensuring that customers’ interactions with the business are quicker and more convenient.
• Chatbots
These bots will interact with customers and help them solve commonly faced issues, while offering a helping hand in completing processes such as policy application filing and claims

• Whatsapp
The evolution of social media is here to stay and to make it easy for consumers we will see the industry creating a platform where clients are able to receive a quote to processing a claim on whatsapp

• Digital intermediary solutions
The entire industry has realised that consumers want quick and easy solutions to get things done with regards to their insurance needs and direct platforms are fast becoming the primary choice where everything is just a click away.

5. The importance of human touch
We can’t deny that human touch will continue to be a requirement within customer servicing organisations so that service offerings don’t appear cold and impersonal. However, there are certain functions that require diligent and precise evaluation, one such as the claims process, and where human touch and technology need to merge to form a stronger, more cohesive and less error-based approach. Technology and resilience will be key and as we move forward, human and technology collaboration will play a fundamental role in the survival of the industry – these require each other’s support and guidance for success.

Although 2021 comes with uncertainty, the use of technology has offered some form of comfort as move towards the ‘next normal’ world. I believe the wheel will turn; the explosion of technology innovation will play a crucial role in enabling the industry to place more focus on the client – encouraging a more customer centric and resilient insurance business model which will be pivotal for survival going forward. Embracing digital disruption will help the insurance industry to increase revenue and profitability – while developing and adopting digital solutions that will truly add value to a full spectrum customer base. I look forward to seeing industry players making positive strides toward this change and creating opportunities – with the customer at the center.

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The Budget Speech 2021...

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Certainly taxpayer-friendly, with tax increases being kept to a minimum
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Is welcomed news and will go a long way to bolster the economy and South Africa
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Oh no! What about our booze and tobacco! Higher sin taxes
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