Reimagining Insurance Post Covid

The insurance industry plays a critical role in the smooth functioning of the society, economy and the life itself. Large number of economic & human activities and projects are inconceivable for want of insurance. The role insurers play in protecting life and property, supply chain, credit facilitation, and infrastructure building can’t be underemphasized. Also, the insurers are among the largest investors on the planet managing trillions of dollars and play a vital role in the community building by buying municipal bonds. Notwithstanding its matchless value, the insurance sector punches much below its due weight when it comes to capturing the imagination of average consumer. Though leaders in the insurance space like Allianz have shown innovation streak across augmented reality, artificial intelligence and sustainability, they are not quite there in terms of brand recognition compared to the likes of Amazon, Apple, Google and Nike. As per a Deloitte survey less than half the insurers believe that they are truly customer centric. Additionally, most insurers are just at the beginning of their digital transformation journey and consequently losing market share to the nimble start ups in this space. Post Covid, the demand for most insurance products is also expected to plummet, further straining the profitability. The young talent, for want of appropriate knowledge about the insurance industry is also not getting attracted towards this sector. The most aspiration brands are associated with key lifestyle choices; Nike for fitness, Amazon for convenience, Apple for experience, Google for knowledge. Insurers also touch vital aspects of life and by reimagining marketing and product mix they can become highly aspirational and in the bargain attract talent and engage consumers in a better way. “Making things possible” is one such tagline that captures the essence of insurance business and product building and messaging can revolve around this philosophy to make an indelible imprint on the consumers

Here are the 6 steps insurers must prioritize to stay ahead of the game:

Strengthen the online presence: Increasing number of new insurance sales are expected to be influenced by the digital interaction. Consumers are increasingly going online to assess insurance providers, compare prices and coverage options. Post Covid, an Indian aggregator platform saw 40% jump in the online sales of life and health insurance. Insurers need to grow their online presence by revisiting past best practices and reimagining a new marketing model centred around consumers’ lives. Company’s own website is among the most powerful marketing tool and needs to be designed and structured in a search engine optimization (SEO) friendly manner; Google accounts for more than 78% of desktop search traffic globally, and over 94% of mobile and tablet traffic. Also, the insurance companies must partner with insurance aggregators, ecommerce platforms and digital wallets as the consumers are addicted to the great user experience offered by these entities; chances are insurers might grab a mindshare as well as share of wallet of the consumers

Boost the social media strategy: Consumers are increasingly relying on social media for their world view. Insurance companies have a great opportunity to meet all important goals like brand awareness, effective customer service, and becoming data driven through a robust social media strategy. Leading brands are already thinking and actioning social media plans for better consumer engagement. The French insurer AXA uses Facebook to not just share new policies and links to informative blog content, but also to answer customer questions. Insurance industry is notorious for using complicated language that can’t be properly understood without the guidance of experts. Insurers can make use of videos on social media to deliver their brand message in an easy to understand manner. All the brands across industries realize the value of harnessing data to get better at their business. Through social listening tools insurers can do regular audits on consumer sentiments, share of voice, pain points in order to produce content and experience that inspire loyalty

Broaden the application of augmented reality: Insurance sector is not particularly known for delivering great customer experiences. Insurers are also not able to attract right talent; in the US only 4% of the millennials expressed interest in joining the insurance industry. They have a great opportunity to enhance the customer experience and perception through application of augmented reality across wide ranging areas such as advertising, training, learning & development, customer service, damage estimate and claims settlement. The insurer Allianz launched an ad campaign using real-time weather API and augmented reality, informing users of the Air Quality Index in their vicinity. 42% of millennials consider learning, development, and training opportunities to be important benefits while looking for a job; the application of augmented reality can be explored to bring potential new talent at a comfort level about nitty gritty of insurance

Usage based insurance (UBI) products: Post Covid, consumers will be driven towards needs based insurance to save the premium costs. Insurance companies need to change their perception among consumers and be considered as trusted advisers who promote good life and focus more on risk prevention than risk protection. Insurers can also promote healthy and socially conscious behaviour by enhancing the product range and target audience for the usage based insurance. Currently, the level of consumer trust in the insurance business is low compared to other industries especially the high tech; by embarking on multi-pronged business transformation initiatives focused on the consumer journey, the insurers can stay relevant. The value of the UBI market will top $87 bn in 2025, up sharply from just $21 bn in 2017. Liberty Insurance introduced UBI in Singapore and holds weekly competitions rewarding drivers who earn high scores. One insurance tech company in UK is offering auto insurance to young women by using telematics technology

Use artificial intelligence (AI) across processes: The use of AI in improving the processes has begun among the insurance players and they are reaping rewards. A healthy majority of insurance executives agree that AI will revolutionize the way their companies interact with the consumers. AI powered chatbots can be deployed across a variety of customer touchpoints, including: policy quoting, claims submissions, renewals, as well as onboarding for both new customers and employees. AA Ireland, one of the largest providers of car, home, travel, and life insurance in the country, increased customer conversion by more than 11% thanks to the conversational AI platform. Now the insurers need to look for more use cases fit for the AI intervention and work with appropriate technology partners to convert plans into pragmatic actions

Focus on sustainability: Sustainability can be a great value multiplier and should be seen as an insurance business enabler. A Morgan Stanley survey found that 95% of the millennials in the US expressed interest in investing in companies with good track record in sustainability. Additionally, 200 global regulator members of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) have identified sustainability as a major emerging issue for appropriate disclosures. Duly acknowledging its importance, the PSI (Principles for Sustainable Insurance, a UN body) and Allianz have launched the first guide to managing sustainability risks in insurance underwriting to aid the sustainability due diligence process for clients and transactions. Other insurance companies should also make sustainability a key component across their business lines

Specialize in distilling insights at the intersection of business, digital and marketing to provide pragmatic ideas for growth of businesses.

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