Going Mobile… the path to becoming informed.

August 04, 2016

Insurance companies have been slow to adopt and take advantage of mobile devices primarily due to the lack of capability and outdated / inflexible user interfaces and databases of existing implemented legacy BMS systems.

Most legacy based BMS software do not take advantage of new API’s (application programing interfaces) and latest development frameworks that allow users to benefit from Internet based mobile access to digital information. Additionally, due to a combination of factors including cautious management, ingrained traditions, and an insufficient understanding of the underlying technologies, the Insurance industry is lagging behind other services sectors.

The rapid adoption and use of smart devices by customers are urging an industry that has traditionally adopted a “wait and watch” approach to technological progression to innovate and evolve. Advancements in mobile technology, cloud, and API’s present favourable opportunities to insurers to meet evolving customer needs, gain market share and reduce costs through effective use of time, access to information, and being mobile. This is very apparent when dealing with claims management and the need to evolve from managing claims the manual process. A client could use their own device to initiate a claim from the accident site providing location, environment, time, pictures, notes and other important facts. This information can then be routed to the agent and adjuster at the same time to speed up the claim process, providing a quick resolution for the policy holder.

Insurance agents and brokers are mobile today and have a desire to leverage mobile technology (smartphones/tablets) to be more effective and enable them to take advantage of the immediacy and convenience customers expect. Having access to digital client file information when they want it and where ever they are, can help maintain and build trusted relations with policy holders.

Some apps and Web portals are enabling insurers to provide “self-service access” for consumers. Most self-serve portals and apps capture some information to form a foundation of the policy holder and provide a basic quote for insurance. Unfortunately, the data being captured may not easily be accessible and/or reused effectively from these systems and could form negative views from policy holders as they may not be able to accurately retrieve information without an inconvenient waiting period.

Additionally, there is a perception that this enabling capability is increasing competition across the industry and for the broker. Insurance Brokers are recognizing the need to become more informed and responsive. They desire to better their relations with policy holders and insurers by increasing their ability to collaborate with partners and respond to customer’s needs by having access to the required information “now” and being able to respond any time and anywhere.

Being mobile and informed is key to providing information to policy holders when they expect it and when they want it. The informed broker takes the time to ask questions to understand the policy holder’s business and personal needs. The informed broker leverages partner’s and colleague’s knowledge to make sure the right questions and operating scenarios are being confirmed by would-be clients, enabling the informed broker to provide risk analysis and the best available options for policy owners to consider.

Mobile devices continue to be a part of many consumers’ lives and demand for mobile services in many service based industries are expected to rise. Consumers today are expecting insurance agents and brokers to be informed, collaborative, accessible, and responsive. An agent should be able to leverage various ways to communicate with customers and have instant access to relevant information to immediately respond. Many believe that consumers of the insurance industry will continue to require a physical presence from a representative. Agents and brokers are constantly traveling from client to client and successfully manage personal relationships through face-to-face meetings.

Having access to a mobile, easy to use client and policy management system and digital client file is not a desire nor a want; it’s become a need. As smart device use grows and mobility benefits are realized, customer expectations expand. Organizations leveraging mobile and providing access to relevant, secure information to agents, CSR’s, adjusters, brokers, and policy holders at anytime will increase trust, build relationships and attract and retain customers.