Traditionally viewed as a stodgy industry, insurance is slowing playing catch-up with the help of technology. The use of technology by insurance companies has several practical advantages for customers. Among other things, it can mean faster, more efficient claims processes, policy pricing that is more closely aligned with a person’s health, and access to more user-friendly and engaging educational tools designed to promote safety and reduce risk (Forbes, 2020).
Here are a few ways technology is changing the insurance landscape and what it could mean for you as a consumer.
Accelerated claims settlements
Insurers are increasingly using technology that can be helpful in identifying damages or unusual behavior instantly and notifying relevant authorities.
Auto insurers, for instance, are increasingly using telematics devices to help detect accidents, as well assess as their severity and impact. These devices can identify a crash instantly when it occurs and deploy emergency services and in-network tow trucks instantly to the location. Claims processing departments can make use of this data to estimate the damage and process claims quicker and more precisely, a boon for customers, he says.
Insurers also have partnerships with various tech companies to provide IoT-embedded security devices such as smoke alarms, video doorbells, and theft-detection. Some insurers are also using drones for property inspections to assess damage claims. These technological advances have the potential to speed up the claim process, assess damage remotely, and more effectively identify fraud.
Real-time feedback devices
More insurers are making use of real-time feedback devices to help make coverage-related
decisions and encourage healthier lifestyles for their customers.
One insurer was an early adopter in leveraging the power of wearable devices, partnering with Vitality to distribute free Fitbits to customers to track their well-being. Other insurers actively encourage their customers to use wearables and smart brushes by offering cash-back offers, shopping coupons, and discounts, he says.
Education and risk management
Some insurers are using augmented reality and virtual reality technology to provide interactive user experiences. They are using augmented reality to warn their clients about dangers, estimate damage, explain insurance plans, and more.
Some are using virtual reality for car crash and breakdown simulations, which can help
encourage drivers to adhere to safe driving practices.
• One has used the capabilities of augmented reality to increase customer awareness about
many dangers they may face in their homes.
• One is turning to augmented reality smartphone apps to help its managers improve their
coaching, project management, and people management skills.
• One opted to turn an annoying and boring process of choosing a convenient retirement
benefit plan into a fun and exciting activity with the help of augmented reality.
Augmented reality can also help speed up the claims settlement process. Claims adjusters can overlay images of a pre-loss condition for comparison, document damaged areas hands-free (useful for later VR accident simulations), and confer with remote experts. This makes it possible to estimate the damage and process claims more precisely quicker, which will be beneficial for customers as well.
These are only a few ways insurance is changing. It will be interesting to see what else the future holds in this regard.
The author, Stanley Chege, will be speaking at the CIO East Africa virtual Insuretech Forum on 24/9/2020.
Themed: “Harnessing Innovation For Customer Driven Insurance”, the summit will engage delegates in intensive discussion sessions to explore particulars affecting the insurance industry. Insurers must start rethinking their business models, operating models, and customer engagement methods in order to maintain and gain market relevance.
Join in the conversation by clicking on the link below; https://events.cio.co.ke/event/east-africa-insuretech-forum-2020/
Forbes. (2020). Insurance getting a fintech facelift. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/
Stanley Chege is the Group Chief Information Officer at Maddison Insurance.
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