Any insurer in the market today must adopt some of the digitalisation trends brought about by the wide range of devices, the developing use of connected sensors and the increase in connected cars.
Frank Brody, e-Insurance CEO, says: “The introduction of devices into our lives – in our cars, our appliances, our home and our clothing – has had a noticeable impact on the way insurance is written, sold and used. A year ago, the use of wearables was considered unusual, particularly so from insurance companies, but now this is commonplace.
“It is also important to remember that the use of high definition screens and their capabilities will increase in the coming months, making insurance products more complex and certainly, more expensive. The advancement of digital technologies in the insurance space will reach its apogee in 2015.”
Brody adds: “The benefit of social media is however being seen as a negative by some insurance companies. Whilst social media is evolving at such a rapid rate that it is still not 100 per cent safe for insurers to ignore, it has certainly caused friction in some insurance departments. However, as my colleagues at eInsurance prove with all the wonderful social media technologies that we are implementing we should surely see an increase in our customer satisfaction levels that will be backed up by them.
“This is certainly not the case, but I cannot say that we haven’t seen increasing amounts of customer dissatisfaction from insurance departments as they struggle to adapt to the new tools.
“While this is certainly something that we are monitoring, I would argue that this lack of digitalisation is rather hindering insurance, not helping it, and preventing the industry moving forward to a more sustainable and customer focused model.
“I believe that a more customer-centric approach to the business is essential, but one that leads to a healthier business and one that is able to produce a better customer service experience.”
E-Insurance has had great success in handling and processing social media interactions. Its first Twitter account was set up back in October 2011 and since then, the company has followed in the footsteps of Blue Monday – the day that is believed to be the “worst day to buy insurance”. Since this launch, the company has announced 5.3 million followers, and it is now handling 50 per cent of Twitter traffic for all UK insurers.
Although it works, Brody warns not to get a bit carried away: “It is easy to compare all those tweets to income, but it is hard to state how much of an impact they had on us. I think we were seeing 8 or 9 figures a day. This is a service I would recommend adding to all the other services you already use and the more frequently you put them to use in your life the more value you are going to get.”
Andrea Miteski, PhD and MD in the field of reinsurance. Long term senior insurance executive with specialization of reinsurance optimization.