For as long as insurance companies have had to file claims with agents, one of the fastest ways to provide coverage is through phone calls. Now some insurance companies are swapping the long and dirty high-pressure phone calls with smart technology that they hope will make the claims process more customer-friendly.
One of these insurers is Boston-based Carinsurances.com, a subsidiary of USAA insurance. About 90 percent of USAA homeowners and car insurance customers are part of the “tech committee,” which offers to help insurance companies get tech upgrades approved for the company’s more than 90,000 claims.
The members of this group already have access to apps and an online portal where they can check out all the options, so when they saw a new website interface in 2015, they didn’t have to keep their ears to the ground. The company has launched a new platform called InsurVoyage, which provides users with personalized dashboards, maps of the property and the mobile-friendly app. The home and car insurance will be available to the entire member base over the summer.
Though Carinsurances.com is only one of the companies using this technology, it has big plans. “Our goal,” said Courtney O’Donnell, vice president of marketing for Carinsurances.com, “is to be the preeminent insurance information portal in the country.”
More important than knowing their insurance company in high-tech terms is knowing how to take advantage of the technology. According to O’Donnell, there are three keys to making the most of the company’s app and dashboards:
See what the agent or IT contact sees. Just knowing your physical location may be sufficient in the mobile-friendly app, but technology can help you see what the agent is seeing as well. O’Donnell recommends using two-factor authentication and creating an “e-mail verification code,” which prevents access if you forget your password or your PIN.
See your coverage and compare. Afterwards, you should transfer the information to the agent or person who will be on the other end of the line. Carinsurances.com has partnered with Remittance.com to allow its 1 million members to deposit monthly premiums directly into their accounts via Remittance’s mobile app.
Another area where technology helps is getting claims settled quickly. Because the company’s technology makes it easier to compare coverage and get back on track after receiving a claim, O’Donnell recommends asking about those details on the company’s app, while also spreading out your overall claims business. However, even after a claim has been settled, the company suggests that all policyholders make sure to get more than two estimates from any given insurer before signing off on a final insurance policy.
Andrea Miteski, PhD and MD in the field of reinsurance. Long term senior insurance executive with specialization of reinsurance optimization.