How is Insurtech enabling both consumers & Insurers?
With a small percentage of India’s population insured today, we have significant ground to cover to increase insurance penetration & build a more secure and robust foundation for future generations. In the early days, finding a plan that fits the consumers’ budget and covers the long list of their needs and desires was like finding a needle in a haystack.
Technology has given a 360-degree shift to how a consumer engages with the insurance sector. It has given them access to multiple education and guidance mediums and started moving the decision-making from a word-of-mouth model to a self-serve one.
Some of the ways in which technology is serving as an enabler in this sector are
Omni Channel Presence
Today’s customers can choose between having a personalized offline experience or a self-serve online route. Technology is moving the consumer experience to a mix of offline & online worlds where Insurance is no longer a black box. Consumers have access to mediums to support research, selection, and decision-making, giving them the freedom to find a policy that works for them. It’s no more a one-mould fit-all approach applicable to the masses. Information accessibility is on the rise, and local dialect translations will soon no longer be a limitation.
Faster Decision Making
Comparison, quotation, doubt clarification and decision-making are no longer dependent on one source of information. Consumers can efficiently use their time and have access to tools which enable the right decision-making at any time of the day. Technology has also allowed consumers to ask relevant questions and feel confident about their investment decisions. The policy purchase process has become time efficient and seamless for a user with the intent to learn & purchase.
Psychographic shift at the customer front has also led to demands which were rare in the past. Many new policy needs have made their way to the surface, pushing insurers to develop custom solutions. They might not be cost-effective, but they deliver up to consumer needs. Such solutions are possible because of the new methods of gathering information, demand assessment, solution design, and cost optimization.
With the help of data & trend analytics, many companies can detect fraudulent activities. By leveraging big data, we also have the potential to discover pitfalls in how a plan is designed for the end consumer. It also safeguards both the insurer and consumers from potential exploitation. With such possibilities, both parties feel more secure in buying and selling plans. Claim processes become more robust and fair after the technology has collaborated with the insurance space.
Cost & Time Effective Business Models
Remote operations have also found their way to the Insurance space. With fewer overheads, technology has made it possible to exchange information, verify documents and sell policies from sitting in any location. Seamless communication and faster exchange of information are possible with technical solutions specially designed by Insurance companies. Overhead costs are reduced to a minimum for running a cost-optimized solution.
Technology has also made it possible to create more flexible, short term and easy-to-transfer plans. Now consumers can opt out of plans easily and move to newer ones with limited loss and scale up or down as per their new needs. Medium of issuance, Omni channel support and fast pace powered by technology have given consumer accessibility to ease of movement if needed.
This is the beginning of the possibilities with technology and Insurance being together, and innovation will make way for things which appear like a distant thought today. Insurance education is at its high level to ensure we are no more operating with a black box and serving as an enablement tool for designing a more secure, well-planned future for the end consumer.
(The author is Mayank Gupta, Co-Founder and COO, Zopper, and the views expressed in this article are his own)