How Tech is Transforming The Insurance Industry
Insurers who adopt innovative technology, or "insurtech", are not only speeding up the process of getting insured and making claims, but they're making it more transparent. Meanwhile, brokers are working hand-in-hand with these innovations to offer you a new level of strategic advice.
In its Tech Vision 2018 report consulting firm Accenture identifies five key emerging tech trends for the insurance industry, each promising benefits for customers:
- With bots and other artificial intelligence (AI) entities getting more autonomous and more sophisticated, you'll see amazing efficiencies at all stages of your customer experience. AI will reach beyond robotic process automation in the back office to serving you on the front-line. In fact, 80% of insurance executives surveyed said they believed that within the next two years, AI will work next to humans in their organisations, as a co-worker, collaborator and trusted adviser.
- Virtual or augmented reality can help insurers overcome the problem of distance to produce better-trained staff and a faster, more accurate claims process. For instance, virtual reality headsets can put employees into immersive environments for re-skilling and training. One insurer is giving smart glasses to field inspectors and risk engineers so they can access data and documents hands-free as they inspect damaged properties.
- Insurers are urged to build strong cybersecurity and data science into their businesses to keep the customer protected. Things like connected cars, smart homes, digital workplaces, social media and government databases all make routine tasks easier and help simplify our lives. With all the data these entail though, there has to be a focus on data veracity or "truth" in data to guard against the inevitable rise of fake data, manipulated data and inherent bias.
- You'll be able to move seamlessly through innovative ecosystems, e.g., a ride-sharing company or an Airbnb scenario thanks to frictionless business - a trend that sees companies working together in strategic, technology-based partnerships. "Smart" contracts and blockchain help insurers overcome old, restrictive legacy systems to become more agile.
- "Edge processing" will allow things like self-driving cars to operate efficiently. Instead of processing its data in the cloud, the car has special devices installed in it, allowing real-time processing as you drive. This is part of what Accenture calls the Internet of Thinking: because the cloud can't support all the data coming from the smart devices connected in the Internet of Things, edge processing comes to the rescue, offering special-purpose hardware and processors that sit on location and take advantage of the data more effectively.
Using tech innovations such as these, insurtech continues to simplify and streamline the underwriting process, which means insurers have increasingly sophisticated and accurate risk modelling and a better understanding of your needs. Your claims are handled more efficiently and with more transparency, you'll have greater visibility and control over your claims, and enjoy better customer service.
More user-friendly design and interaction will also help educate you about what you need and what you're buying.
Where is your broker in this?
While technology will absorb some of the more routine aspects of a broker's job, "Insurance brokering will not become obsolete," Accenture says in a 2017 blog. You'll still need to go to a broker for strategic, independent advice - you just need to ensure your broker is responding and adapting to this wave of digital disruption.
To deliver added value and to earn your loyalty, your broker will need to work hand-in-hand with tech, using all the benefits it offers while making sure you understand how it fits together.
Find a broker that offers just that, here.