Ways Tech is Helping Insurers

Ways Tech is Helping Insurers

The insurance industry is changing. Years ago, who would have ever guessed a simple thing like an additional checkbox would help companies reach their life insurance sales goals? Or how about the ways in-house experts are using self-generated content to share their expertise with an engaged audience?

The insurance industry is delivering its message and services to users more effectively than ever thanks to increased efficiency brought about by technology. It’s affecting almost every aspect of operation, from intake, to additional offerings, advertising, and much more. We spoke to experts and gathered research data on all the ways companies are making use of their new tools. Take a look.

 

Upselling – A Major Plus

It wouldn’t be entirely accurate to say technology is helping insurance companies with the “would you like fries with that?” method of upselling products, but it’s no malarkey. In fact, it’s more accurate than you’d think. Technology is definitely helping insurers bundle products together and bring a boost to lower-performing product lines.

Historically, according to Deloitte’s 2018 Insurance Industry Outlook, buyers have been reluctant to purchase life and annuity products despite nearly half of the US population being uninsured or underinsured and a similar percentage of US families having no retirement account savings. There’s a lot of potential business there, or at least there should be, but sales in life and annuity have for the most part been lacking.

“There appears to be a big opportunity for life and annuity companies to transform their business model. Several insurers are experimenting with connectivity and advanced analytics to narrow the life application-to-closing process from weeks to minutes, lowering onboarding costs, and minimizing the consumer dropout rate,” Deloitte researchers wrote.

The report noted technology from outside the general insurance industry is also helping insurers offer their products faster and more conveniently, producing a positive sales bump. Specifically, researchers said things like digitally available medical data, drug prescription information, and even emerging facial analytics technology can be used to estimate an applicant’s life expectancy and eliminate traditional medical tests. This makes it easier and quicker for the applicant to complete their onboarding process and reduces the number of individuals who would otherwise take a pass on life insurance.

Others have taken life insurance convenience a step further. Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance has developed and implemented a new life insurance claims system that records, processes, and pays life insurance death claims in one place.

“The new system ultimately provides improved service to clients by reducing the time to process a claim. Previously, the company lacked one system, which meant slower processing time, more manual work and, in some cases, room for error. Claims processing was a complicated process, requiring additional employees to maintain increasing claims volume. The new life claims system decreases company costs while increasing the beneficiaries’ ability to receive payment faster,” said Suzanne Henderson, director of public relations and communications with Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance.

 

Intake Efficiency

Software has generally eliminated many of the headaches that used to affect customers and companies alike, greatly improving efficiency and profitability in turn. It’s also made it much easier for agents to close their prospects without having to travel to provide materials to clients.

“Technology has allowed us to get rid of a lot of the roadblocks when enrolling new clients. The last thing people want is to have to fill out a stack of paperwork, especially if it’s the same information multiple times. Now, our software populates all of the forms for the various carriers using information the client only has to enter once, and they can make simple selections with regard to their benefits,” said Matt Glaros, CEO of Meyers Glaros Group, an insurance and benefits firm based in Schererville, IN.

Given the buying habits of younger individuals, who overwhelmingly prefer digital channels due to their speed and convenience, it’s safe to say this trend is only projected to grow.

 

Advertising Through Expertise

One of the most effective ways technology is helping insurance companies is by reducing or outright eliminating the traditional costs companies would incur when attempting to draw new customers. While it’s true the tried-and-true methods of advertising still have value, they’re often expensive. Previously, insurance companies would have to reach customers where they are using physical mediums – local commercials, billboards, etc. Today using digital formats, insurance companies can essentially reach customers anywhere using channels that often come at a fraction of the cost of standard methods such as social media campaigns, online ads, blogs, and more.

“Social media in particular has really turned insurance marketing upside down. Now, instead of advertisements or materials that readers aren’t interested in, insurance experts are able to provide relevant and engaging content using their various modes like Facebook, LinkedIN, and others to promote their companies using their own expertise,” Glaros said.

Also, unlike other market sectors, insurance firms typically don’t have new or flashy product lines to promote, so a digital medium that enables them to share their expertise and coverage options provides an effective advertising point with minimal manpower and expense.

 

Only Momentum

The increased use of technology in the insurance industry shows no signs of slowing down. As new digital innovations are developed and gadgets find new ways to ingrain themselves into the fabric of our daily lives, the insurance firms who are the most adept at adopting their use will likely be the ones who emerge as the most successful among their less-savvy industry peers.

Category Bottom Line, Features