Insurance in a digital era

When executives think about their competition, they typically think of the multinational global behemoths in their industry. But today, large industry players aren’t actually the biggest threat.

With the Now Generation at front and center in today’s consumer base – adults who grew up with the rise of the internet and thus expect convenience and crave experience – the expectations are different. Combined with 2020’s rapid digital migration, a move that’s here to stay, competition is being redefined by consumers’ digital experiences – from their favorite social app to their preferred food delivery service.

Adaptation is key – especially in verticals that have historically been slow to adapt.

The insurance industry is particularly vulnerable

Insurance companies often lack visibility to their customers. They filter their brand through agencies, brokers, and other intermediaries.

By-and-large, they also tend to fail at adapting to digital disruption: Mergermarket reports that 58% of respondents said there was a lag in digital technology in insurance compared to other financial services organizations.

When customers interact with an insurance company, they aren’t just comparing carriers. They’re comparing digital experiences. If Airbnb can make it easy to book a vacation rental on a mobile app, and individuals can apply for a mortgage on their smartphone with Rocket Mortgage, why can’t customers make their insurance premium payment from their phone just as easily?

Here’s the thing: the Now Generation is conditioned to customer-centric experiences.

  • 81% of surveyed marketing leaders believe they will compete mostly on customer experience (Gartner)

  • 70% of customers define customer experience as the basis of their opinion about brands (McKinsey)

Organizations that understand the importance of customer-centric digital experiences are making big gains and expanding into more spaces while creating ecosystems for their customers.

Exceptional insurance digital experiences are vital to gaining customers’ attention

Consumers today are exposed to thousands of brand messages every day. This number has skyrocketed over the last decade.

In 2007, consumers were exposed to up to 5,000 brand impressions per day—a 250% increase from thirty years prior, found a study by Yankelovich.

A decade later, one writer tracked 487 brand exposures before breakfast. With our cultural shifts towards digital living, it’s safe to say that customers’ daily brand exposures will only increase.

It’s only natural for modern customers to become more discerning about what they let stick. That’s why the Now Generation adopted a common filter: themselves.

Michael Solomon, professor of marketing at Saint John’s University Haub School of Business, described consumers’ relationships to brands like people “publishing their autobiography every single day. They are adding a chapter… and if you want a placement in that chapter, you can’t be just a commercial, you have to be part of the story.”

Think of insurance digital experiences like scenes in a story

Imagine, for example, a couple get in an accident late at night. What scene would the customer want:

  • The status quo: waiting several hours for a tow truck, fumbling to collect the necessary materials for their assessors, coordinating anxiously between several parties over voice calls.

  • An intuitive mobile experience: remotely requesting and tracking a tow truck, uploading photos and documents in an intuitive step-by-step process, and enjoying a fully automated claims process all from a central mobile app.

Insurance carriers must fit into the customer’s story, or find themselves on the cutting room floor.

The good news? Insurance companies that adapt to digital may reap the rewards.

An analysis by Bain shows that a prototypical insurer could adopt digital solutions to:

  • increase revenue by up to 28% within five years

  • reduce claims payouts by as much as 19%

  • and cut policy administration costs by as much as 72%

McKinsey Research found “a typical large auto insurer could more than double profitability over 5 years by harnessing the power of digital.”

In our own experience, we’ve seen a company increase YOY growth by 100% and earn over 30,000 clients with customer-centric digital products for insurance. By leveraging user behavior data to learn customer needs and interactions and build products to these specifications, we’ve helped build seamless technology experiences that make customers’ lives easier and more enjoyable.

Win customers from the competition by implementing consistent insurance digital experiences

Customers are more self-aware and brand-critical than ever. To survive, insurance companies must recognize the scope of their competition and the behaviors of their customers.

To thrive, they must tailor insurance digital products to the actual needs of the customer.

The Now Generation may be more demanding than ever, but they’re more transparent, too. At S4N, we take a customer-centric, research-based approach to fully understand your customer and their behavior – from generational differences to accessibility preferences and cultural behavior, among other factors – and create a tailored insurance digital experience that increases end user engagement and loyalty – and achieves your goals.

Contact us today to start a conversation about your digital product needs.