How Mobile is Going to Improve Insurance

April 2, 2013 Pivotal Labs

The permeation of mobile cannot be ignored. It has already changed the way we shop and consume content. It’s beginning to change the way that enterprises operate. It’s bringing reform to health and education, two fields that have traditionally been sheltered with layers of bureaucracy and protection. Now, in 2013, we’re going to watch mobile change the way people interact with insurance companies.

Consumers today expect more than ever (e.g., customer support, relationships, etc.) from the services they engage in. Consumers’ heavy use of mobile devices means that there is valuable, and extremely insightful, data that can give insurance companies the knowledge into consumer behavior that they so desire.

Additionally, large multinationals can now engage with people in various parts of the world that were previously inaccessible to them. People living in remote or rural parts of the world have a low probability of being within a short journey of their insurance agent.

To combat this, mobile is breaking through physical and language barriers; for example, Samsung introduced the Galaxy S4 recently, complete with voice translation (to English, Korean, Chinese, German, Italian, Latin-American Spanish, Japanese, and Brazilian Portuguese).

Using similar technology, insurance companies have the ability to engage these people through their mobile devices. Matt Jauchius, EVP and CMO of P&C insurance conglomerate Nationwide, said in an interview recently, “I have double digit million dollars of IT projects that are being created at my request.” Insurance companies recognize the importance of IT and mobile, and so are allocating healthy budgets to take action.

There’s an inherent monetary value in engaging a captive audience. Insurers can reach more people, improve their marketing, and make their services easier for consumers by connecting with them on the mobile medium.

Naturally, insurance agents are also mobile users so they’re becoming tech savvy too. They don’t need to be trained on how to use these devices; and because they are paid based on revenue, all they need is a little company support on how to engage clients more thoroughly. Instead of having an insurance agent needing to run back to his car to grab files and folders, he can have his tablet on him all the time and pull up an informational video to demonstrate what he’s talking about.

Here are three ways insurance can improve the customer experience through mobile technology:

Streamline the claim process

The claims process tends to send a shudder down one’s spine. In today’s time-starved society, no one likes filing a claim; it’s another bitter chore they need to undertake. However, with mobile technology, it becomes much easier to engage these users.

After a patient visits the doctor, they can immediately input their information into the insurance app on their phone and submit a claim. Alternatively, they can take a picture of the receipt and the app could potentially transcribe the information and fill in the fields, like the Wave mobile application does.

Promote health and well-being

An insurance company mobile app can be used to encourage health and wellness of insurance consumers, such as recommending an app to decrease stress or recommend a monitoring app (such as Glooko) to track sugar intake for diabetics.

Similarly, insurance companies can now track which healthcare providers are recommended by users, and which ones are most visited. In turn, they can also recommend popular healthcare providers or highly-rated ones; in essence, this app serves as the hub that connects healthcare providers, insurance companies, and patients.

Instant reaction

Whereas tracking the details of a car collision used to take forever, with a mobile app it’s now possible to react much faster. If it’s a minor car accident, it’s possible to get out of the car and snap photos quickly right after the accident, as well as input other information (e.g., license plates, license number) and send it to the insurance company.

Currently, customers would need to go home and call someone, which is the last thing you want to deal with. Instead, if consumers do it immediately after the incident, they could potentially just write a brief description, send photos and field information, and have support staff or adjusters contact them in a few hours. This also makes prioritizing the severely injured possible.

In this case, insurance companies can make it easier to get through accidents; for example, in their app, they can display recommended tow truck listings.

Mobile holds the ability to engage insurance consumers in a much more meaningful and effective way than current methods (commercials, newsletters, direct mail, etc.). It also brings more convenience to the consumer, and improves the user experience greatly. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to dazzle your customer and improve your relationships.

Connect with Bobby on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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