As is true of many other industries, technology is having a major influence on the current growth and development of the insurance market. In fact, it’s outright disruptive in some cases with new platforms and hardware significantly altering how conventional operations are handled.
Mobile, for example, has not only introduced many new opportunities, but it’s also presented an entirely new platform for reaching potential customers. More recently, e-providers or online-only insurance companies were made possible thanks to the modern development of the internet and widespread access to it. Now, it’s entirely possible to create a mobile-only insurance company that offers all features and support via a mobile app or browser.
But it’s much bigger than that, of course. Many different technologies and opportunities are available, some of which showcase what it will be like in the future. Here are four of them.
1. Big Data and Advanced Analytics
You’d be hard-pressed to find an industry where big data, general data science, and advanced analytics are not currently being utilized. That’s true of the insurance industry, as well.
The most significant change is that decisions, future events, and even customer interactions will all be data-driven, with a strict set of historical precedent and detailed insights to lead the charge. Data can also be leveraged to improve underwriting tasks and push forward certain product development projects — particularly those that involve new technologies and platforms.
Also, digital information will be sourced from a variety of new devices like IoT sensors, customer-handled tech — mobile and wearables — and smarter business hardware outfitted with network-enabled systems.
2. Omnichannel and Streamlined Operations
In the past, and up until recently, platforms have largely remained separate. There was mobile, there was desktop and there were various platforms in-between. You didn’t mesh design and development, and you certainly didn’t have coherent cross-platform opportunities. Now, it is exactly the opposite, and most consumers expect just that.
For instance, it’s entirely possible to begin browsing content on a desktop, only to move to a mobile device or tablet seamlessly with little to no interruptions. The same is even true of something like streaming entertainment through Netflix or Hulu, where you can move seamlessly between platforms and devices while continuing your experience from exactly where you left off.
That personalized and unique experience is taking hold in the insurance industry, as well, thanks primarily to budding platforms and systems.
Customers might do their research online, or even call in to talk to a service rep — but then subscribe to an insurance service via mobile channels. Many insurance providers offer the same when it comes to customer support. People have the freedom to choose what platform or channel they wish to use to communicate with a provider, be it mobile, desktop, phone or even web-conference based.
An excellent example is the relatively new opportunity to pursue and acquire insurance licensing and complete insurance training courses online. Where before this could only be done in certain environments or settings, it’s now possible for anyone to get involved with the insurance industry and find work, provided they complete the appropriate courses and training.
3. Blockchain and Future InsurTech
Blockchain technology — the network that underpins cryptocurrency — offers a vast amount of opportunity across a wide range of industries. But in insurance, particularly, it can help strengthen a lot of modern dealings, especially via digital channels and platforms. Anti-fraud and data security are more than just possible with blockchain — the information becomes almost impenetrable due to the nature of the technology.
Smart contracts can be managed and facilitated via the blockchain, with only authorized parties able to view the content and a select few able to edit various properties. This ensures that all involved are equal-parts protected and informed. More importantly, it does away with the middlemen involved in contract and document exchange, allowing providers to interact directly with customers or potential clients.
4. Going Paperless
It might not seem like its own form of technology, and that’s technically true especially considering digitization involves many different platforms and devices. However, insurance is incredibly reliant on documentation — largely paper-based. With modern technology, it now becomes possible to convert to digital operations and dealings, doing away with conventional paper-based practices and the like.
From something as simple as mail statements sent out to customers to more critical documents like partner or client contracts — it can all be digital and paperless. This not only lowers costs and creates an environmentally-sound operation, but it also improves efficiency across the board. Suddenly, you’re talking about digital documents and reference points you can access instantly from any platform, in any place and at any time.
All-in With Modern Tech
Beyond what’s discussed here, many other new technologies like cloud computing and remote access, VR and AR, as well as AI and machine learning can all power process automation.
Ultimately, these technologies will transform the face of the insurance sector with many more efficient possibilities, cost savings, and general improvements. Not to mention, the relationship between insurance providers and their customers will naturally grow stronger over time as conveniences are offered to both parties.