Insurance Tech: What is the Fuss?
This post originally appeared on blog.up.co
If you are in the tech ecosystem, you have probably experienced wave after wave of new buzzwords that sometimes seem to come out of nowhere! Well, that is the way of the tech space. You just need to dig your heels into the ground and take a third person view of all the happenings before diving in. Otherwise, you'll get lost in all the flurry and excitement.
There has recently been a lot of talk about insurance tech – how it is getting to the peak of its cycle and how tech entrepreneurs can greatly benefit from it. Insurance has been, for a long time now, regarded as a very out-dated, dreary consumer service that is still in existence. What techies are doing now is to try and stir up the sector and hopefully come up with some revolutionary concept such as Blockchain.
There are many areas of opportunity in the insurance space. The benefits that are driven from it are great, so it is likely (hopefully) something that is here to stay, and not just a trend.
First things first. It's a huge market! How many people pay insurance premiums ever year?
Probably more than those that pay taxes. Even with it being such a big and pertinent sector, it has somehow been able to go unnoticed by technology trends. Until now.
From selling to collecting insurance, the processes involved are slow and inefficient. You will find that if you scrutinize these systems, many employees and processes will be rendered redundant.
Not only that, you will ask yourself why an insurance company, in this century, will ask you to fax them a document. In a world where you can buy yourself a plane from the comfort of your home, with all your particular specifications, why can't we apply for insurance online on our mobile device?
An estimated four in every ten U.S. adults do not own life insurance policies, and I can bet it's nothing to do with cost. People want to purchase things easily at the press of a button, not stand in line or wait for an insurance salesman to walk up to them.
What are Possible Areas of Improvement?
All the problems mentioned above are areas that can be greatly improved by technology. Insurance is a large sector and it's impossible to cover all of it in one single article, but we'll mention a few areas that seem to be hot.
- Leveraging data platforms – One of the major components of insurance is data. Insurance could leverage data to improve operations such as sales and underwriting. Nowadays, you can tell a lot about a person using technology. With wearables in the market and social media platforms showcasing people's lives, this should definitely be explored.
- Digitizing processes - I remember filling out insurance forms; I not only had to answer every single question by hand, I had to manually fill in two other copies. For Pete’s sake, why couldn't I, at the very least, just make copies of the already-filled version? But, no, these are the processes they have been using for years.
- Customer relationships – Yes, some people still believe that human interaction is the best way to manage customer relationships, but in an age where people are more focused on their screens, I don't think face-to-face conversations about insurance is a good enough reason to look up from your screen. Insurance companies can use mobile app interaction for those services that do not actually add value to customer interaction. IoT sensors are also another technology that can be leveraged.
These are only but a few of the possible changes that can be made. As mentioned, the insurance sector is a blue whale waiting to be explored. Just make sure that you have the consumer in mind, comply with regulation and build a solid business model around your idea.