Insurance Industry Mobile Maturity Checkup (Part I)
As a follow-up to my recent post on the state of Insurance Industry UX, in this Mobile Maturity Checkup, we’ll gauge the mobile maturity of the insurance industry and investigate how their level of mobile innovation compares with other verticals.
On the one hand, the insurance industry is ripe with companies finding novel (to say the least) ways of improving customer experience through mobile technology. Notably however, these innovations are not coming from the insurance companies themselves. As part of one program underwritten by National Guardian Life Insurance Company, Beam launched (are you ready?) an internet-connected toothbrush. You might be wondering why a toothbrush should be connected to the internet? Does it tweet whenever you brush your teeth? Does it read you your email via bone conduction? Does it post your level of breath freshness to your Facebook Status? Actually, this ‘solution’ rewards customers with points by tracking their brushing behavior, resulting in potentially lower renewal rates or increased coverage. As part of the program, customers receive an IoT toothbrush, quarterly floss and toothpaste shipments, and replacement heads. Along with presumably cleaner, healthier teeth and gums.
While this is a great example of innovation, to date, mobile solutions offered by vendors or developed internally by insurance organizations remain immature and unproven. In Bain & Company’s 2015 Global Digital Insurance Benchmarking Report, the majority of insurance executives surveyed plan to increase investments in digital strategies (including mobile), but are unclear about where to start—particularly in redesigning their processes—and lack confidence in their ability to execute their digital transformation.
Similarly, Aite Group reports the hurdles of mobile technologies and the IoT are hindering insurance organizations from capitalizing on the many opportunities they offer. Such hurdles include:
- Interoperability of new mobile and/or IoT solutions with multiple standards (e.g. WiFi vs. Bluetooth, Apple’s HomeKit vs. Google’s Brillio).
- Data Sharing Limitations due to vendors not openly willing to share customer data captured through services and/or solution offerings.
- Lack of Agent Buy-In to promote mobile technologies and solutions. As a result, insurers themselves must invest resources to promote mobile solutions directly to customers.
Not surprisingly, the insurance industry has traditionally behaved conservatively and was never known as a leader in technology innovation. But as consumer adoption of mobile technology and the IoT continues to expand exponentially, insurance organizations could only benefit from focusing their efforts on digital strategies.
The first step for insurers is to establish a clear roadmap that phases mobile and the IoT into their organizational and customer offerings, and to develop an organizational plan that supports short and long-term initiatives.
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