As society becomes increasingly mobile, customers have begun to expect and even demand mobile apps from every industry they interact with. The insurance industry is waking up to this fact and is seeking to leverage the power of
mobility to address the highly differentiated needs of its customers. A recent report from Forrester showed that 82% of insurance IT groups have indicated that their biggest priority will be IT support for business innovation. Social and mobile technology investments are top priorities for achieving business innovation.
Mobile solutions can benefit both the customers as well as the insurers. The mobile apps that support insurance transactions enable customers to do business on-the-fly, resulting in higher customer satisfaction levels. Insurance firms that proactively adopt mobile technology and apps to do business are seeing a perceptible improvement in customer loyalty which has significantly enhanced the earning potential of insurance agents/brokers.
The importance of mobile apps for insurance transactions has increased in the wake of de-tariffication of the industry in many countries. Using customer data and demographics, agents/brokers are able to work out the premiums as per specific customer profiles which can then be instantly pitched to the target customers using mobile apps. The apps also enable the agents to make the right value propositions to individual customers, highlighting the unique features of their product offerings.
While building reach is key to business growth, it is important to remember the importance of retaining customers. In this regard, mobility helps insurers extend robust support services to their customers, keeping them engaged and satisfied. This is particularly important in life insurance business where agents are required to proactively support their customers and thereby reduce the lapse rate and enhance the persistency ratio.
Customers on their part can use web-based mobile apps to track their insurance policies, premium due dates, different covers available and the cash value accrued from particular policies. Account websites maintained through these technologies can also support cross-selling/up-selling opportunities.
Even as insurance companies embrace mobility to drive business growth and customer engagement, many of these enterprises are faced with the dilemma of modernizing their IT infrastructure and phasing out the legacy systems in view of the costs involved. Also, these enterprises have to develop and run disparate apps for different lines of business and address the issue of accessibility for customers, especially since most insurance-related apps are desktop-based.
The future of insurance business is inalienably lined with mobility. In time, people will stop carrying their wallets/watches/documents/credit-debit cards and instead use the mobile device to execute all their financial transactions — the insurance industry should be well prepared for this inevitable event!