Unleashing Your Digital Tools

Insurance brokers and carriers will need to create “great digital experiences” to maintain the loyalty of a young generation of tech-savvy, mobile-wielding Canadians.

“Customers are in the driver’s seat now,” Ellen Carney, principal analyst of the research company Forrester’s, says in the CSIO webinar, Trends 2017: Why Brokers Must Unleash their Digital Tools.

Canadians are more interested in using mobile devices to control the nature of their interactions with brokers and carriers, Carney observed. Forrester research projects 11.6-billion mobile-connected devices by 2020.

Canadians are also willing to experiment with other types of technologies, and their interaction with the insurance industry will become increasingly digitized. Forrester research projects:

• an increase in the use of wearable devices by 11% over the next six years

• more than 50 million smart home devices by 2021, and

• $156-billion worth of connected car services by 2022

Informed, tech-savvy and emboldened consumers are now demanding a new level of customer obsession, Carney says. Brokers and insurers will need to “disrupt themselves” to come up with innovative ways to meet consumers’ expectations.

One thing insurance customers expect right now is mobile service.

A whopping 73% of online Canadians between 25-34 years old expect companies to have a mobile friendly website, a 2017 Forrester research study shows. Almost half (48%) of this same age group expect companies to have a mobile app.

That’s the expectation. But what are they getting?

Only 4% of online Canadians have downloaded an insurance company app onto their mobiles, Forrester research shows. By contrast, 48% of online Canadians surveyed had downloaded a bank app to their mobiles.

Carney said insurance companies are increasingly asking themselves, “How do we create these great digital experiences that keep brokers loyal to us as carriers?”

The insurance industry will definitely have to “step up” its game to meet the needs of Canadian consumers, especially given the emergence of innovative service offerings, she added.

Gas stations now exist as one-stop-shop driving centres, where you can pay for your insurance, tolls, and speeding tickets while you fill up with fuel.

Insuretechs now offer peer-to-peer insurance, small business coverage, multi- and specialty cover, insurance for ‘smart’ devices in your home, short-term, on-demand car insurance and more.

Also, Carney said the insurance industry can anticipate a demand for more ‘Siri’-like, voice-activated audio interaction with the insurance industry in the future.

Are you offering core digital services to your clients? Check out our technology scorecard and check yourself against industry benchmarks.