Digital insurance apps personalize and improve experience for customers and agents

By Elisa Silverman, on | Insurance

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Most insurers offer a digital insurance mobile app that provides digital proof of insurance and a way for customers to pay their premiums or file claims. These features are all common now. Insurers that don’t offer similar tools are already behind. The companies that stay up-to-date are beginning to move the insurance app focus by offering mobile apps that enhance the user experience for both customers and agents.

Adding value personalization

Some insurance companies use branded mobile apps as marketing tools to start the relationship with a potential customer. For example, Allstate’s Good Ride app helps bikers plan for road trips, giving the company an entry point to connect with motorcycle enthusiasts. In the property and casualty space, a number of insurers offer mobile apps that hold a photo inventory of personal goods that can help verify ownership and value in case of a future loss.

However, as with so many industry trends pushed by mobile technology, what consumers really want is personalization. The Metromile insurance app offers auto insurance with premiums based on how much you actually drive. Instead of paying a premium that’s set based on local risk rating standards, a low-mileage driver can get a personalized premium bill. The company provides a small piece of hardware that you plug into your car to track miles — it’s essentially a wearable for your car.

Speaking of wearables

A variety of creative health and life insurers are looking into how data from wearables can be used to customize life, health and disability insurance coverage and experience. These digital approaches range from setting personalized premium rates to encouraging healthy habits with fitness prompts and rewards for meeting certain goals.

People have shown a willingness to share personal data to get savings and special deals for regular consumer goods, so why not insurance? According to research by Bain & Company, approximately 77 percent of insurance customers are willing to share behavioral data about themselves to enjoy lower premiums, faster claim service and personalized insurance recommendations.

This consumer willingness opens the digital insurance space well beyond mobile apps insurers might develop. Third-party insurance comparison apps, such as Policy Genius, look at your personal needs, not just run simple premium comparisons, to make substantive recommendations regarding the scope of insurance you might need. There are also plenty of apps that adjusters can use to document their inspections.

Digital insurance isn’t just for consumers

Commercial insurance clients are also looking for the more streamlined experience an app can bring. WesternTruck has a branded app for its commercial truck driver clients who have to juggle a constant stream of insurance certificates, as each trip and its cargo requires its own certificate. This mobile app lets drivers quickly create and deliver a customized insurance certificate to a third party and track old certificates.

Using mobile to improve the business of insurance

Most insurance, whether personal or commercial, is still purchased through an agent or broker. There has been a proliferation of mobile apps for agents that help them work leads, manage their agencies and connect back to insurers.

In addition, insurers are using mobile technology on the back end to refine and speed up the underwriting process to more accurately gauge risk and more quickly move an insurance contract to close. Insurers are also looking to mobile to gather behavioral data about their insureds so they can improve services, increase customer retention rates by personalizing their experiences and find efficiencies on an enterprise scale.

About The Author

Elisa Silverman

Technology Writer

Elisa Silverman is a freelance writer, with a professional background in law and technology. She writes for technology companies and professional service firms. In addition, Elisa writes other types of B2B marketing content that help them establish authority and foster relationships with clients and prospects. Elisa's main rules of writing: Never waste the reader's time. Always be relevant – or at least be interesting.

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