Self-service adoption in life insurance

Self-service adoption in insurance refers to the increasing trend of customers utilizing digital tools and platforms to independently manage their insurance policies, file claims, obtain quotes, and access information, leading to improved convenience, efficiency, and customer empowerment in the insurance industry.

Podcast Audio Transcript

Alisha: Hello listeners, this is Alisha; thank you for tuning in to yet another exciting and informative podcast from us at Infosys BPM. Today, we are discussing about the self-service adoption in life insurance. And to talk about this, we have here with us, Madhu Analakkat, Senior Product Line Manager – Infosys McCamish. Welcome Madhu. How are you?

Madhu: I’m doing great, Alisha. Thank you for having me on this podcast.

Alisha: It’s our pleasure. Self-service adoption in life insurance refers to the use of technology to enable customers to manage their life insurance policies independently, without needing to rely on an insurance agent or representative. Madhu my first question to you is: what reasons do you see for the growth of self-service in the industry?

Madhu: That’s a good question, Alisha. According to research from E&Y, about 44% of customers reported having no interactions with their insurers in the prior 18 months. It is interesting to note that in the case of life insurance, this has been even smaller and trending downwards. This trend is largely consistent with most other industries. It’s in large part due to the demand by the customers to be in control and have more personalized experiences.

In the life insurance industry, there are many forces acting in support of better self-service. They include:

  • Smoother policy issuance and faster Claim settlement
  • Demand for lower premiums
  • Demand for “anywhere anytime” access
  • Seamless experience across channels and
  • Increased personalization
With the democratization of data analytics and AI, insurers are well positioned to deliver to these demands.

Alisha: I agree, with the increased use of data analytics and AI, insurance companies can now use customer data to better understand their needs and preferences, and personalize their services accordingly.

How does this digital transformation affect customer experience and operational efficiency?

Madhu: Great customer experience always starts with a pleasant experience at the point of sale. Operational efficiency also matters in the long run (for loyalty and retention). To unlock lower premiums, achieving operational efficiency is essential. To improve these, getting accurate and timely insights through data is key.

When designing the customer journey, it's important to design the right User experience, but even more important is to deliver that experience end-to-end. This requires modernizing the full value chain and leveraging data analytics and AI. A framework that includes feedback loops should also be implemented to continuously improve customer engagement.

We use ‘digitalization’ as a shorthand for this data driven transformation. Implementing a good data architecture is very important. It gives insurers the foundation to generate insights. Better insights will assist better business decision-making, faster delivery of services and customer satisfaction.

Alisha: I can definitely see the value of digitalization in insurance. In the past, customers often had to file claims through paper forms and wait for a claims adjuster to inspect the damage before receiving payment. Digital tech has completely changed that.

Could you touch upon what kind of impact AI and self-service will have in the industry?

Madhu: That’s a very valid question, Alisha. AI and digital self-service are expected to have a significant impact on the insurance industry in the next 5 to 10 years. AI will enable insurers to improve their underwriting accuracy, personalize policies, and detect fraudulent claims. Additionally, AI will enable insurers to automate routine tasks, allowing them to focus on more complex and value-added activities.

Digital self-service will allow customers to interact with insurers through their preferred channels, leading to improved customer satisfaction and loyalty. Digital self-service greatly improves the speed, allowing customers to submit claims and receive payments much more quickly. In addition, digital self-service options provide customers with real-time updates on their policy and claim status, in turn, improving transparency and trust in the insurance company.

As you can see, these technologies will enable insurers to improve operational efficiency, get to the market quickly, and deliver better customer experiences.

Alisha: When we talk about customers, it’s also important to look at the other side – the insurance agents. When customers are able to manage their policies and file claims independently through self-service portals and mobile apps, agents also should benefit.

In your opinion, how are agents benefitting from self-service?

Madhu: Yes, digital self-service is also relevant for insurance agents, Alisha. This has brought about significant benefits for insurance agents. Firstly, it has enabled agents to streamline their operations and focus on higher value tasks. By automating routine tasks such as policy renewals, billing, and claims processing, agents can spend more time on customer interactions and value-added activities that require their expertise and guidance.

Secondly, self-service has increased the efficiency of agent operations. Agents can reduce the volume of calls and inquiries they receive, freeing up time for more productive activities.

Thirdly, self-service has enabled agents to reach a wider audience. With the ability to provide customers with 24x7 access to their services through self-service channels, agents can expand their customer base beyond traditional geographic boundaries, without the need for costly physical infrastructure.

Overall, as you can see, self-service has enabled insurance agents to become more productive, efficient, and customer-centric, while also expanding their reach and market share. As the insurance industry continues to evolve, agents will need to continue to adapt and embrace new technologies to stay relevant and competitive.

Alisha: I agree, Madhu. Such digital interventions have had a great impact on the insurance industry. Thank you so much for speaking at our podcast and sharing your insights self-service adoption.

Madhu:It was a pleasure, Alisha.

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