Compared to other industries, insurance has been slow to adopt new technology for several decades, leaving many carriers in the unenviable position of understanding the value of truly customer-centric organizations yet being unable to meet customer expectations without making transformative changes to their technological foundations and professional cultures. Regardless of lines of business, financial stability, or established reputation, carriers that are unable to keep up with the pace of change within and outside of the insurance industry face an unprecedented challenge keeping up with today’s intensifying customer expectations.
Technology is mature enough today that meaningful change for even complex lines of business is within most insurers’ reach. Despite self-perceptions of adequacy, change is still outpacing many carriers’ plans as they fall victim to comparing themselves only to direct competitors rather than focusing on customer-centricity and the technology at their disposal. Barriers to transformation are no longer related to lack of available technology, but rather to lack of ideation and strategic application of technology to solve insurance business problems, such as development of new insurance products, process automation, and personalized customer experiences.
This forces the question of what incumbent carriers and newly-formed businesses alike can do to meet or outpace industry transformation and set the stage for ongoing success. Rising to this challenge requires building an engine for speed and innovation—applying new strategies and technologies that leverage SaaS, APIs, and low-code platforms that business users (as opposed to developers) can work with to make innovative concepts reality in short order. This application of modern technology lets carriers bolster their ranks with creative thinkers untethered to legacy coding languages; it also increases speed to market by putting the power of innovation in the hands of resources more closely connected to the day-to-day needs of policyholders.
Overall, the challenges posed by increasingly-demanding customer expectations require that insurers create a responsive culture that understands that addressing customer expectations is not just necessary for survival, but critical to future success. While customer expectations are the primary driver of change in the insurance industry, investment in insurance product innovation lags far behind, leaving many carriers struggling to keep pace. And what customers increasingly expect from insurers is innovation in product lines, not simply customer service portals, chatbots, and the like.
The days of building insurance products and customer experiences across siloed corporate functions are behind us. With the tools available today, much more is possible–and necessary–to forge ahead with the products and experiences that customers demand. To ensure a profitable future, insurers must readily embrace today’s new technologies and capabilities, implement foundational organizational changes that empower customer advocates, and build environments that attract and retain top talent. Doing so will not only set carriers on or ahead of the required pace of change, but also position them as truly customer-centric market innovators for years to come.
Want to learn more? Read Navigating the Pace of Change in General Insurance, a Celent report commissioned by Duck Creek Technologies.