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August 17, 2020

3 ‘Must Have’ Digital Investments

Summary:

Transformation has advanced five years in eight weeks, and P&C insurers need to keep up with digital platforms, payments and communications.

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Disasters – such as pandemics – have a way of revealing the need for change. That’s why digital transformation has advanced five years in about eight weeks. Businesses of all sizes have embraced digital sales and service, and, due to lockdowns, just about everyone has experienced the increased need for digital engagement, with expectations only rising. 

For P&C insurance, the pandemic has brought digital strategies and investments into sharp focus and revealed, in real time, which digital investments are delivering high value, and which are not. It has also exposed our gaps and elevated capabilities that were once perceived as less important to higher levels of significance. 

SMA’s latest market pulse research on the impact of COVID-19 and our ongoing advisory work with insurers have revealed that this pandemic has reshaped and shifted digital investment priorities. 

Three “must have” investments have emerged as focus areas this year: Digital Platforms, Digital Payments and Digital Communications.

Given the shift in focus, SMA has just published reports on these three critical areas and completed the Insights to Solution Series, which are virtual events showcasing strategic insights, panel discussions and virtual tours by leading solution providers across all three areas.

Digital Platforms. It is essential to accelerate the digital enablement of sales and service capabilities for policyholders and agents/brokers with a modern platform and connections to core systems. These platforms enable new servicing, sales automation and straight-through processing (STP) by leveraging transformational technologies like AI, bots, IoT and wearables. 

Digital Payments. There is a renewed urgency to transform inbound and outbound payments by moving away from physical paper checks and payments and creating digital experiences and virtual digital payment capabilities. Digital payments are crucial to delivering a highly tailored customer experience as well as improved operational performance.

Digital Communications. Digital interaction and delivery for communications with prospects, agents and policyholders are increasingly essential. This includes digital communication tools like chatbots, voice and business texting, and the tools to capture, create and manage forms, documents, correspondence and messages to support interactions.

See also: Will COVID-19 Be Digital Tipping Point?

2021 may paint an entirely different picture, but, for now, P&C insurer plans are full steam ahead with digital transformation investments.

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About the Author

Deb Smallwood, the founder of Strategy Meets Action, is highly respected throughout the insurance industry for strategic thinking, thought-provoking research and advisory skills. Insurers and solution providers turn to Smallwood for insight and guidance on business and IT linkage, IT strategy, IT architecture and e-business.

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