Breakthroughs Via Low-Code and No-Code

Low-code and no-code programming are being used to create applications, improve efficiency and enhance the customer's experience.

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While every insurance company has a web presence and perhaps a mobile app, digital transformation requires a lot more, such as a heightened focus on customer and employee experiences, easy access to data, process automation and optimization and artificial intelligence. Making that all work well is difficult when developers are faced with growing amounts of technical debt and backlogs. Meanwhile, customers are demanding omnichannel experiences that rival the digital disrupters.

Years ago, insurance companies began to realize that they needed to become more agile as the global economy becomes increasingly real-time. More recently, the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated an extreme form of agility that enables businesses to adapt to rapidly changing circumstances. These and other trends are driving the need for a different way to solve problems using low-code and no-code.

What are low-code and no-code?

Low-code and no-code both provide a visual way to build applications, create digital experiences and automate processes. Low-code is targeted at professional software developers, while no-code is aimed at “citizen developers” – power users who are working in lines of business. Using low-code, professional developers can build the majority of an application visually, which reduces time to market and accelerates time to value. Using no-code, citizen developers can create their own simple applications, experiences and task automations without IT’s help. 

Because citizen developer-built applications tend to grow beyond the creator’s level of skill as the application’s requirements evolve, it’s important that the low-code and no-code platforms share a common code base so that applications built by citizen developers can be extended by professional developers who understand application design and architecture. Without a common code base, no-code applications typically need to be rebuilt from scratch.

Why the Insurance Industry Is Adopting Low-Code and No-Code

Insurance companies are under competitive pressure to deliver better customer experiences and achieve greater operational efficiencies. Low-code and no-code address both simultaneously. 

For example, policyholders often complain about the claims settlement process because it can take several weeks just to receive a notice of claims acceptance or rejection. In fact, a bad claims experience is worse than a premium increase from a policyholder’s point of view.

Meanwhile, underwriters are struggling because the core systems their companies use don’t support what an underwriter does, which is assessing risk. A symptom of this issue is evident in the questions underwriters ask, such as, “Why are our combined ratios so high?”

See also: 3 Phases to Digital Transformation

Recently, carriers have been bolstering underwriting IT investments because they realize the underwriting process is not as efficient as it could be. Also, underwriters are complaining that they don’t understand who is sending them business – an agent, broker or customer?

AI plays an important role here, identifying process and technology capability gaps that companies were previously unable to identify, such as gaps in rules or the rules that fail to identify bad claims.

Meanwhile, process automation is also becoming popular because policyholders expect a fast response. If a car accident occurs, it shouldn’t take four weeks to find out that a claim is deficient, has been denied or has been approved. Instead, the trend is to build a customer-facing mobile app that captures information about the incident, acknowledges the receipt of the claim instantly and provides automatic updates about the claim status.

Similarly, people want to get fast insurance quotes, such as in 10 minutes versus two weeks. As a result, insurance companies need to shorten the time it takes to make decisions and respond. That requires the automation of some tasks within a process but not those that require human intervention, such as dealing with a distraught customer.

However, before leaping into process automation, be sure that all the steps within a process are actually necessary, because traditional manual processes tend not to be optimized for digital business. In short, don’t just automate an existing process – optimize it for the digital economy.

Win With Customer Experience

Insurance companies are realizing that their core systems don’t provide the bespoke experience that underwriting teams require. Increasingly, they’re taking advantage of third-party data that can help improve the underwriter experience and customer experience simultaneously, such as leveraging a data provider’s application programming interface (API) to automatically populate an online or mobile form with  customer or policyholder information. That way, the policyholder doesn’t have to fill out long forms with information that the insurance company is expected to know. Similarly, underwriters’ assistants can stop Googling information about a customer just to determine whether that customer or their assets are a good or bad risk.

Low-code and no-code also help insurance companies minimize the impact of the underwriter talent shortage by making underwriters and underwriters’ assistants more productive. Meanwhile, customers and policyholders benefit from an experience that’s unique to the insurance brand – something that’s just not possible using commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software.

Bottom Line

Insurance companies are embracing low-code and no-code to stay competitive and innovate. Specifically, they’re creating applications, improving business process efficiency and providing the kinds of multichannel experiences their customers, policyholders and underwriters expect. Behind the scenes, low-code and no-code are improving ROI and operational efficiency in ways that just weren’t possible using traditional core systems.


David Kuhn

David Kuhn

David Kuhn is solutions marketing director at Mendix, He is an insurance technology and digital business strategy expert who has been working with companies for the past 20+ years to ensure they achieve strategic goals.

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