June 15, 2021
How Insurtech Thrived in the Pandemic
by Samir Gulati
Through insurtech solutions, insurance companies learned to adapt to remote work without sacrificing efficiency, productivity or collaboration.
The past year has provided unexpected challenges and opportunities across all areas of the insurance industry because of the COVID-19 pandemic. As businesses were forced into lockdown, many carriers wondered how they would fare, because collaborative office environments and in-person meetings are crucial to delivering quality insurance service. However, through the adoption of insurtech solutions over the course of the year, insurance companies learned to adapt to remote work without sacrificing efficiency, productivity and collaboration.
By using virtual platforms that incorporate the kinds of features and tools demanded by the reality of working remotely during a pandemic, the insurance industry has learned to benefit from increased global access and collaboration. The normalization of digital platforms and tools has increased the interest of digitizing the entire insurance industry, accelerating efforts. Having seen their effectiveness in action over the past year, carriers are seeking out more insurtech partnerships than they would have previously.
Similarly, technology companies are increasingly developing insurtech solutions that improve the customer experience while also introducing new advantages. “The tech community has had time in last couple of years to understand what insurtech is and is now starting to approach [the insurance industry] with ideas that aren’t about customer engagement; they’re about new risk spaces or entirely new verticals, or they’re about reducing risk in the first place,” said Stephen Brittain, director and co-founder of Insurtech Gateway, at Insurance Innovators USA. The current environment brought about by COVID-19 has served as a catalyst for insurtech innovation. The insurance industry is likely to focus on insurtech strategy and partnerships well beyond the pandemic.
Digital claims management
Previously, insurance carriers looked to partner with technology providers to help streamline internal business processes. However, there has been a growing focus on how technology can help insurers deliver customer-centricity. In many cases, the accelerated adoption of new technology by insurance carriers has facilitated remote processes for both insurance adjusters and customers. Due to the pandemic, 90% of insurance claims are now processed virtually. Insurtech software simplifies this process, allowing customers to upload relevant information and photos of their property or auto claim and providing adjudicators with augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) tools to corroborate claims and increase accuracy and efficiency when analyzing damage off-site.
Additionally, the digitization of claims management allows carriers to use artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities to identify and prevent fraud. With more customer and claims data available, insurers can leverage AI algorithms to compare similar losses for discrepancies and develop systematic business practices that save time and money.
While digitization can help carriers automate processes, it also primes customer’s high expectations of immediate service. The insurance industry is hyper-focused on the customer experience and delivering consistent service. Insurtech solutions enable transparent customer communication and user-friendly platforms, including comprehensive consumer portals and touchless claims capabilities. Insurance carriers that expand collaborations with insurtech providers are more likely to produce exceptional customer engagement and are better suited for growth as the legacy industry adopts the digital platforms found at the foundation of these new insurtech systems.
See also: Role of Underwriter in Age of Insurtech
The digitization of the industry allows insurers to craft an end-to-end experience for the customer, tailoring seamless digital and virtual processes to their personal needs through integrated insurtech platforms. Carriers can provide real-time status updates and improve productivity of field adjusters through mobile applications and optimized scheduling features, completely automating processes for increased efficiency.
The future of insurtech
This past year has been a time of impressive innovation throughout many business sectors. While many argue that insurance is becoming less visible to its consumers, insurtech providers are imagining new ways to rebrand the industry and reinvent the market. The integration of insurtech tools provides a positive spin on the industry as it progresses with technology and the user experience in mind. Big insurance companies and brokers often look to gain efficiency from new partnerships, seeking collaborators who can bring about new distribution, enhanced customer experience and novel insurance solutions.
Today, technology innovators outside of the insurance ecosystem are providing valuable insight and producing structural changes with tools crafted to drive insurance goals through data-driven insights that inform evolving business practices. Insurance carriers play a big role in helping insurtech startups thrive after this past turbulent year. These companies are building a road map for a new view of insurance.
“It is really difficult for carriers to reimagine the industry,” says Peggy Klingel, director of startup engagement for Allstate Insurance. “It is important that we support startups because we need the insurtech ecosystem to bring their invaluable perspective on the industry and where it can be improved.”
Providers can benefit from the insurtech ecosystem by investing time, providing feedback and professional mentorship, as well as capital so that innovation can thrive. In return, well-supported technology startups can craft comprehensive solutions that align with insurance carriers’ policy and claims processes to deliver a valuable, fully integrated system to the end user.