Modern insurance technology tactics for 2017


Last month, Carrier Management said that some insurers expect to spend more on insurance technology in 2017. But at 37 percent, they’re in the minority. They’re also running below a multi-industry average. While 45 percent of other businesses plan to spend more on IT this year, many insurers – 24 percent to be exact – say their IT spending may go down or stay static over the coming year, Carrier Management reported. In other industries, only 22 percent expect to see the same.

These signs point to a deficiency in digital strategy. True to tradition, insurers are lagging here.

But that doesn’t mean they don’t want to improve. Carrier Management said insurers score higher than the multi-industry average in wanting to develop innovative new products and deliver business intelligence and analytics. They’re “more likely to implement agile methodologies and DevOps,” and they “plan to spend close to the all-industry average on laaS and PaaS cloud services.”

The question, then, is how to close the gap between where the industry is now, and where we want to be.

How to improve your digital strategy in 2017

George Skaff at Property Casualty 360 named 11 insurance technology tactics that you can put into play this year to bring your business up to speed, digitally. The list includes:

  1. Online account management
  2. Self-service
  3. Conversational interactive voice response
  4. Live chat
  5. Virtual assistance
  6. Social customer service
  7. Mobile chat
  8. SMS chat
  9. Omnichannel engagement
  10. Live, personal help
  11. A forward-leaning posture on tech

First, let’s talk about chat. There are three different forms of chat plus virtual assistance on Skaff’s list. At a time when many customers prefer to self-educate before making a purchase, and in an industry notorious for its complexity, live chat can make a significant difference in conversions, to the tune of 10-30 percent, according to chat software professional Szymon Klimczak.

For similar reasons, a virtual assistant (via an insurance chatbot) is also a good idea. GEICO would seem to agree, having just introduced its customers to Kate – the virtual assistant that churns out smart answers to random questions.

Online account management is a given. A minimum standard of companies in most industries. You won’t necessarily stand out by offering it, but you will certainly stand out (in a negative way) if you don’t.

Ultimately, the tactics that a given insurer should adopt this year are sure to vary depending on what your digital strategy looks like now, and how you’d like it to look. It’s the “digital strategy” part that matters most. Are your tech goals keeping pace with other industries? Do you have a road map to achieve them?

Bottom line, when Skaff made “Embrace technology” the number-one priority on his list, it wasn’t an accident. Our goal at Silvervine is to help you do just that. Find out how we can support your digital strategy in 2017 and download our “Five Mobile Game Changers” report now. Also, check out our new chatbot capability, now available with Silvervine Software packages.