Planning for 2021 Tech: Four Key Considerations
Are you ready for 2021? 2020 has brought unprecedented challenges and rapid transformations. Consumer expectations have changed, and insurers need the right technology if they want to maintain a competitive edge.
As you prepare the new year, take some time to assess your readiness in the following areas
#1 Your Policyholder Mobile App
Pew Research Center says that 81% of U.S. adults owned a smartphone as of February 7, 2019. Among people ages 18 to 29, ownership increases to 96%. The takeaway is clear. Most people have smartphones these days – and that means they’re using apps.
Mobile apps can be a great way for policyholders to make payments, check policy documents, and much, much more. These days, consumers may take it for granted that a company will offer an app – and if a company doesn’t, consumers may take their business elsewhere.
The more that consumers can do through the app, the better. For example, can they get instant quotes and go through the underwriting process online? The rise of insurance comparison shopping sites has conditioned consumers to expect fast and easy quotes online.
Can consumers sign documents online? For the modern consumer, printing something out, signing it, paying for postage and then mailing it can seem like a huge hassle. With e-signatures, this hassle can be avoided.
Can consumers manage their policies online? According to a HighSpeedInternet.com survey, 60% of Millennials and Gen Zers hate making phone calls. When it comes to winning over younger consumers, self-serve policy updates can be a major advantage.
#2 Your Digital Payment Capabilities
Policyholders want convenient options when they have to make premium payments. They also want fast payments when they’re owed a claims payout. In both cases, digital payments are the clear solution.
Digital payments offer speed and convenience, but that’s not all. Switching to digital payments can save companies money. According to CFO, the Payments Cost Benchmarking Survey from the Association for Finance Professionals found that electronic payments can be 10 times cheaper to process than paper checks. Payment functionality can also be a significant revenue generator, yet another benefit for insurers.
#3 Your Direct-to-Consumer Sales Channel
The direct-to-consumer sales model has been gaining popularity in recent years, and now this trend appears to be accelerating. According to Digital Insurance, a J.D. Power study found that the COVID-19 pandemic is causing consumers to shift away from agents for P&C insurance distribution.
According to Tom Super, head of property & casualty insurance intelligence at J.D. Power, “Ironically, in many instances it was direct-based carriers, which have made a concerted effort in recent years to emulate the high-touch and high-quality agent experience, that were able to step up and deliver during this crisis.”
#4 The Agility of Your Policy Administration System
If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that agility is non-negotiable. Your policy administration system is the hub of all aspects of your business. If you’re relying on an old legacy system to support new business strategies, you might be experiencing some costly delays.
Now is the time to step up to a modern, nimble system that can help you pivot quickly and capture emerging opportunities.
Waiting Has a Cost
When progress is moving this fast, it can seem like there’s never a perfect moment to embrace new technology. That’s because there really isn’t. The minute you adopt something new, something else will come onto the scene.
This doesn’t mean you should wait. Quite the opposite. The longer you wait, the more opportunity you miss out on, and the farther you fall behind. It’s better to make some progress than to do nothing while you wait for perfection – and the best time to start is right now.
Silvervine is here to help. Explore our growing suite of insurance software solutions: