4 Ways Insurers Utilise Technology to Make Your Life Easier

Technology has been quickly changing how we do things. It is also changing how insurers interact with their consumers. Read on to find out how.

Whether it's being able to book a flight from your phone to getting your food delivered at any time of day, technology has no doubt made our lives easier. Insurers are also starting to take advantage of emerging technology to improve traditionally complex and lengthy customer service experiences. For instance, while the traditional method of buying an insurance policy would require an in-person visit, you can now buy policies with the click of a mouse. Furthermore, with the introduction of insurance apps you can quickly file a claim on the go rather than waiting until you get home. Below, we look at how insurers are using technology to save customers time and money.

Insurance Claim Apps Help On-the-Go Consumers

It is now becoming more common to see an app offered alongside your insurance plan. While not as common as banking apps, Singaporeans insurers including AIA, Aviva and FWD have moved into the app space. For instance, AIA and AXA offer healthcare apps that let you look at your health insurance policy, monitor your health and keep track of your program rewards. FWD introduced its travel insurance Flyer app in September, which allows users to get medical treatment for travel-related medical expenses at 500 clinics in Singapore without needing to pay beforehand. It also makes it easier to access emergency assistance or local police and submit travel insurance claims.

This table shows the app store ranking and the average current user rating for a select few insurer apps in Singapore.

Having access to your policy via an app can be especially convenient for people who frequently use their mobile phones for transactions. Apps can also make insurance policies more transparent for travellers since the policy is always available on-hand. Consumers may see insurance apps becoming increasingly more common as insurers try to make their tools more easily accessible to consumers who are constantly on the go. However, it is clear that these apps are still relatively underutilised and have room for improvement based on customer reviews.

Individualised Insurance Cards for Easier Travel Insurance Claims & Convenience

This is an image of the Allianz Assist Card, a card that aims to help travellers with online claim submissions and offers concessions like coming preloaded with S$28 EZ-Link value

Other insurers have found ways to offer their customers seamless and personalised customer service using physical insurance cards. Somewhat like a combination between a prepaid cash card and a physical version of an insurance app, these cards provide unique services for their holders. For instance, insurer Allianz recently released their Allianz Assist Card that provides QR-code claims submission, access to their emergency hotline and comes loaded with S$28 worth of EZ-Link value. While this card is only offered for a limited time for customers who purchase an annual policy, it is a novel way of rewarding consumers with aftersale support. In a time when consumers can purchase insurance without speaking to anyone, this type of perk may add a touch of personal customer attention.

Insurance and E-Commerce Meet for Easier Purchasing

Traditionally, insurance was sold through financial advisors. A customer that enquires about a particular plan typically gets connected with an advisor who will work with them to find the right policy for their needs. However, consumers may wish to be able to make their insurance purchases without outside help. While complex policies like endowment or traditional life insurance require consultation with an advisor, general insurance products like travel, domestic worker and home insurance can be easily bought online.

In fact, insurers are starting to try out the online method even for more complex policies. For instance, NTUC Income has a fully online buying platform for its private health insurance product (Enhanced IncomeShield). This removes the need to fill out a lead form (where you input your personal details) and reduces the length of time you have to wait before you receive coverage. Since health insurance is something consumers may want to have as soon as possible, the convenience of online purchasing can make it easier for consumers to get coverage quicker.

Adopting AI & Robotics to Make Claims & Query Processing Faster

With insurtech companies disrupting traditional insurance over the past few years, insurers have to either adapt to changing consumer needs or risk losing their customers. However, while this forces insurance companies to rethink their strategies, the end result will often benefit the consumer. One way insurers are trying to adjust is by embracing the technology that has disrupted their traditional methods via collaboration with insurtech companies. For instance, Prudential's collaboration with insurtechs has led to chatbots that reduced the need for spending time on the phone with a customer service representative.

A second way insurers are adapting to the changing environment through tech is with the implementation of AI and robotics. MSIG's use of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) improved processing time for travel insurance claims by 70%. The use of RPA has also led to a 100% processing accuracy which reduced the need for consumers to go back and forth about errors in their claims servicing.

Using Big Data & Analytics to Create Personalised Customer Experiences

Insurers are also doing work behind the scenes to improve their customer's experiences. For instance, the use of Big Data (structured and unstructured data gathered from consumers) can help analyse an insurer's customer base and deliver personalised insurance products to individuals. In an era where consumers are seeking personalised experiences, the utilisation of Big Data can help in marketing the desired tailored experiences to consumers.

Thus, an insurer's embrace of using data analytics can make it easier for customers in two ways. First, the personalised marketing that Big Data allows for can help consumers get matched with the product best suited for their needs. Second, analytics can be used to decrease premiums through telematics car insurance plans. These plans can help drivers save up to 35% on their car insurance premiums by tracking their driving habits and rewarding safe driving behaviours.

Anastassia Evlanova

Anastassia is a Senior Research Analyst at ValueChampion Singapore, evaluating insurance products for consumers based on quantitative and qualitative financial analysis. She holds degrees in Economics and International Business Management and her prior working experience includes work in the capital markets sector. Her analyses surrounding insurance, healthcare, international affairs and personal finance has been featured on AsiaOne, Business Insider, DW, Vice, Her World, Asia Insurance Review, the Australian Institute of International Affairs and more.