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The Connected Life: The Art of the Possible in Insurance

Gathering and Harvesting New Data through “The Connected Life”

The Connected Life, the digital life is steadily emerging. Today’s insurance consumers are increasingly tech savvy and want services on demand and expect them to be readily accessible anywhere, anytime. Because of this, the insurance industry and more specifically, the personal property and casualty insurance sector, is experiencing a significant period of change and opportunity. The primary change agent in this disruption is the significant amount of specific data that an insurance organization can gain for individual policyholders or prospective policyholders in this era of the Internet of Everything.

An industry steeped in tradition, legacy systems, conservative business practices and risk avoidance is now faced with the need for significant, rapid adoption of new technology accompanied by new data analytics models. This change is in-progress and data from the connected car, connected home and connected person is being gathered. The challenge facing the Insurance organization is not the data gathering, but the management, mining and “harvesting” of this expansive data. In fact, Cisco acknowledges five pillars in this space: Connect, Collect, Analyze, Decide and Apply. Focusing only on the first two areas of Connect and Collect will not provide an advantage over competitors. The key focus areas that will bring true value to insurers are Analyze, Decide, and Apply.

Put simply, a competitive advantage can be achieved by those organizations who effectively “harvest” newly gathered data from connected life solutions. Virtually all property and casualty insurance organizations with a top 100 ranking are investigating, testing, piloting or commercially deploying “Big Data” initiatives. These data gathering initiatives include connected vehicle/telematics, connected home and connected health of the individual, and further include value-added offerings for the consumer, while providing the opportunity for insurers to learn a lot about the policyholder or a prospective policyholder. Read More »

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Enabling “The Easy” Button for Insurance

Nearly a year ago, I wrote a blog titled, “Mayday for Insurance and Financial Services,” where I detailed how next-generation customer experience capabilities, such as virtual interactions between business experts and customers, are transforming business processes – such as the “Mayday” button technology offered on Amazon’s Kindle Fire HDX. The purpose of that blog was to explain virtual interaction capabilities and discuss how they are likely to become integrated into the insurance industry in the near future. So what’s changed? Well, I’ve gone from blogging about the changes to come, to speaking at insurance industry conferences about how virtual transactions are now transforming how the industry does business and how Cisco is helping fuel these virtual interactions.

I attended the Property Insurance Report National Conference, and had many great discussions. The focus of the conference was on ways the property insurance world is changing, through consideration of new ideas and the utilization of new tools being built. It’s widely considered that with the arrival of better information and tools, the most sophisticated insurers will be able to separate themselves from those who don’t take these changes as seriously or employ them as skillfully. Features such as online video sales and support are working in the real world for other industries, so how they can be applied to insurance?

At the conference, I gave a keynote presentation titled, “Omni-Channel for Insurance – Virtual Enhanced Distribution & Service Channels”. The presentation specifically focused on how virtual interactions are transforming the insurance industry and improving customer experiences.

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Building Customer-Centric Organizations – Cisco at CIO Finance & Insurance Summit

The CIO’s Finance Summit and Insurance Summit were recently held in Atlanta, GA and Cisco was a main sponsor at both events. The CIO Finance Summit provided a great opportunity for executives to have in-depth discussions on the best practices and strategies necessary to build customer-centric organizations. The CIO Insurance Summit brought together C-level executives from the property and casualty, life and annuity, and health segments, along with innovative solution providers and analysts from the insurance industry to discuss the critical technology issues affecting insurance organizations.

Major themes discussed at the CIO Finance Summit:

CIO Summit 1Channel Integration: Bridging the Business – IT Gap: Many banks are now addressing the gaps between business and IT as they move forward with channel integration and an omnichannel strategy. Marvin Cortez, Cisco Banking Practice Advisor discussed the criticality of building an appropriate business with IT roadmap that supported these initiatives and how Cisco is working with retail banks.

Customer Centricity and Interaction – What Will it Look Like in 5 Years? Meaningful client relationships are fundamental to retaining and attracting consumer and commercial customers. Customer preferences and increasing tech sophistication are causing distribution channels to evolve. Al Slamecka, Cisco Banking Practice Advisor, outlined the evolution of customer interaction and addressed the challenges and opportunities banks are now faced with to create the optimal client experience.

Major themes from the CIO Insurance Summit:

As consumers become more educated and savvy about their insurance choices, carriers are addressing the need for greater customer centricity holistically with better insight, optimized processes, and enhanced customer reach through direct and indirect channels.

CIO Summit 2Bridging the Gap, Today and Tomorrow! This session focused on how business and technology gaps are creating both challenges and opportunities. Cisco’s Rob Cornwell, Insurance Practice Manager, and Don Canning, Financial Services Practice Partner Manager, addressed how insurance industry trends are impacting lines of business and the resulting impact on IT strategy across Data Center, Networking, Collaboration and Security as we move toward the Internet of Everything.

IoE for Insurance Roundtable: In this lively exchange, roundtable participants discussed how the Internet of Everything is affecting the Insurance industry. Cisco’s Insurance Practice Advisor, Jeff Tumpowsky, opened with the observation of how the industry is seeing new data sources and how this data is driving new products, intelligent processes, tailored communications and new insights around risk. He explained where opportunities lie, first mover advantages, and what value is at stake for insurers doing nothing.

These two summits provided an excellent opportunity to exchange ideas, share successes and paint a vision of where the banking and insurance industries are evolving to as they address customer centricity, omnichannel sales and service and creating new business models. If you attended, let us know your feedback from the event in the comments section below.  And if you could not make the event, please join the conversation.

 

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Insurance and Customer Experience: The Search for a New Equilibrium

Authors: Luis Martinez and Jeff Tumpowsky

Customers of insurance companies have been relying on the adage Uberrimae Fidei (Utmost good faith) since the first contract was written in 2100 B.C. within “The Code of Hammurabi” (ref.), meaning that when something goes wrong (accident, illness, death, etc.), the company they have been paying premiums to will take care of a customer’s claim, process a claim and pay the insured some form of reparation financially or otherwise to make the customer “whole.”

The equilibrium of the equation remains “stable” for the insurance company as long as the pool of premiums exceeds total losses and for the customer, claims are paid in a timely manner and service is sufficient. However, technological advancements have increased the average customer’s expectations. The Internet and mobile devices, as an extension, have granted consumers access to endless amounts of data about products, opinions of those products, and experiences with those products. The game has changed. Read More »

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Omnichannel Insurance Makes its Debut at PegaWorld

We recently attended PegaWorld in National Harbor, Maryland, on June 8-10. The conference focused on how businesses today must adapt to technological innovation and utilize new solutions that deliver business agility and empower organizations so they can rapidly close execution gaps and seize new opportunities. Pega’s investment in a customer-centric strategy enables digital transformation, which is essential for an Omnichannel execution strategy that demands a new approach to software.

Pega 7 is a best in class Business Rules Engine (BRE) platform led by Chess Master and Founder Alan Trefler. These new BRE capabilities  enables Omni-Channel UX™, Next-Best-Action and Business Process Fulfillment, empower financial services firms to transform the way they engage with their customers, simplify their operations and adapt to market changes. Read More »

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