The insurance industry is facing a massive evolutionary shift driven by competition and changes in consumer preferences. The competitive battle is easy to see, as insurers delve out billions in advertising and marketing expenditures in an effort to attract and retain customers, while maintaining top of mind brand awareness and differentiation. And adding to the pile on–retail  banks are beginning to offer personal and commercial  policies, which means insurers are no longer only competing with one another, but banks as well.

Insurance fits into the broader context of how we live our lives. So, the same technology trends and innovations that are changing the way we interact with each other socially as well as with other products and services – travel, entertainment, automotive, to name a few–are changing the expectations we, as consumers, bring to the insurance experience. Customers want to interact with their insurance provider in the way they choose, at the time they choose, across any access channel with any device.    

Because of these preferences, consumers now tend to shop online, purchase via call centers and/or seek the advice of an agent. They expect getting a policy quote to be easy and seamless, regardless of which access point they connect with, and of course, most expect to save money in the process. Cisco’s Mobile Advisor and Remote Expert solutions let consumers find and connect with subject matter experts anywhere in the insurance firm, over whichever channel the customer prefers. The solutions allow insurers to create a virtual pool of experts and specialists in areas such as underwriting, FNOL, claims resolution, and investment products. These solutions integrate with the firm’s customer information systems, providing the subject matter experts with a complete view of the customer relationship and activity. The flexibility of these capabilities is helping satisfy and retain current customers while obtaining new customers.

With the Cisco Mobile Advisor and Remote Expert solutions, insurers can:

  • Interact with customers via chat, voice, video, with the ability to share information when the customer is reaching out from a PC, a tablet or a smartphone
  • Provide real-time, “Connect Now” capabilities that allow customers to interact with company representatives in the way the customer chooses
  • Effectively manage an enterprise wide pool of subject matter experts, optimize their effectiveness, and track their availability and performance.
  • Comply with regulatory and internal risk management requirements through integrated audio recording capabilities.

In this environment, when customers need help with an insurance product or service, access is a click or on-screen button push away. It’s easy to access an expert to help in real-time whether the customer is on the company website, smartphone, tablet or other device. When a customer has a claim, the days of customers getting their own estimates, waiting to hear back from an adjuster and relying on their agent to hold their hand through the process are long gone. Today, with a click in a smartphone consumers can access their insurance card, diagram or video their loss, use instant call, chat or video to connect with a claims specialist, who can often start the customer on the way to repairs as a result of their first interaction with their carrier.

Given the consumer demand for increased flexibility and transformative  technology , the insurance industry is facing more complexity than it has ever faced before. This poses significant challenges for an industry based on managing risk and using traditionally conservative approaches. However, it also offers tremendous opportunity for those carriers who can adapt, evolve and stay connected with rapidly changing customer demands, market and technology trends. The new price in the insurance industry is being set by the pace of the customer which can only be met by leveraging technology as an enabler of an optimized experience and operational efficiency.


Rob Cornwell

Practice Advisor - Insurance

Insurance, Americas Business Transformation