In an age of constant change and uncertainties faced by all industry today due to the coronavirus crisis, customer loyalty is no longer a given. For the industry, this means a profound transformation, away from a pure product logic and toward a holistic service approach that focuses not only on financial compensation but also on the management and prevention of risks. This is the only way the industry can adequately benefit from the increased need for risk protection in the post-Covid world.
The traditional approach of selling on-the-shelf products by the industry is nowhere near enough for the future emerging requirements of the clients. Growth will come from new customer-centric service models, innovation, and a greater focus on risk management.
The non-life insurance industry is witnessing shifting trends across the marketing of products and services, policy administration and claims — the three core functions of the insurance value chain. Non-life insurers today are struggling to engage with customers. Insurance covers have become increasingly commoditised and decisions over its purchase are almost entirely driven by price as many customers cannot understand or underestimate its value. Customers have access to more information than ever before. This change in consumer behaviour is because of the overall increased usage of the internet, rising levels of social networking, and behavioural changes in the greater use of mobile and hand-held technologies.
Gone are those days, when the insurers would give no choice to the customers but to buy the on-the-shelf policies. These policies were with standard covers and had no scope for customisation for the insurance solution as per the client’s real risk exposures. Today, customers want insurers to offer them the simplicity and accessibility that they have become accustomed to with other products. They want a seamless and hassle-free process of risk assessment, risk mapping, placement of required risk solutions, and administration of loss if the need arises. They will happily change insurers regularly and have little desire to forge a lasting relationship in the event they don’t find a perfect service provider who suits or understands their requirements.
The ever-intensifying competition in the non-life insurance marketplace is also driving the bargaining power of individual customers and has led to drastic changes in customer preference. The outcome of these changes is the creation of a new business models that are based on a revolution called tailor-made risk solutions, intending to be better aligned with customers.
Increasing awareness of the risk associated with every business has made the clients demand products and services that apply to them when they need them. Brokers need to develop this skill of understanding client’s requirements thoroughly. Thus, work with them to have to build engaging propositions that create stickiness.
Investing in technology that is evolving on a real-time basis to provide the required easy and complete experience that offers clear solutions to customer problems.
Packaging customised solutions with dynamic value-add services which are not only appealing to our customers but also show that we pay attention to all their ongoing requirements and problems.
Customised solutions have the ability and the vision with which we develop them to absorb the risk associated with the client’s business for a period of the next three years.
Keeping a close watch on the client’s feedback as a post-after-sales service will add the dynamics of value-add services that can be changed with the change in requirement from the clients.
The above mentioned points are instrumental in shaping the client experience the ultimate moment of truth through meticulously underwritten policies meeting their risk requirements which in turn leads to seamless claims management. In this way, we have been able to satisfy our customers who are increasingly searching ways to make their lives easier.
But the success of a channel partner depends upon the insurer who will also need to adapt to this changing ecosystem that involves partnership and outsourcing. For non-life insurers several inefficiencies including aging technology, increasing process complexity, and a rising number of fraudulent claims are driving up claims costs and adversely affecting a customer’s claims experience. Insurers can transform the claims processing by leveraging modern claims systems that are integrated with robust business intelligence, document and content management systems. This will enhance claims processing efficiency and effectiveness.
Digital innovation has been the catalyst for this customer revolution in terms of changing customer buying behaviour, can also offer the opportunity to develop sharper customer engagement, insight, and experience needed to meet these more exacting demands.
For a progressive future, insurers need to adopt and use technology to their advantage. Insurers will not only have to move far more quickly to create truly digital organisations but also focus on enhancing customers claims experience if they are to compete in a market that is set for rapid transformation.
(The writer is Senior Vice President, Anand Rathi Insurance Brokers. Views expressed are personal)
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