Technology Trends Affecting Insurance Agencies in 2015
The insurance industry has, fairly or not, been viewed as a slow-moving industry, but that is changing. Technology is saturating the insurance industry, allowing for better products and services, but also increasing customer expectations in terms of service and claims processing.
The digital and non-digital worlds are increasingly intertwined, and in 2015, insurance companies will scale up technology to be able to deliver the services policyholders demand. This technology will benefit insurers too, allowing them to function more efficiently and with more accuracy. Here are some of the major technology trends the casualty insurance and property insurance industries will notice in 2015.
Big Data Analytics
Property and casualty insurance companies can tap into the power of big data to improve efficiency, identify fraudulent claims better, and improve products and services to meet emerging customer expectations. The "big data dashboard" will evolve in 2015, helping casualty and property insurance companies make use of massive amounts of data from multiple sources for better underwriting, risk assessment, and trend analysis. The so-called Internet of Things (IoT) goes right along with big data, as more everyday objects (like cars) become "connected," generating data for collection and analysis. Insights derived from big data will help insurers find competitive advantages and differentiators they can use to set them apart from the competition.
Not only will mobility affect property and casualty insurance agents on the job, it will increasingly play a role in how insurers interact with customers. Most casualty and property insurance companies already offer mobile apps for customers to access accounts, get quotes, or access claim support. In 2015, apps will help more policyholders exchange information more quickly to streamline and expedite the claims process. Additionally, the emergence of wearable technology, like smartwatches, is leading health insurers to develop new wellness products and services to help people take a more active role in preventative health care and management of chronic conditions.
Increased Importance of Social Media
Social media is increasingly important for brand building in the property and casualty insurance industries, and insurers are finding new ways to use social media to improve customer service. As more young adults of the Millennial generation move into adulthood, they bring with them expectations about interacting with preferred brands, including insurers, and social media plays a prominent role. Casualty and property insurance companies, in turn, are using social media platforms as customer "touch points" to increase engagement and brand loyalty. You can also expect to see the emergence of new social widgets that allow insurers to provide quotes and even sale of policies from within their social media pages.
New Underwriting Technology
With the emergence of big data, information from sources as diverse as Google Maps and public crime statistics, risk assessment and underwriting can be more thorough and accurate than ever before. We're currently witnessing the development of remarkably sophisticated analytical programs that will be able to do things like assessing claims fraud in new ways, for example. Location intelligence, via sources like Google Maps and public databases will be able to be linked in innovative ways that allow property and casualty insurance companies to develop new ways of assessing risk, for more accurate underwriting, benefiting insurers and policyholders alike.
The cloud revolution has been underway for several years now and will continue in 2015. As more legacy systems hosted on on-site servers become outdated, expect more casualty and property insurance companies to turn to the cloud for hosting their increasingly sophisticated systems. Health insurers are big users of the cloud as well, particularly as new regulations go into effect. When it comes to scalability, the cloud simply can't be beaten, and an increasing number of insurers are seeing the benefits in terms of technology utilization and cost that are associated with cloud computing.
Whether you're involved in property insurance, casualty insurance, health insurance, or really any other aspect of the insurance industry, you can expect to feel the impact of big data, mobility, social media, new underwriting innovations, and cloud computing in 2015. These developments should offer benefits to consumers as well as faster service and innovation in product offerings for insurance companies.