Digitalisation has created and will continue to create new markets. It has broken down industry boundaries and also violently shaken up the insurance industry along the way. Only if insurers are familiar with the needs of their customers can they withstand the digital tsunami.
Insurers have to think strategically about their positioning and the depth of their supply chain. Not only do they have to know their insurance products and services of tomorrow and quickly digitise core systems, they also have to place their portfolio in attractive ecosystems.
Such a positioning has been assumed by, for example, the Swiss insurer Helvetia: Its CEO Philipp Gmür stated at InsuranceCOM, the business-to-business platform of the insurance industry, that Helvetia specialises in the ecosystem Home. The insurer is pursuing the strategy to focus on this one area of life – with the aim of being at the place where the customer need usually arises.
The three central needs of insurance customers
Knowing the customer needs is no longer just a central area of focus for insurers, but is crucial for their survival as a result of rapidly developing digitisation. But many insurance companies are still getting stuck in this regard, because they do not grant the needs of customers enough importance. Currently, policyholders look for the following three aspects with regard to their insurance:
1. Simplicity wins
Simplicity wins, always. Customers want easy insurance policies that can be taken out with little effort – digitally, with a few simple clicks. They don’t want to have to register and enter their contact details just to wait for a call. They want to see the price and the included services immediately – and want to be able to take out the insurance policy immediately.
2. Customers love flexibility
Policyholders want to be flexible. They don’t want to have to chain themselves to an insurer for years. Similar to the emerging trend among subscribers in the telecommunications industry, insurance customers also want monthly termination options and deadlines.
3. Trust and guarantees as the basis for success
Many of the points of contact between insurers and policyholders are by default negative, for example when the customer has to pay an invoice, handle increasing premiums (especially in the case of health insurance) or make a claim. Policies change, small print is too well hidden, vaguely defined dependencies emerge: the most damaging aspect for the customer relationship is if a claim is, contrary to customer expectations, not covered. Insurers keep customers only if there is confidence and this is boosted regularly and enduringly.
In order to meet these three central customer requirements, insurers have to act – fast. It is time to put some work into intuitive applications, a coherent customer journey and transparent systems.
Links to other articles in the “Future of Insurance” series:
- What insurers must tackle in the next five years to stay ahead – the pressure among insurers to digitise their services is leading to a major shift in the insurance industry.
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