Insurers, Technology, and People
It seems that the pandemic has had a profound impact on the usage of digital platforms. The focus on the digitization of business has increased tremendously.
For insurance providers, it is of utmost importance to focus on customer satisfaction. It is the key to reducing the frequency of claims, familiarizing their customers with their insurance policies, and removing the administrative burden.
From the perspective of business, despite its apparent benefits, many offline agents have been struggling with the digitized means of operation. Agents, good at communication but with a poor grasp of the new technology, are facing overwhelming challenges. These challenges are a major impediment in their upskilling, and hence the growth of the business.
While the implementation of technology is imperative for the business to scale, it is of equal importance, if not less, to ensure the upskilling of the agents, to support their easier adaptation of the new techniques and technology.
Let’s read about some challenges insurers face:
Define changes and align people and technology with the business goals:
When it comes to the transition to improved technology in the insurance business, insurers have to be realistic with expectations and forecasts of timelines. Technological up-gradation is an ongoing process that needs a set of holistic strategies and huge investments. Unless the transition is planned with the agents’ adaptability in mind, mere focus on the up-gradation to new technology would mean the workforce will be rendered out of date. In which case, the very technology meant to become an aid would become a crutch.
Hastening the process:
New technology often aims to overcome more complex hurdles. It also means more complex features. The insurance industry has seen the introduction of several digital tools and software frameworks.
This is a recipe for confusion for the insurers.
Selection and decision-making on what is the best for them are bound to become arduous as a result. This is because understanding software and its features and getting a good grasp on it with a seamless user experience, entail a lot of time and energy.
The business should make a genuine attempt towards bridging this gap between the agents’ capabilities and the potential of the new technology.
Agile and collaborative culture:
The Agile Development methodology was developed to avoid conflict between delivering production-ready software and focusing on customer needs. It is a methodology used by many software development companies, including the insurance industry.
The agile methodology allows people to communicate their needs for the insurers to adapt to those needs. Rather than structuring permanent hierarchies around the long-term plans, the Agile Methodology relies on creating temporary hierarchies organized around projects and products. This allows for quick recruitment of the right people to the teams for the appropriate tasks.
Understand the AI and ML impact:
Artificial intelligence and machine learning are powerful tools supporting insurers and decision-makers. The usage of artificial intelligence is becoming increasingly common these days. It has been shown to perform a host of functions like improving customer experience, solving complex problems, and management of repetitive tasks. Machine learning helps with identifying trends and patterns, handling multi-variant, multi-dimensional data, and continuous improvement.
Data is a central part of the insurance business. From insurers, decision-makers to the employees, everyone needs data for underwriting, policy administration, and claim verification. With the introduction of new technology in the insurance business, it has become easier for the users to communicate via the data applications and the insurers to check the methods of usage of that data.
Manage technology and operation:
The operational system of the insurance business involves rate-making, underwriting, production, claim settlement, and reinsurance. It is essential to incorporate the technology for faster completion of the process and a smoother workflow.
By implementing the latest technology, any business should be able to enhance its current operations. An insurer should be aware of the impacts of the implementation on its employees and the processes of the business at every stage of the process. Rather than working in separate silos, technology and operations teams should form interdisciplinary teams with product owners, technologists, data scientists, agile coaches, and operations and design experts.
To adapt to the rapidly changing digital environment, insurers should take feedback at frequent intervals. It helps to understand and implement the exact requirements of the employees and customers.
Creating a digital platform that takes into account people and the business is essential. Insurers need to understand how people react to changes and implement an agile methodology at every step of the process.