COVID-19 has jumpstarted the digital transformation in the insurance sector. Insurance customers are embracing digital touchpoints across the entire customer lifecycle: 71% of US life insurance buyers researched their insurance products online, 74% of UK insurance buyers bought insurance online, 13% of Italian insurance buyers have interacted with their insurer via online chat, and the list goes on (Forrester, The State of Digital Insurance, 2021). Where insurance companies haven’t responded with better digital experiences, a number of insurtechs are prepared to take over. But digital technologies are changing more than just sales and service, and this is starting to affect the entire insurance value chain. Insurers are now facing three key challenges: how to increase customer satisfaction and retention, reduce operational cost and utilise legacy core insurance technology.
Lessons learnt from the banking sector
As digitalisation of the insurance sector is picking up, there is a great opportunity to learn from the experience of the banking sector. Due to the pressure imposed by fintechs, many banks jumped on the digital transformation bandwagon and deployed siloed digital channel solutions, enabling their customers to access their services online. While this solved some of their challenges in the short term, over time it became evident that for them to deliver their long-term digitalisation strategies, which include cross-channel and omnichannel experiences, a more robust platform approach was necessary. Thus, many banks now focus on digital platforms to unite, and in some cases replace, their legacy channel solutions.
Insurers can learn from this experience and fast-track their transformation plans by leapfrogging directly to a digital platform. Using such platforms, they can still address the ‘quick time to market’ need with apps and portals that focus on making the customer experience more efficient and enjoyable. Enabling an end-user digital self-service portal will result in lower demand to the back-end office, higher volumes of business activities, lower cost of ownership and, of course, higher NPS score. The same platform can be used to address bigger and more important challenges such as modernising legacy systems and building a foundation for future innovations.
Insurance digitalisation in Southеast Europe
The SEE region is witnessing a new paradigm: On one hand COVID is changing the tectonics of the market and, as a result, customers are getting more and more demanding; on the other hand, new regulations such as the IFRS17 and the non-mandatory bonus-malus arrangements are playing a pivotal role. Another important aspect is the actuarial risk and the actuarial transformation arising from regulatory changes.
All this dictates the way digital solutions are developed and presented to the customer and how data is managed across processes. These factors are considered and embedded in Software Group’s digital insurance platform, which empowers insurers to quickly get up to speed with their digital priorities and easily innovate in the future by extending it with custom solutions that respond to market needs. It connects the customer lifecycle end-to-end, modernising legacy systems and removing silos across policy management, sales, claims, channels, saving insurers development efforts and core system upgrade costs.
Software Group has partnered with several insurance providers in the region, including Generali Insurance AD. Earlier this year, Generali launched its upgraded customer portal My Generali, powered by Software Group, which enables customers to pay instalments and renew their insurance policies, entirely online. The next phases of the project will see the addition of a mobile app, the purchase of new policies through the online portal, payment via ePay in addition to the card payments, filing and tracking of claims, etc. The project is a part of the digital strategy GENERALI 2021 of the company which enables agents, brokers and the back office with digital tools, utilising the existing legacy systems of the organisation.
Benefits of the platform approach
Over the last 12 years Software Group (SoftwareGroup.com) has been offering a palette of digital solutions to a range of global financial service providers, based on a robust digital platform called DigiWave. A huge asset in this platform is the deployment of reusable building blocks that can be mixed and matched to the needs and requirements of the insurer. It helps insurers get started with ready digital portals and mobile apps to bring the insurance business to the digital playing field within months. The end-to-end, modular nature of the Digital Insurance Platform DigiWave can cover the whole relationship with the customer: from purchase and payments to claims tracking and settlement, renewal, etc., but the benefits don’t stop here. Through the platform, insurers also get reduced OPEX and ownership cost, better back office optimisation and scalability for future operations. Adopting a platform approach and choosing a technology partner who can offer the top expertise is of the essence here.