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The future of the insurance customer experience: A deeper connection

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Imagine a future when insurance is an invisible, seamless, and personalized pay-as-you-live layer powered by your very own 24/7 digital assistant embedded across all the touchpoints of your daily life.

As Genpact's Insurance in the Age of Instinct report identifies, this future isn't too far-fetched; an optimized reality of new digital technologies including artificial intelligence (AI) and sensor-enabled data will combine to make insurance a protective, frictionless process that we integrate into our day-to-day lives. Autonomous cars will assess damage and immediately file claims, houses will proactively monitor for leaking pipes or smoke, and wearables will immediately activate travel cover when you're abroad. The future of insurance will be automated and stress-free.

A seamless purchase

Buying an insurance policy will become quicker and easier; no more lengthy and complicated application processes with the potential to submit the wrong information. Customers' digital assistants will recognize the situations when they may need insurance – for example, getting into a car – and will automatically nudge them, whether via smartwatch, smart glasses, or smartphone – to check and approve a precisely tailored and competitive quote. With one swipe to approve, the customer is insured for their next trip.

Eric Stockwell, head of insurance consulting and transformation services at Genpact, notes that this seamless layer will also extend to point-of-sale purchases, making customers' lives even easier. “Insurance will be bundled into purchases of all sizes, so you won't even know you're buying insurance, but that protection will be there when you need it."

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Customers will enjoy an even greater level of customer service via an ecosystem in which artificial intelligence and human advisors will augment each other to maximum effect. Insurers will need to adapt their workforces so that these engagements can take place on whichever channel a customer prefers, whether via a voice-activated robo advisor on their smart home speaker, or via video chat with an employee.

Hyper-responsive claims

This seamless purchasing and service experience will also be mirrored in the claims process; rich sensor data flowing across customers' lives – from telematics to connected homes and wearables – will be able to immediately flag a potential loss and trigger the claims process.

This will save customers from having to make lengthy calls to customer service teams and fill out tedious forms. In cases in which there is damage to a car or a house, built-in sensors will immediately feed data to the insurer. Future first notice of loss (FNOL) conversations will be much more proactive and helpful, shifting from the simple capture of information to a dialogue that starts with, "I've contacted a repairer and organized a rental car."

A deeper relationship between insurers and customers

As insurers build ecosystems that connect intelligent and intuitive data analysis into their operations, they will play a more useful role in our lives, shifting from fixed-coverage to proactive prevention. They will be able to help us avoid losses by being a constant watchful eye over our lives, from encouraging us to take safer transport options to alerting us that our washing machine needs maintenance.

This combination of proactive protection and responsive customer service will be far removed from the annual renewal processes we experience now. Instead, we will develop a more frequent and deeper relationship with our insurers, with personalized products and advice delivered across fluid touchpoints.

Sasha Sanyal, global business leader for insurance at Genpact, sees a much more engaged future. “Imagine a customer journey that's in sync with customers' lives. They start off with home and auto cover. They have a child. You give them insurance. The child goes to college. The child gets insurance. But the only way they're able to do this is because they're engaged throughout the customer journey."

Demographic disruption

It's clear that the insurance industry faces seismic disruption as these new levels of technology-led convenience collide with the need to serve a diverse customer base. As demographics move toward a higher life expectancy, insurance companies will need to accommodate an increasingly elderly population alongside younger generations with dramatically different attitudes and values. These will combine to present challenges and opportunities.

Though an aging population will strain labor supply, productivity, and welfare systems, it also presents huge opportunities for insurers to take a proactive and advisory stance. Insurers will be well placed to create more engaged relationships with customers by providing those moving toward retirement with life insurance and healthcare policies. Insurers could also nudge customers toward better financial behavior as they approach retirement. New forms of care models and financial planning services could develop to give consumers peace of mind and allow retirees to plan for a better standard of living.

As insurers respond to the pressures facing older generations, they must also accommodate the wants and needs of younger generations of insurance buyers: millennials (digital natives who seek experiences over possessions and are happy to adopt new technologies regardless of brand loyalty) and Generation Z (deemed entrepreneurial, money-wise, tech-savvy, and competitive). These customers will expect lifestyle insurance products that fulfill their new, exacting, and constantly evolving requirements, such as coverage for groups of housemates renting together and insurance for gig-economy workers. These will need to arrive via transparent mobile apps that bring policy information and payment platforms under one roof.

Human-first future

It's clear that by embracing data and new technologies, insurers can build stronger relationships with all groups of customers and evolve from premium collectors to lifelong protectors. To make this shift, insurers must:

  • Predict and manage insurance needs, gathering data from smart homes, cars, and wearables to create on-demand products 
  • Adapt their workforce with the right blend of digital and customer service skills 
  • Connect with external partners such as startups and insurtechs, which are already innovating with the technology needed for this new customer-centric and digital-first world 

As Steven Raynor, APAC insurance leader at Genpact, says: “Insurers have to deliver a customer experience that is far more humanistic and takes care of the moments that matter for customers." This more proactive and integrated customer experience model is becoming possible, and insurers must place it at the center of their digital transformation plans to be in sync with their customers' lives.

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