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A Superior Experience: Digital Insurance Premium Refunds & Agent Commission Payments
To account for a reduction in driving during the pandemic, auto insurers gave back more than $18 billion in premiums,...
To account for a reduction in driving during the pandemic, auto insurers gave back more than $18 billion in premiums, according to Insurance Journal1. That’s a great deal of money, but unfortunately, not all auto insurance customers noticed. A J.D. Power study2 found that only about 52% of auto insurance customers knew about the refunds. Those who were aware of the refunds had a more positive perception of their insurer’s brand than those who did not.
In this Insurance Customer Journey Blog Series, we’ll discuss why reimagining the customer journey is critical, where the current improvement gaps among insurers lie, and further delve into ways these gaps can be addressed.
Today’s companies and consumers expect digital options in their daily transactions, and insurance claim payments are no exception. Increasingly, insurance carriers are looking to replace costly paper checks with more modern alternatives. And although ACH has been a great initial step into quicker fund transfer, virtual claim payments are fast becoming a smart check replacement because of the additional benefits they offer.
The Telephone Compliance Protection Act (TCPA) was enacted in 1991.The law places restrictions on telemarketing calls, the use of automatic telephone dialing systems (ATDS) and the use of pre-recorded or artificial voice messages. Updates to the TCPA include the creation of the Do Not Call Registry in 2003.
As we enter the new year, it’s once again time to examine the industry trends and emerging technologies that are shaping insurance in 2021. Unquestionably, this past year has brought severe and unexpected challenges to businesses and consumers worldwide. At the same time, we’ve learned some valuable lessons, including the critical importance of both planning and agility when building out a long-term growth strategy. By infusing decisive action with flexibility, your organization can continue making progress and serving customers, regardless of changing circumstances.
Digitization is finally gaining momentum in the insurance industry. TransUnion has identified insurance digitization as one of the four insurance trends resulting from COVID-19. Digitization efforts grew 20% in the past year, and rapid digitization is expected to strengthen in 2021.
Insurance payments are going digital. Many insurers already accept inbound premium payments from policyholders. Now outbound claims payments are also catching on. These changes will bring benefits to both insurance companies and insurance customers. However, before these benefits can be realized, there are six challenges that must be overcome.
In part 3 of this four-part series, we explained the complexities of mortgagee property claim payments. Here in our final series installment, we take a deeper look into the world of vendor payments: the challenges of bulk payments, the need for detailed remittance information, and benefit of real-time reconciliation.
In part 2 of this four-part series, we took a deeper look into the pain points of lienholder payment, what’s involved with the auto total loss process, and the benefits digitization can provide. Here in part 3, we delve into the cumbersome process of mortgagee property claim payments, the difference between monitored and non-monitored claims, and the opportunity to optimize the customer experience.
In part 1 of this four-part series, we introduced four inherent claim payment challenges involved with paper check payment (e.g. multi-party payments, total loss lienholder, mortgagee, and vendor payments). Here in part 2, we take a deeper look into the pain points of lienholder payments, what’s involved with the auto total loss process, and the benefits digitization can provide.
Changes in consumer behavior toward digital demand increased exponentially in 2020. As Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO stated last year, “We’ve seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months.” The increasing customer demand for a superior digital experience has driven the need for insurers to accelerate their digital strategies. Meeting the ever evolving and increasing digital needs and expectations of today’s customer requires insurers to be able to pivot quickly and get to market even faster, while still focusing on cost savings, operational efficiency and business continuity. It would be almost impossible for an insurer to have the resources and expert capabilities to handle these challenges on their own. It takes strategic partnerships and a strong ecosystem for insurers to be able to provide a truly personalized digital customer experience. Partner ecosystems also play a pivotal role in an insurer’s ability to innovate and grow.
Not only is paper check payment much slower (5-7 days) and more expensive (10x more) than digital payments, but it also comes with four inherent insurer payment challenges: multi-party payments, lienholder payments, mortgagee payments, and vendor payments. In this four-part series, we’ll discuss these insurance payment challenges and how digital transformation addresses them. We’ll provide an overview of multi-party payments in part 1, further delve into total loss lienholder payments in part 2, learn about the complexities of mortgagee property claim payments in part 3, and finally take a look at the world of vendor payments in part 4.
In the claims process, speed matters. The 2019 J.D. Power U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study found that customer satisfaction with the claims process had reached an all-time high, an improvement that was fueled by shorter cycle times.
Insurers are under increased pressure to improve their profitability, and digitalization provides a clear way forward.
Although the pandemic continues to send economic shockwaves throughout the insurance industry, the degree and scope of impact has not been evenly distributed. Much of this disparity can be attributed to the digital infrastructure within each organization, as widespread social distancing mandates have forced businesses and consumers to abandon traditional in-person interactions in favor of remote access alternatives.
Insurance is entering a new era. And while the industry has been inching toward modernization over the past decade, the pandemic has amplified the urgent need for insurers to adapt and innovate. In this article, we’ll explore the business continuity strategies some companies are using to persevere in these rapidly changing global conditions.
Discussions about the coronavirus and workers’ compensation have dominated the industry since the early days of the pandemic. Who is responsible when an employee contracts the coronavirus on the job? How can employers ensure safe working conditions for their remote workers? What can be done to minimize losses in an economy stricken by turmoil?
Determined to continue serving customers in the face of global crises, many insurance companies have accelerated their technology road-maps, optimizing processes and enhancing communication capabilities to meet the urgent needs of today’s consumers. And as the main touch-point between providers and policyholders, the area of payments has become a primary focus in the industry’s intensified commitment to digital transformation.
As the proverbial gold standard for consumer data protection, System and Organization Controls (SOC) reporting provides verification that an organization has passed a rigorous audit and adheres to industry-leading system security and suitability guidelines. Although SOC audits are voluntary, with the recent increase in cyberattacks against insurance companies, this high-value report provides an important layer of validation for insurers choosing third-party vendors who will have access to their sensitive data.
The COVID-19 global health crisis impacts everyone, and we all respond in different ways. Some people have retreated in fear, while others grow frustrated at the idea of an uncertain future. And then there are those who obsess over the world news and are consumed with feelings of doom and despair. For individuals who are especially vulnerable, have fallen ill, or are grieving the loss of a loved one, this pandemic is literally a fight of life-and-death proportions.
With the current social distancing efforts and shelter-in-place mandates throughout the country, many office workers are now performing their jobs from the comfort of their own homes. However, in the case of remote work, comfort – at least in the traditional context – isn't always ideal for productivity.
Some employers have been hesitant to offer telecommuting options for fear of potential harm to work ethic and performance. But with widespread shelter-in-place orders amid the COVID-19 public health crisis, these companies have been forced to adopt the unfamiliar working arrangement, with little or no time to prepare in advance.
Although it’s only been a few short months since the novel coronavirus (COVID-19, or COVID) public health crisis began, we’ve already seen dramatic changes in social and economic structures across the globe. “Business as usual” has been pushed aside, replaced by a large-scale call for social distancing in an unprecedented, collective effort to slow, and eventually halt the spread of the disease.
The vast majority of B2C companies rely on email and social media for digital communications with their customers. And while both are important parts of a multi-channel engagement strategy, the barrage of daily messages has led to a climate of inbox overload and social ad fatigue. The chances of the recipient opening, reading, and responding to any given message declines as more and more brands compete for consumers’ time and attention.
Gone are the days of default customer loyalty and complacency. Today, people want the ability to research, compare, engage with, purchase from, and have ongoing access to their favorite brands. At any time, from any place, on any device, both online and offline. With the option to choose between automation and a human representative - preferably one who can communicate effectively with a pleasant blend of empathy and humor. And if the company is environmentally and socially responsible, all the better!
Since the dawn of the internet, cybersecurity and cyberattacks have been locked in a continuous cycle of mutual evolution. As one progresses, the other becomes more sophisticated in response - similar to a game of leap-frog or dueling pianos, but with much higher stakes.
Goal-setting and strategizing are year-round pursuits for most insurance executives. New Year’s resolutions are unnecessary when you’re already motivated by an unwavering drive toward continuous growth and improvement.
Certain industries seem to generate more inherent allure and fascination than others. Pilots, artists, and doctors, for example, often receive a flood of questions once a new acquaintance learns of their craft.
Working in insurance, however, one quickly realizes how few people appreciate the glamour and excitement surrounding this profession. Worse yet, the industry is often misrepresented, shrouded by negative stereotypes, and sometimes even vilified. This creates a very different experience for insurers upon the inevitable social pleasantry, “What do you do?”
Note: This article has been updated with an op-ed followup to reflect how today's pandemic-related challenges have impacted these twelve trends. Visit the new blog post here:
Last year, we outlined the major trends set to disrupt insurance in 2019. We explored a variety of digital, cultural, and economic developments - from AI and blockchain to gig work and the cannabis business - and their potential impact on the industry.
While these trends will continue to shape the insurance landscape in 2020, it’s once again time to look ahead at the next set of emerging issues and challenges.
Mobile technology has transformed the way consumers interact with businesses. Anybody with a smartphone can quickly and easily compare insurance companies, get real-time quotes, purchase policies, make payments, and file claims — from anywhere and at any time. According to the IBM Insurance Blog, “When it comes to mobile technology, the most important thing to do is get started.” The article also warns of dire consequences for insurers that are still “planning to embrace mobile,” but haven’t yet begun.
Electric vehicles have yet to dip down into the “economy car” price range. Today, the median price for an electric vehicle will set you back anywhere between $22,490 for a Nissan Leaf to $72,000 for a Tesla Model X, according to EnergySage.com. However, as is the trend with most new-to-market technologies, the purchase price should begin to drop as demand drives increased competition and economies of scale reduce production costs.
What is telematics technology?
The term “telematics” refers to devices that merge telecommunications and information technology. These devices are integrated into automobiles to monitor driving behavior, providing data that insurers can use to help determine risk profiles and rates.
In part one of this two-part article, we introduced the insurance ecosystem and discussed how insurers can take advantage of this new business model. In part two, we’ll dive deeper into the benefits of an integrated digital ecosystem and cover some real-world examples of the insurance ecosystem in action.
It's been said that ecosystems are the future of insurance. But what exactly is an ecosystem? In part one of this two-part article, we’ll look at the basics of this new, integrated business model — what it is, how it works, and why it’s important for insurers to pursue ecosystems as a priority.
We’ve all seen the headlines: The Future of Insurance is here. It's an Industry Transformation. The Tech Revolution. Digital Disruption. We've entered the Digital Age - nay, the Post Digital Age... The buzzwords may vary, but the message is always the same:
It’s time to go digital.
This inspirational call-to-action is as vague as it is imperative. Insurers want to future-proof their companies, but what does it actually mean to go digital in insurance?
When most of us think of credit card fraud, we envision the stereotypical thieves, con artists, and hackers. Unscrupulous wrongdoers on a mission to pilfer money, stockpile identities, and wreak general havoc upon the lives of their victims.
It's easy to understand the value of bringing in new business. But what about your existing customers? Are they getting the same level of attention as your prospects? If not, it's probably time to rethink your strategy.
According to a recent McAfee survey, 97% of organizations use some type of cloud service — and for good reason. By using an online backup and storage solution, you can reduce your company's reliance on paper, free up your own computer power, and ensure more secure data storage and accessibility.
Network security is in a constant state of change, evolving and adapting in response to the ever-growing cyber threat.
Although no industry is safe, financial organizations – including insurance companies - are particularly vulnerable. Unfortunately, because insurers use and store large amounts of sensitive customer data, the industry is a prime target for hackers.
As infrastructures change to meet consumer demands, insurers must continually improve their cyber defense. By establishing best practices in the areas of network security, payment processing, and employee education, you're in a better position to protect your data from misuse.
Insurers know just how dangerous the roads can be on busy holidays, and Memorial Day is no exception. Auto fatalities, drunk driving arrests, and car accidents all spike over this three-day weekend.
Today’s consumer demands digital, and insurance is answering the call. For most insurers, the question of the day is no longer “Should we,” but rather, “How do we get started making the shift to digital?”
Generational shifts have forced insurers to rethink the traditional one-size-fits-all approach to insurance. Here is a brief overview of the consumer attributes associated with each generation of policyholders, along with their respective age ranges, as defined by Pew Research in 2019.
With insurance retirees rapidly outnumbering new recruits, insurers are having trouble filling the empty roles left behind. Additionally, recent digital advancements in the industry require fresh skill-sets, compounding the urgency to hire new talent.
If ever there is a time when an insurance company puts its promises to the test, it is when a claim is filed. For policyholders, this can be the moment of truth when they see how well their agent or company handles their claim after an incident.
When trying to fill open positions, insurance recruiters and HR managers are often challenged to find creative ways to attract new talent. To get through some of the stereotypes of what it means to work in insurance, consider spreading the word of your company's advancements, and give reasons why the next generation of job-seekers should consider your company when planning out their career goals. You may want to include some of the following concepts in your messaging.
Don't miss the newest article in this series: 12 Trends for 2020!
Updated March 14, 2019
From blockchain to big data to autonomous vehicles, the last decade has introduced an onslaught of new issues that have disrupted the traditional approach to insurance. Companies are racing to find solutions that make sense in today’s technological, cultural, and economic climate.
Insurance is generally considered "low-touch" industry, continuing to fall short when it comes to engaging with consumers. Unfortunately, a single event - such as a poor claims experience or billing problem - is often the catalyst for policyholders to switch providers, creating a commoditized market and eradicating any sense of brand loyalty.
According to Ernst & Young’s Global Insurance Trends Analysis 2018, the insurance industry not only showed steady growth in 2018, but also is estimated to increase by another three to four percent by the end of 2019. Insurers looking to capitalize on this financial trend and update systems are adopting strategies to ensure business operations are as streamlined and efficient as possible.
One of the greatest challenges facing insurers today is a shortage of workers, often referred to as the "talent gap." Despite historically low unemployment rates, many insurers are scrambling to fill essential positions. Claims adjusters, underwriters, and sales professionals – the very backbone of the profession – are in short supply and high demand.
While most efforts are focused on recruiting and retention, it is often what happens in-between that makes the difference when it comes to the most critical shortage areas. Solving the talent gap requires a more holistic approach, expanding the focus to include strategies beyond traditional recruitment and retention efforts.
Industry experts have for years been warning of an eminent employee-shortage as baby boomers retire en masse. Loss of highly experienced workers, coupled with the fact most new graduates rarely consider an insurance career, means many companies are losing more workers than they can replace. Insurance Business Magazine refers to the problem a “talent crisis.”
The concept is simple. In exchange for a premium, an insurance company agrees to compensate a policyholder for a specified loss, damage, illness, or death caused by an unexpected event. So, as an industry that is centered on helping consumers better mitigate risks, why does insurance get such a bad rap? In a word, trust.
According to a recent study conducted by Novarica, the number of insurance organizations using cloud computing as part of their technology architecture has tripled, growing from less than 20% just a few years ago to more than 70% today. And while the early adoption of cloud computing may have been slow pulling out of the starting gate, it is now more commonplace, becoming a necessary tool for property and casualty insurers looking to make real-time connections between people, services, devices, data, etc.
California has joined a growing number of states moving towards gender equality in personal auto insurance. Effective January 1, 2019, insurers can no longer include gender – whether as a stand-alone factor or in combination with any other factor – when calculating rates for private passenger automobile insurance policies.
Over the past year, concerns have been made regarding artificial intelligence replacing many human jobs in the insurance industry, particularly with positions cited as having the highest potential for automation such as underwriting and claims. However, as this advanced technology makes its way into the mass market, new research shows that the collaboration of machines and humans is actually complementary, enhancing current business capabilities in a variety of ways.
The traditional insurance business model has been stable and effective for many years. However, the rumblings of digital disruption is shifting the foundation of that model as products and services are delivered differently. The impacts of insurtech and other third party players are beginning to change the very essence of insurance products and services and eventually could change the entire model itself.
The seemingly simple function of disbursing payments is more complex for insurance than for other industries. Because the process of settling and paying a claim involves a specific set of procedures and regulations, insurers have been largely limited to good ol’ fashioned checks and snail-mail… until now.
The new year always feels like a fresh start, doesn’t it? A time to look back on the past 12 months and resolve to make changes for the better in the coming year. For insurance professionals, this can be the ideal time to make resolutions to evaluate and improve business strategies that can expand their online presence. To help, we’ve put together four key areas to consider in 2019.
Freelancers. Solo professionals. Independent contractors. Consultants. Whatever you call them, the trend toward a gig economy is growing. In fact, according to a recent survey conducted by Gallup, an estimated third (36%) of all U.S. workers have some type of gig work arrangement. To put this number in perspective, that’s nearly 57 million Americans getting their side hustle on. With no sign of a slowdown, this shift presents both growth opportunities and challenges for insurers to better meet the unique insurance needs of gig economy workers.
While the holiday season is often described as merry and bright, it is not without its share of dangers. We thought it might be helpful to put together a short list of tips that can help keep your policyholders a bit safer. Whatever holidays your customers may celebrate, amidst all the fun, festivities, hosting, get-togethers, and traveling, safety should always remain the top priority. Feel free to pass these tips along!
Often referred to as “the moment of truth,” a claim represents the intersection of a predictable risk calculated by the insurer with an unplanned, adverse event in the life of the insured.
Insurance companies process massive amounts of sensitive information for every policyholder, including payment data. A single security lapse can expose that data to misuse, theft, and other forms of fraud. Even without a breach, the consequences of improper data management can be steep.
Considered one of the world’s most innovative companies, Amazon has virtually transformed the way people shop and live. The secret to its success? For starters, Amazon is never completely satisfied with the status quo. In fact, Amazon is continually looking for new opportunities in various sectors and categories in which to evolve and expand. Very recently, the retail giant has expanded its reach to the insurance industry.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, insurance fraud makes up nearly 10 percent of all U.S. property-casualty insurance losses and loss adjustment expenses every year, adding up to approximately $34 billion annually. Unfortunately, the number of fraudulent claims continues to grow. Today, property and casualty insurers are fighting back by taking advantage of new technology. Included in their fraud-fighting arsenal is the process of graph theory.
In a survey of risk managers, 46% said they will be considering the use of drones within their own businesses in the next year, with 7% already using drones in business operations. Today, more than 100 insurance companies have received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to test drones for various commercial purposes in the U.S. But as drone use increases, drone-related claims in the insurance industry are also expected to increase.
From claims support to fraud prevention, drones are expected to have a $6.8 billion impact on the insurance industry over the next few years. A key area where commercial drones are particularly useful is in claims, helping insurers save time and reduce losses. Here’s how:
According to a recent Accenture report, over 75% of insurance executives surveyed feel that artificial intelligence (AI) will either significantly alter or completely transform the insurance industry within the next three years, and 39% believe that AI will revolutionize their company’s existing business operations. But with all the positive changes AI has brought, there is still more to come. The following are four ways AI will continue to increase business value for insurers as we move into the new year.
The Internet of Things has provided opportunities for insurers to introduce new products, streamline processes, and improve customer service. However, if not appropriately managed, technology also provides a multitude of opportunities for cybercriminals.
The introduction of driverless cars in the U.S. is no longer an idea that’s years in the future. In fact, General Motors has plans to release its own driverless vehicle, which has no steering wheel or pedals, for commercial ride services in 2019, along with other automakers.
As part of a heavily regulated field, insurance companies are limited in options when it comes to increasing profit margins outside of investment revenue. In this article, we’ll explore those limitations and discuss how re-configuring your operations around payments can help you lower your combined ratio.
In part one of this two-part article, we looked at the basics of blockchain and its potential impact on the insurance industry. In part two, we’ll explore key areas for possible use cases, as well as issues and limitations for this growing technology.
Unless you’ve been living on a remote island somewhere, chances are you’ve heard something about blockchain. The reality is that the adoption of blockchain is growing, creating big changes in the way insurance companies do business. In part one of this two-part article, we’ll look at the basics of this technology — what it is, where it got its start, and the potential impact on the insurance industry.
From time to time, we've been asked to explain the difference between InsureTech and FinTech, and with which One Inc identifies. As National FinTech Day (August 20th), today seems to be the perfect opportunity to formally define both fields and how they are related.
As catastrophic wildfires continue to burn throughout California, insurance professionals are stepping in to lend a hand.
In Part 1 of this series, we learned that it costs five-to-nine times more to acquire a new policyholder than it does to keep one. Additionally, existing customers have a higher potential to buy new products and refer your brand to friends and family, creating a more significant revenue impact than bringing in a new customer.
Insurance is a low margin game. Between customer churn, claim payouts, and massive operational overhead, the amount of money going out is barely less (and in some cases, more) than what is coming in. While the equation has many nuanced complexities – risk assessment, smarter underwriting, operational efficiencies, investment strategies, and more – much of the business challenge can be reduced to two simple questions: (1) How do I get more (of the right) people to buy my product? And, (2) how do I get fewer customers to churn?
For many insurance companies, payments is just an operations function that hums along in the background. Money comes in. There are spreadsheets involved. What’s the big deal? Why put more thought into it?
J.D. Power recently released its 2018 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study, which ranks the top insurance companies based on a scale of customer satisfaction. For the 6th consecutive year, Erie Insurance topped the list, followed by Auto-Owners Insurance, American Family, Amica Mutual, The Hartford, and 15 other industry leaders.
We talk to a lot of people in insurance about payments. When we meet, the usual suspects are always there — Finance and IT — but a new group has started emerging in more and more discussions – Customer Experience. Why are the Customer Experience (CX) folks joining the conversation?
Do you know where policyholders prioritize paying their home or auto insurance premiums? When times are tough—or even just as part of their normal budgeting behavior—do policyholders put paying you near the top of the list, or in the “if there’s money left over” bucket?
Growth strategies have changed dramatically over the last decade. While some businesses are reaping the benefits of modernization, others are just now racing to catch up. Unfortunately, in the scramble to boost revenue and increase sales, many companies have overlooked one key factor: the customer.
Amazon one-click shopping has trained consumers to expect a certain buying experience, no matter what they are buying. So why aren’t insurers providing a positive digital payment experience to retain policyholders and attract new ones?
This blog is a recap of a webcast hosted by Insurance Innovation Reporter and sponsored by One Inc. The webinar, titled, ‘Payments: The Moments of truth That Make or Break Customer Retention,’ took place on Thursday, January 25th. To access the recording, click here
I recently moved from Washington state to California. The moving truck driver—an owner-operator—was from Boston and ended up stuck on the west coast for two weeks because it was over Thanksgiving. Obviously, he wasn’t home to get his mail during that time.
While it’s clear that the insurtech movement is a force to be reckoned with, the long-term results of the collaboration between innovation, technology start-ups and insurers remains to be seen. On the bright side, factions from both sides share the same goal: to embrace modern technologies, disruption and innovation in order to facilitate improvements in how insurers do business. This is ever more critical now, as consumers grow to expect the same type of customized, yet streamlined services from their insurers that their retail establishments offer them. In short, insurers have their share of challenges ahead when it comes to putting the customer first (rather than the product), yet some are understandably hesitant to overhaul their systems in order to adopt an insurtech mindset and culture.