The digitisation of the insurance industry is progressing at a blindingly fast pace. Even compared to other industries, this sector is in accelerating rapidly. According to an article by KPMG, this trend could be further heightened by insurers’ response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Regardless of the time or nature of a crisis, insurance is fundamentally about protection and safety. As such, it should come as no surprise that insurance companies have seen a massive increase in customer contact as a result of the coronavirus and the impact left by resulting lockdowns.
Insurance can, for example, protect against many of the worst financial outcomes of the pandemic in the form of travel, health, life or hospital indemnity insurance, or by offering business interruption or worker compensation policies.
This by no means is business as usual. Like all other industries, insurance companies have had to adapt to the new conditions created by the coronavirus, despite the spike in customer contact.
In addition to this, insurance under COVID-19 has also seen a sharp rise in the digitisation of the customer experience. KPMG says that the in-person channel has been removed; and as a result, here are several best practice principles that bring successful customer relationships. These include:
- Integrity – being seen do the right thing and acting in the best interests of the customers
- Resolution – finding solutions and responding to needs in a timely manner
- Expectations – setting, managing and meeting expectations
- Time and effort – make the customer experience as simple as possible
- Personalisation – avoid a one-size-fits-all approach and, instead, focus on the customer’s specific circumstances
- Empathy – act like, and show, that you care.
KPMG also made note of the increased and improved customer interaction between insurance companies and their clients under COVID-19. However, it adds that “some insurance products have begun to feel out of step with the reality confronting customers, and thus with their needs.”
As a result, KPMG advises that insurers should be looking into ways to rethink and innovate as they adjust and respond to the ‘new normal’ that is likely to exist in the post-COVID-19 era.
This could include new products that are specifically payable in the case of pandemics or epidemics, or an increase in the appetite for usage based insurance (UBI) models.