Insurance is a highly intricate business that involves multiple procedures to administer like existing policies, new policies, selling new business, renewing policies, processing claims, and addressing customer inquiries. Adding to this intricate business, there are now new challenges due to the COVID-19.
Many recent evaluations have declared that COVID-19 is a real game-changer for all businesses and the insurance industry is no exception. Therefore, even though the COVID-19 situation possessed a variety of challenges for insurers to face, insurance companies still rose up to those challenges.
This article will look into the five distinct categories that work as a framework for the insurers. These categories assist the insurers’ to focus on innovation in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 situation both in terms of digital strategy and speed.
Products and Services –
We looked into the COVID-19 related digital invention case studies from prominent, global insurance companies. From analyzing the data, we can see that more than 40% of digital inventions were a digital service or product – compared to about 25% of inventions by the same firms in previous years.
This is not surprising, as COVID-19 drove an immediate need for digital business channels, which forced many companies to speed up their digital strategies.
For example, Allstate in September 2020 advanced its touchless claims technology in response to the global pandemic. It included high-speed internet and satellite technology to its mobile claim centers, providing ground support so that the customers can file claims easily and quickly.
Allstate also started utilizing aerial images and other virtual means to gain access to damaged homes and photos/recordings for inspection of damage without the need for face-to-face contact. To complete its touch-free environment, customers can also receive a touchless digital payments option.
Customer Experience –
Due to the global pandemic, there was a drastic change in the mode of interaction between the insurer and the client with an obvious need for contactless, digital interaction.
55% of the digital invention we studied were related to the healthcare insurance industry – compared to about 15% from the years before the pandemic. Again it was expected, as because of the pandemic health of customers and their families is at top of mind.
For Example, Anthem quickly built a free Coronavirus Assessment on its mobile app in May 2020 when the seriousness of COVID-19 became clear. That test was to help customers evaluate their symptoms and their risk of COVID-19. Based on their result, Anthem would link customers with doctors or specialists via video calling or text. By doing all of this Anthem strengthened and deepened its customer relationship.
Organizational Invention DNA –
Interestingly enough, we also noticed that 40% of COVID-19 inventions were comprehended through partnerships and collaborations. As Speed and Accuracy is the crucial part to respond to the global pandemic, it is logical that insurers would team up with companies which have already offered digital services, rather than creating something from scratch. For Example, In August 2020, Lloyd’s of London collaborated with 10 insurtechs for its Lab innovation accelerator program. Their focus was to create new types of insurance related to the pandemic by analyzing the risks of COVID-19 and by helping customers adapt to remote working.