The beginning of 2017 marked 10 years since the launch of the iPhone. During that time, thanks to the proliferation and growing power of smartphones and tablets, ‘mobile first’ has become a rallying cry for all businesses as they cultivate online relationships and respond to changes in consumer behaviour. Insurance is no exception.
With fewer and fewer of us doing business face-to-face or over the phone, there is less need for physical offices and employees. Instead insurers are focusing on web-based channels, which today must include a clear strategy for mobile devices.
Be there, be useful, be quick
Mobile technology is changing consumer behaviour and expectations in ways that no business can afford to ignore. We live our lives online and on the move, and according to Google, our days are punctuated by ‘micro-moments’ when we expect suppliers to ‘be there (on demand), be useful (relevant to my needs), and be quick’ (respond swiftly to those needs). Retail and travel were the first to act, but financial services are catching up, with banking and insurance targeting the mobile market through digital wallets, apps and other innovative tools that connect instantly and directly with customers.
Getting smart with insurance
Smartphones are the fastest-selling mass-market device in history. More than 50 per cent of the population owns one, and that’s set to rise to 75 per cent by 2020. Smartphones are helping to organise and control all aspects of our everyday lives, including essentials such as banking and insurance.
Using app technology, insurers can easily connect with their tech-savvy customers and provide on-demand usage-based cover for a wide variety of things. This is the realm of micro-insurance, where small and rapidly underwritten cover is bought for a specific risk for short periods. Apps enable users to buy, renew or upgrade policies of all types with the least amount of friction.
Big data, analytics and mobile are converging and insurance companies that concentrate on blending big data with mobile devices will build a more informed picture of insurance risks and improve customer engagement.
The future in our hands
The unprecedented access and availability provided by smartphones and other mobile devices means that insurers must make mobile a key part of their technology plans. There is no doubt that being connected is essential for most of us. Which is why insurance will increasingly be bought and sold on hand held devices, and why insurers will need technology partners to help create digital services.