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Editor’s note: This article is part one of a four-part series explores the changes coming to the product manufacturing process.
New and severe risks are evolving every day; the COVID-19 pandemic alone proved that beyond reproach. And other spaces, like risks in climate or cyber, are jostling for the top spot in the minds of insurers today as they plan ahead. In fact, cyber-crime costs the global economy $2.9 million every minute, and close to 60 percent of US businesses have had data compromised, a security breach or both. No wonder, then, that experts believe it to be an increasingly essential facet to the offering of any good broker.
With new risks arriving all the time, it is about time that the insurance product creation process was not only refreshed but elevated to new heights. As 2021, already a year of turbulence and change, draws to a close, forward-thinking insurers must avoid treading water if they want to succeed in today’s sink-or-swim market.
Closing in on customer experience
It goes without saying that insurance products and processes should be geared towards proving the best possible experience for those they serve: insurance customers. Consumers today have so much choice for even the most minor of experiences: instant entertainment downloads, endless information at their fingertips via online searches, and speedy food delivery, to name a few. However, when it comes to the insurance upon which customers rely in their time of need, many still must wait days or weeks to receive a quote.
As technology allows for more focused customization and personalization to specific customer needs, insurers should apply innovation in ways that refine the human element of their service. More agile, responsive systems mean that the back and front office of a company can operate in tandem to design and distribute the products that customers need, without long, aggravating wait times. The implication that speed is becoming a key element to good product manufacturing is not new, but it will only grow in importance as technology advances.
The faster, the better
Speed-to-market is an essential facet of the changes being made in companies today, as insurers recognize the need to move quickly. Technology is easing the burden on innovators, who no longer have to rely on slow and immovable processes on outdated systems, and so the product manufacturing process is easier to accelerate. Insurers can leverage cloud-based solutions to create niche products and subdivide lines to respond to different combinations of needs. But this progress, though useful, means little if insurers cannot overtake their competitors in the innovation process.
Designing, testing, and launching products must now occur in a matter of weeks or months, rather than years, if insurers intend to keep up with new areas of coverage. While SaaS technology allows businesses to convert more clients and generate new streams of revenue, the intuitive and iterative nature of the product lines, created via no-code platforms, is what will help insurers overcome the hurdle of speed.
It is good to be different
Importantly, these diversified products grow from a modernized approach to their creation. Traditionally, one insurance product would only differ to another due to small alterations to particular sections, or the refiling of certain aspects, in the contract. The base contract of the majority of products would be almost exactly the same. This method will slowly go out of date, as innovation in data and technology provides the option to create distinct products for separate market niches and needs. SaaS-based systems enable carriers to manage a wide variety of contracts and react to risks in real-time and in a customized manner.
Companies who think ahead and see the value in this kind of technology, will be best prepared to face up to the evolving risk landscape of the future. Those who remain trapped, relying on ISOs and older manufacturing methods, will simply not be able to keep up with change makers in the industry. The faster organizations embrace modern methods of product management and design, the faster they can bring these new lines to market, pleasing consumers and beating out competitors in one fell swoop.