(Image credit: Foto-RaBe.)
Digital transformation is more than digitization. Digital transformation redefines how companies interact with customers as well as themselves. For the insurance industry, it is an especially fraught concept, as customers are often dealing with the loss of loved ones, the loss of personal property and other critical, life-changing events.
In a recent global insurance industry survey, C-level executives were asked what they thought was the new basis of competition. Their response, across geographies, varied lines of business and functional areas, was the same: The customer experience was most important—more important than product features and one that is driven by simplicity.
By “simple,” we mean: How do we make the quoting process more efficient, ask fewer questions? How do we make the issuance of the policy document easier? How do we make the policy documents simpler and let the customers know that they are covered?
Consumers today are less interested in complex ways of customizing their coverages and more interested in fast issuance. In effect, what they want is what they have always wanted: a quick and easy way to get themselves and their loved ones insured.
Defining Simple—and the Process to Get There
Simple requires a) defining what simple means to you and b) a three-step organizational process, or roadmap. Because for issuers transforming to a straight-through processing environment, simple, of course, is not simple. Simple is an organizational challenge that can be broken down to:
- Define the Problem
- Build the Right Team
- Evolve to Straight-Through Processing
- Mandate Microservices
In this blog, we’ll look solely at defining simple—since it is so very critical. In a later piece, we’ll spell out how best to tackle the road map.
Simple is both the customer experience and the process that drives us forward. Rather than an end-state, it should be viewed as a constantly evolving process.
To get a better idea of what the industry working toward, there are four areas where simple makes a difference:
Fewer Questions: The trend among issuers is who can ask the fewest number of questions before providing customers with a valid quote. In the life insurance business, simple means reducing the number of blood tests and medical questionnaires. In property and casualty, it is about saying, “If you give me your address, I know who lives there. I know which cars are there. How can I get you covered?”
Fewer Product Options: Customers input minimal data, then want to know in real-time if they are covered.
Instant Buying Process: Customers go directly to bound policy, without additional submissions. Done right, the process should be akin to buying a book online or booking a flight.
Simple Policy Document: Finally, simple extends to the policy document. For example, an insurance carrier CEO challenges his team to write a business insurance policy in three pages. While we realize such minimalism might not be feasible for more complex coverages, the challenge is nonetheless applicable to all issuers. Simple drives the organization toward innovation. The end-result is a policy statement that any customer can understand.
Spend some time with your transformation team and management determining how these four areas best apply to your organization. Once you’ve completed that exercise, you’ll know what simple means to you. You’ll then be ready to tackle the process steps we’ll outline in the next article.