Mobile Insurance Apps: 5 Keys to a Great Customer Experience

With mobile rapidly becoming the most popular channel for insureds to select coverage, obtain discounts, process claims, and pay bills t is more important than ever for all key stakeholders to understand their users and speak the same language of customer experience design.

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Low-code/no-code platforms for mobile insurance application development have exploded in the last year, enabling non-developers to accelerate the rollout of digital services at a lower cost. While the potential for mobile technology is enormous, understanding customer experience is crucial.

The insurance storefront of today is digital, with mobile rapidly becoming the most popular channel for insureds to select coverage, obtain discounts, process claims, and pay bills. It is more important than ever for all key stakeholders—both technical and non-technical—to understand their users and speak the same language of customer experience design.

  1. Don’t Make Insureds Think: Simplify

First, understand the strengths and limitations of mobile apps. Don’t try to mimic the desktop experience on mobile.

Mobile insurance apps should be designed to emphasize quick actions and shortcuts, informed by analytics and personalization. While the needs of insureds are varied, only a handful of actions will be valuable for most users. It’s the familiar 80/20 rule. By focusing on their vital needs, insurers can help their customers get results faster and reduce cognitive overload from too many options.

  1. Emphasize Visual Feedback

People recognize patterns. When users can identify consistent, repeating patterns, they build confidence in the interface and are intrinsically motivated to keep using it. Mobile insurance applications can support this by offering reactive functionality to insureds. This can include success messages or icons (e.g., “Your claim has been submitted!”), status bars for onboarding and claims, contrasting colors on clickable objects, and design components that mimic the behavior of physical objects, such as seams and shadows to show depth, card-shaped components, and swiping abilities.

Predictability and visual feedback are key.

  1. Reward Users to Make It Sticky

The most crucial user experience moment on mobile is when a customer opens their insurance app for the first time. According to recent data, 25 percent of mobile apps are used only once!

Insurers should seize this moment by greeting new users with a welcome screen that articulates the benefits of using the app. These could include the opportunity to receive discounts from health or driving scores or the ability to submit a claim in five clicks or fewer. Never assume the benefits are obvious.

Making a mobile insurance app “sticky” goes beyond the initial visit. Design it so that benefits accrue as users engage with it more. Stickiness is achieved by curating triggers and rewards.

Wearables and telematics provide an opportunity for users to earn points that lower their premium through “gamification.” While a discounted premium is an immediate reward, gamification also motivates users by invoking their desire for mastery by reaching a certain score, for example. This is known as intrinsic motivation and is considered the crowning achievement of user experience design.

Little rewards keep ‘em coming back! And customers who do are very loyal.

  1. Personalize

Netflix, Amazon, and Facebook have set new standards for personalization that users expect on their mobile devices. Mobile insurance apps should follow their lead. Apps should dynamically adapt to a changing user history, experience, and demographics. AI can be leveraged to recommend actions based on historical user activity and demographic data. Algorithms can generate custom-timed push notifications so users are reached at the right moment based on usage patterns—not when they least wish to be interrupted.

Insurance apps should also be mindful of different levels of experience among users. Brand-new users expect to learn basic functions via simple, three- to four-step walkthroughs, while seasoned users expect shortcuts, feature updates, and advanced tips.

Users expect to be remembered. If an insured is in the middle of submitting a claim on desktop, they expect to have that claim easily accessible in draft form and ready to be completed on mobile, and vice versa. Amazon never forgets, so neither should insurers!

  1. Make it Accessible to All

Accessibility considerations provide an important baseline for usability across all users with varying levels of experience. Appropriate button sizes, contrasting elements, and correct heading structure are some examples of accessible design that make a mobile app more intuitive for all users, not just those with disabilities. Mobile insurance apps should comply with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines at a minimum. In many jurisdictions, this is required by law.

Now’s the Time

The average insurance customer spends three and a half hours on mobile devices per day. In a mobile-first world, insurers are investing heavily in responsive design and native apps to improve connectivity with customers. Crafting a compelling customer experience design is crucial.

Achieving CX mastery begins with understanding users’ extrinsic motivations, cultivating intrinsic motivation, simplifying actions, and personalizing experiences for different users. Every insurance leader that relies on mobile customers for revenue (that’s everyone!) should understand basic CX principles to achieve and maintain a competitive edge.

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Stephen Boucher // Stephen Boucher is an account executive at Global IQX, a provider of AI-driven sales and underwriting solutions for the group insurance industry in the United States and Canada. He writes about emerging technologies, digital transformation and artificial intelligence, offering strategic insights about a rapidly evolving insurance landscape.  He can be reached at [email protected].  

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