(Image source: PURE Insurance.)
Delivering a seamless insurance experience to its members is at the core of everything PURE Insurance (White Plains, N.Y.) does, according to Matthew Schreibeis, who recently spoke with Insurance Innovation Reporter about the launch of the company’s new mobile app. The fundamental driver of the app’s development was simply that PURE saw that mobile was its members’ platform of choice, and that a mobile app would provide them with a level of convenience and functionality greater than they could enjoy on a browser. The app enables PURE members to submit claims easier than before, with the ability to upload photos of damage directly from the phone in use. Policyholders submitting claims can also reach Member Advocates easily, either directly by voice or through email. The app also provides easy access to auto coverage identification. IIR spoke with Schreibeis about the app’s origins and development, as well as how it serves as a vehicle for the insurer’s PURE360 and PURE Home Spotlight tools.
Insurance Innovation Reporter: How does the PURE Insurance Mobile App provide a better customer experience for your policyholders?
Matthew Schreibeis, SVP, Head of Member Experience, PURE Insurance: The PURE Insurance Mobile App allows members to self-serve on basic functions like accessing policies and auto insurance ID cards, paying bills and submitting and tracking claims while also giving them access to member exclusive tools and benefits that may go further to empower and enlighten sophisticated insurance consumers than any other technology on the market.
For instance, in the Member Privileges section of the app, members can activate PURE Home Spotlight, a data-driven report that shares potential risks of a home prior to purchasing it. Additionally, this section includes the PURE Advice Dashboard, a data-driven tool that takes into account the insurance policies that a member has and evaluates any further potential policies that may provide more secure coverage or better value for the member.
The app also includes access to a PURE360 Risk Management Consultation, a service that involves an experienced risk manager visiting the home of a PURE member to assess risks and streamline potential future claims. With the app, members can have a digitized experience using pictures and AI to keep track of potential risks without requiring frequent home visits from a risk manager.
IIR: How did the development of the app relate to these new tools—PURE360 and Home Spotlight?
MS: We are constantly looking to provide our membership with valuable insights that allow them to live their life with confidence. PURE360 and PURE Home Spotlight are just two examples of how we go beyond delivering the typical insurance interactions and provide added value to members outside of their policies.
The app lets members access these insights on the go—with Home Spotlight, for instance, a member can run a report on a property while actually at an Open House, allowing them to make timely, well-informed decisions.
IIR: Tell us a little about the timing of the PURE Home Spotlight and PURE360.
MS: With many of our PURE members active in real estate—one in six purchasing a new home in an average year—we were constantly seeing members buy a home and only then learn that there had been undisclosed prior damage or that their new home was all but uninsurable. That is why we created PURE Home Spotlight. The project had four primary phases that spanned eight months. First was the strategy Definition Phase during which we identified the member needs, desired content and the right partners to create the report over the course of two months. Second was the Design Phase, also lasting two months, where we built the easy-to-digest layout for the report and user interface for requesting the report on any home in the U.S. The third phase was the Technical Build, where we spent three months building API feeds and coding the requirements into our member facing platforms. The fourth and final phase was the Promotion Phase, where we educated our members and partners on the features of the report and how it would benefit them. It was finally launched in July of 2020.
For PURE360, the design and build phases were similar in process to the PURE Home Spotlight. However, the unique aspect of the PURE360 build was the ongoing, evolving advice that we built into the solution—we had to program very specific business rules that check against every home in our book, every night, to see which accounts qualify for different advice over time. For example, we know the odds of a water heater breaking down increase significantly after 8 years, so we programmed an alert to members at the right time that this presents an elevated risk to them. This required a much heavier lift from our data team to code all of the nuanced messages that we would like to deliver for a specific home. The tool formally launched in February of 2021 and has delivered thousands of custom recommendations to members on how to best protect their homes.
IIR: Let’s talk now about the development of the Mobile App.
MS: The development cycle followed a standard process of Strategy, Design, Development, Launch and spanned nearly a year.
The first phase was the Strategy Definition Phase during which we identified the scope of the project—e.g., feature parity with the desktop member portal, additional auto ID card enhancements, compatibility for both iOS and Android devices—resources, and timelines.
The second phase was the Design Phase during which we partnered with an outside design firm to develop the user interface. We drew inspiration from other high-end platforms that our membership would typically interact with and user-tested multiple designs to ensure members could navigate the platform easily and intuitively for their core insurance needs.
The third phase was the Development Phase, during which we partnered with an outside development firm to code the full app. One strategic decision we made early on was to build the platform on Flutter [Pleasanton, Calif.]. The single code base allowed for better speed to market and had very limited restrictions on the design or functionality we intended to build—plus we believe the Flutter code base will continue to increase in popularity and will be an easy code base to develop on for years to come.
The final phase was Launch, which was done in two parts. First was a small Beta testing launch with 30 users to gain quick feedback and make some minor fixes to the app. Then we launched broadly to the membership with access to everyone via the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
IIR: How does PURE plan to distribute the app? What are your expectations for member adoption?
MS: There were three guiding principles that we set for the promotion of the app:
- Focus on personalized touchpoints (vs. a mass communications campaign), to ensure members download and use the app. We focused on meeting our members with a specific message that matches their need-state instead of using broader reaching, but less specific promotional campaigns.
- Frame messaging around timely benefits of digital. The messaging, whether verbal or written, must communicate a benefit to the member relevant to that point in time. The messages should focus on real time, no friction service or new value added services beyond expectations.
- Tailor our approach for two segments (New and Existing members). We have an important opportunity with new members to provide them with a series of welcome communications that will help optimize their PURE experience. The app is paramount in that optimization.
Given the above principles, we expect adoption to be a steady build (not a big bang at once). We have found this to be very successful to date, with thousands of members already downloading and logging into the app in the less than two months that it has been available.
It’s very early in the results, but we expect PURE will be a digital-first experience for the majority of members in under three years and the mobile app will be the most frequent channel for this engagement.
IIR: What are your overall goals for the mobile app and what it means for PURE’s evolution as a customer-focused insurer
MS: Our primary goal is to create efficient and valuable experiences for our membership, adapting to meet their changing needs along the way. Membership feedback plays a major role in our doing so and contributed to the launch of our mobile app. We believe that PURE’s mobile app will be a pinnacle touchpoint with the member, adding efficiency for insurance interactions, increasing accessibility on the go, and creating the opportunity to provide additional value to our members.