There’s Something Happening Here

More than 50 percent of the North American insurers are making major enhancements to existing mobile apps or building new mobile apps in 2017.

(Image credit: Adobe Stock.)

How many times did you check your phone today? According to the Android app Locket, the average person checks their phone 110 times a day. So it’s not surprising that building mobile apps continues to be a high priority for insurers. In fact, more than 50 percent of the North American insurers are making major enhancements to existing mobile apps or building new mobile apps in 2017.

This reflects a shift we’re seeing to a mobile first experience—designing the customer experience for the smallest screen—the smart phone—and progressively adding functionality as the screen gets bigger. (The reverse approach is starting with the richest experience and taking away functionality as the screen gets smaller).

There is lots of information and training available (even certification programs) about how to design screens and assure the content works in a mobile first experience. But where carriers continue to fall short is the focus on digital engagement.

Digital engagement certainly requires technology to support it—but is not technology. It’s designing the experience to fit into the broader life of your customer and take advantage of human behaviors to create succinct and engaging online and offline experiences. This requires many kinds of technologies to deliver—mobile, cloud, data and analytics, e-signature, chatbots, advice engines, esignature, social integration,  integrations to back end systems—core and non-core—to name a few.

If you want to see some interesting examples go take a look at Lemonade who has embedded behavioral science into their application to reduce fraud and drive conversion while using data and analytics to underlie the processes allowing straight through processing. Or take a look at FIGO who has focused on creating digital engagement by understanding where insurance fits in the life of their customer.

How do you get started? We recommend four areas to look at:

Stakeholder needs assessment

  • Who is included in your digital ecosystem?
  • What specific needs define the set of relevant customer experiences?
  • What unmet needs do they each have?
  • How does digital fit in the potential solution set?
  • How will the solution evolve over time?

Emerging and enabling technology

  • What emerging technologies could you leverage within its ecosystem today or tomorrow?
  • How do these technologies add value?
  • What assets or capabilities are required to use them and are they already resident?
  • How could the new business models being driven by these technologies fit into overall operating model?

Best practices from inside insurance

  • Which players in the insurance ecosystem are already using new technologies to better connect with customers or other stakeholders?
  • How have they changed their organizations to better adapt to new challenges in digital spaces?
  • How will digital transformations in other spaces affect your stakeholders?
  • Which representative firms could you emulate?

Best practices from outside insurance

  • How have digital transformations been realized in other industries?
  • What has distinguished winners from losers?
  • How will digital transformations outside of insurance affect your ecosystem?
  • What lessons can you learn from these transformations?

Want to talk more about this? I’m happy to chat.


Karlyn Carnahan // Karlyn Carnahan is Head of The Americas for Celent’s Property Casualty insurance practice, focused on  underwriting, claims, distribution management, and insurance strategy.  She is a widely recognized expert on these topics who has been extensively published in a broad range of industry media and general business media. Carnahan’s consulting experience includes numerous systems selection projects across policy admin, billing, claims, loss control, CRM, and other core systems.  She has also completed multiple IT organizational assessments, primary market research of insurance agents for carriers, marketing and product roadmap strategies for multiple software vendors and other strategic projects for carriers. She joined Celent from Novarica where as a principal she published over 40 reports on emerging issues, industry trends, and technology solutions. Prior to that she had an extensive career in the insurance industry, including senior roles at Fireman's Fund, InsWeb and Sun Microsystems.

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