Does digital assistance make insurance relevant beyond loss coverage?
By Adrian Zanetti
In an era of digitisation and disruption, one aspect where most insurers come up short is providing real value beyond the insurance policy.
Traditionally, insurers and brokers have (and continue to) only really engage with policyholders when it comes to policy renewals, claims and premium increases. Of course, leaders in insurance have raised the game by offering incentivised programmes that reward policyholders for driving well and not claiming. Others have supplemented customer service by developing platforms that enable policyholders to manage profiles, submit claims, get quotes online, and assess and update their policies. Some have gone as far as rewarding policyholders with cash back, and of course there is the basic hygiene factors to all policies that cover road and home assistance.
This is all great, but in a world where individual customisation and consumers want to be treated as individuals, with highly personal and customised content, insurers need to take value-added services to the next level if they want to future-proof their businesses. With lockdown restrictions seemingly here to stay, consumers are weighing up their options and fixed insurance policies are high on the ‘things-I-can-do-without-right-now lists, especially if they are spending more time at home and travelling less. If an insurance policy no longer aligns to one’s lifestyle, what is the point of paying a monthly premium for it?
Innovations and disruptions like flexible, on-demand insurance that can be switched on and off with the swipe of a smartphone, are changing the way we think about and use insurance. But as efficient as these customisable insurance solutions may be, they leave much to be desired in terms of tethering the disconnect between insurer and policyholder. The question begs, what if an insurance provider could fully immerse itself in a policyholder’s everyday life by providing them with more than just an insurance product?
What if a policyholder who is in the market for a new vehicle, could reach out to an on-demand broker or insurer in an app to assist them in finding the right car at the right price? Or if a policyholder is prompted in-app by a broker in their pocket to get their gutters cleaned before the rainy season approaches, with the option of getting a service provider to get it done for them?
A digital assistant platform that uses AI and real humans can be used as a tool to connect a policyholder’s world. Insurers can connect insurable assets to policyholders and their insurance policies and engage them on policy-related services when and where they need it. For the policyholder, being able to rely on their insurer for around-the-clock advice and assistance, would mean less hassle to get prerequisites sorted and their stuff covered. With Hey Jude, policyholders can be assisted with claims by helping them source replacements at the best price, saving them valuable time and money. Policyholders can be connected to brokers 24/7 and can enjoy the benefits of thousands of suppliers and service providers, even when not claiming. Most importantly, Hey Jude helps policyholders delegate the less valuable tasks in their lives so that they have more time to focus on the important things. For the insurer, adding value to the lives of policyholders beyond the policy not only makes the process of adding insurable assets to policies more efficient, but it also makes the business relevant beyond product or service.
Signing up for a product poorly understood and perceived as a grudge purchase by the layman during a complicated and challenging time, might seem inconceivable for most consumers. If innovations like on-demand insurance can give consumers the power to choose cover when and as they need it, then aligning lifestyles to cover and augmenting that with on-demand assistance could be the answer to insurance becoming essential, if not indispensable to consumers.
Adrian Zanetti is the General Manager at Hey Jude.