What we have learned since 2016
Gustavo Antongiovanni, President of Insurance Consulting Group SpA, reflects on the hot topics of 2016 and tries to imagine what challenges Insurance will have to face in 2017. Emotional selling, digitalization and artificial intelligence, the keywords.
Trends at the end of the year
2016 closed with the awareness that there are two drivers capable of impacting the evolution of the insurance market in the near future:
- a customer-centric approach that focuses on emotional sales mechanisms
- a digitization that from 2007 to today has registered a + 400% in the over 50 range
Companies and customers still seem to want physical networks, contact with the agent, the security of a branch they can turn to. Provided, however, that these relationships evolve and adapt to an integrated strategy: on the one hand the desire to be supported by a professional, on the other the possibility to manage independently and “have under control” at all times their insurance position and the related expense.
This is one of the reasons why we are witnessing a strong shift towards a more advanced customer service component, once again through the optimization of the organizational models of the companies and the settlement chain, but above all by giving importance to the various technological declinations. they are linked to information systems, the web, the world of apps or the internet of things (black box, home box, wearable and fitness device,…).
This evolutionary trend is joined by the need to innovate traditional pricing models.
What awaits us
In the coming months it will be a priority to work on tools for collecting and analyzing customer information and above all on the ability to use them to define “target markets” that translate into technical-managerial models and effective technical-commercial policies. The data provided by connected devices, smart ecosystems and wearables will be the basis of the new sales and pricing strategies, finally making it possible to have profiling in line with the customer’s needs.
More and more transversal data and information will have to be used and pertinent to different business areas: let’s think for example of the potential of a not far integration of data between bank and insurance. The information available in the company will then be joined by those accessible from external sources: social networks, devices, applications.
It will become increasingly important to have application solutions capable of collecting and managing large volumes of data in real time, having as its ultimate goal the correct profiling of the customer in the offer.
The first intelligent underwriting platform
With this in mind, in March 2016, after three years of research and development in the Livorno laboratories, ICG presented INEXT®, the first underwriting platform on the Italian market capable of analyzing the needs of Customers and Prospects in real time. A modular, multi-channel, multi-branch, multi-institution and multi-company digital platform.
A single Front End through which to complete a single subscription to cover all aspects of life: in fact, the system simultaneously generates n policies in compliance with sector regulations.
But what makes it absolutely “unique” at European level is the use of Artificial Intelligence which manifests itself as a virtual assistant capable of communicating with the Customer thanks to an innovative conversational interface.
Once the basic information has been acquired from the back office, INEXT® converses with the Customer through a quick verbal exchange, asking him a few simple questions. Thanks to the synergy between Natural Language Processing and Artificial Intelligence, the interaction is simple and personal.
The intelligent underwriting platformLearn more
New communication models
As innovation players in the insurance field, we have realized that the time is ripe both from a technological point of view and from the expectations and wishes of users: today, the probability of being in dialogue with a machine is quite high.
If the interaction is efficient, intelligent and natural, it can only represent a big point in favor of customer experiences, streamlining the operations of issuing policies both from the web (self-insurance) and through traditional distribution channels (agencies, brokers, branches, …).
We are convinced that the insurance industry should abandon the communication models based on products and focus on tools capable of simulating the real needs of the customer, also bringing out the latent needs, creating a personalized offer focused on their habits and life plans and disengaging from a vision that is still too tied to the obligation of law.
It is not just a matter of personalizing the offer to the fullest, but also of giving new impetus to communication and commercial promotion.
The mobile sector
Another major issue on which the companies must continue to focus for 2017 is mobile technology, in order to increase the frequency of interactions with the customer: the insurance sector is years behind other sectors.
The most recent estimates reveal that every day 20 million Italians use their smartphones to surf the net, about 45.8% of the national population. Mobile web traffic has surpassed that of traditional devices such as PCs and notebooks. An event foreseen for some time, which has proved to be an enormous opportunity for development for the Insurance Companies that have been able to adapt in real time to the new habits of their customers.
APP and CHATBOT
In May 2016 we brought to the market the 2.0 version of A-BOT, APP capable of activating a direct dialogue with Customers and Prospects, going beyond the traditional interactions related to cases of claim and / or renewal, building a positive and trust that it also supports and facilitates the distribution network.
And when we talk about dialogue, we refer again to an interface enriched with voice technology, as for INEXT®.
Did we have a car accident? Just tell A-BOT® and she will call the tow truck for us, notify our family members and our agent, and activate the report of the accident. I will have to limit myself only to answering a few simple questions and taking pictures of what happened, in front of any doubts she will be able to give me the right answer. Simple, right?
Through A-BOT® we will not only be able to check your insurance coverage, but also receive suggestions on insurance coverage in real time based on the user’s location (at the airport you can suggest a baggage or travel policy) or on the basis of natural events or forecasts of the same.
On the front of natural events, such as floods, earthquakes and hail, we have worked hard to provide the APP of a notification center connected with the most important Italian risk centers, to provide real-time alerts, accompanied if necessary by advice on the measures of safety and on the behaviors to adopt to reduce the effects of the event.
The insurance world will have to get used to being no longer just a risk manager, but above all a provider of services that guarantee the customer real help both in emergencies and in everyday life.
The challenges are many and there is still a long way to go, but 2016 was a turning point for insurance companies and 2017 will tell who, in the sector, has been able to make the right choices to keep up.
The virtual assistant at your voiceLearn more