There’s no doubt insurance is unlike any other business that operates in our universe,
but as we’ve learned that doesn’t mean there aren’t certain aspects of what insurers
do—and need to do—that can’t be found in what other industries are doing.
There are at least three major areas that others do better than insurers—customer service, social media, and data analytics—and each of these, when done correctly, can provide
tremendous returns for carriers.
All three are connected in some way, which is one way of saying if your company is not
connecting the dots you are probably not doing any of them correctly.
Insurance customers no longer wait for a bad claims experience or an increase in
premium to go looking elsewhere for coverage. Insurers realize this, but the answer to
retention is not an easy one.
Customers want to do business the way they want to do business, not the way their
carrier wants to operate. If carriers are inflexible, particularly in regard to areas such as
mobile computing, they will not only lose customers, they will lose, or fail to attract, young
customers who will be paying premiums for decades.
A Pew Research Center report in 2013 showed smartphone usage had grown by 20
percent in the two previous years to the point where nearly 60 percent of cellphone users
now have smartphones. What is even more intriguing is the demographics of smartphone
users are not tied solely to income, education, or geography.
There is continuous debate about which area of social media is more important for
businesses and the fact we are still discussing this points to one conclusion: There is
no single tool that fills all the needs, so you better be versatile when you decide to post
something on Facebook, give a blast on Twitter, connect via LinkedIn or even email a
On the third point, simply take a look around and think about the changing aspect
of retail business over the last 25 years. Some of the most successful businesses in this
country—at least at a certain point in time—have completely disappeared from the
landscape because they failed to recognize and anticipate the changes that were going
on around them.
Bookstores and video stores may not have much to do with insurance, but that doesn’t
mean the painful lessons they learned too late can’t be used as a cautionary tale for a tradi-tion-minded industry such as insurance. We all see what telematics is doing to a staple of
the property & casualty world, personal auto. Changes won’t stop soon.
Is it such a leap to believe that other lines of business will undergo a revolution in the
next five or 10 years through the increased use of knowledge—not just information—we
have gained about what consumers want and how they want to buy a product? It may involve a leap of faith right now, but better that than to jump off the ledge of a building while
wondering what happened to your business. ITA
Robert Regis Hyle
Three Areas for Carriers to
Connect to the Future
Editor in Chief
Robert Regis Hyle
Michael P. Voelker
Jason T. Williams
ITA Advisory Board
Tricia S. Blair
Lincoln Financial Group
Allstate Ivantage Select
Millers Mutual Insurance
Judith L. Haddad
Patriot Insurance Group
Scott A. McCrae
Fireman’s Fund Insurance
Glatfelter Insurance Group
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