Innovative IT insurance services in the conservative industry?
While insurance is not known as a highly innovative or exciting industry, the new technology has created a platform for a number of exciting insurance information technology (IT) services for both consumers and insurance providers. Here we provide an overview of the top 5 innovative IT insurance services.
# 1: Pay as you drive
Pay-As-You-Drive insurance calculates premiums according to a person’s driving profile, rewards safe driving while tracking and increases premiums on risky driving styles. Drivers who are constantly speeding, braking suddenly or driving in bad weather conditions (e.g. snow, rain) seem to be paying a higher premium than they are for following the rules of the road. The “black box” device installed in the car tracks the main parameters of travel and transfers data to the insurance company, which then regulates the premium rate.
Some insurers already offer simplified versions of Pay-As-You-Drive solutions:
- Allianz Lloyd Adriatico
Companies like Accenture do intensive research on this topic to be able to offer new solutions.
# 2: Social Benchmarking
Online insurance quote platforms, such as Kinetics, provide access to all a limited number of insurance providers, allowing customers to analyze only a subset of prices, based on the insurance provider’s data.
Social benchmarking of insurance premiums offers independent, consumer-generated data across all insurance providers. As customers share information about their insurance costs, they can access the collective experience of other customers, identify whether they pay more and who offers the best prices for colleagues with similar insurance profiles.
An example of such a service is the InsurEye Peer Comparison Tool, which covers cost information not only for online insurance products (20% -30% of the total market), but also for insurance offered directly by insurers, brokers and agents.
# 3: Online Policy Management
Online banking has become commonplace, but online insurance management? Personal banking finance management tools and other useful online IT services are available to customers for free. Finally, the insurance industry has begun to close the gap. Many insurance providers now offer online and mobile tools to help customers manage their policies and provide customer support. An example is TD Insurance, which offers an online service that allows customers to perform many tasks on their own, eliminating the need to call the service line. Examples of such functions are:
- Modify contact information
- Change car policy
- Edit Home Policy
- Edit payment plan
- File a claim
A number of insurance providers in both Canada and the United States offer such tools to their customers such as TD Insurance, Nationwide, USAA and more.
# 4: Mobile device claims
Collisions do not occur when you are sitting at home in front of a computer. Instead, many insurance companies have developed solutions to help customers cope with their collision and claim situations on their mobile devices. A typical example of a mobile app offers customers a much simpler functionality to reduce headaches in the event of an accident. The set of specific features for such an IT solution includes:
- List of tips in case of an accident
- Capture all necessary accident information (including photos)
- Find / order towing service
- Find a repair shop
- Start the claim process
- Check the status of the claim
- Find an insurance agent
Such apps are usually free and users can start using them directly after downloading from the App Store. The ability to photograph an accident is especially useful for documenting what happened and estimating the level of potential damage.
# 5: Distance decision
If you’ve ever had a road accident, you know exactly the range of emotions you experience: fear for your own health and those sitting in the car, worries about the financial impact on future insurance premiums, not sure what to do and what to order, deal with the police , Towing services, other car driver etc.
Some companies, e.g. RBC Insurance has so-called road angels – insurance specialists who physically arrive at the scene of an accident to support the customer.
Instead of sending an agent to a scene, IT insurance services could potentially provide long-distance assistance via video. Modern smartphones are capable of transmitting two-way video, which makes it possible to show the insurance expert what has happened and at the same time make the customer feel more secure.
Video conferencing providers like Skype already offer this technology functionality, and Apple has FaceTime, a new video chat for its iPhone users. It is probably only a matter of time before this technology results in a mature IT insurance service.