Capgemini and Efma recently released their World Insurance Report 2021, highlighting the implementation of emerging technologies including AI and VR to better engage customers. 

The report collated insights from 25 markets, and found that more than 60 per cent of executives surveyed have noticed an impact on acquisition efforts as a result of the pandemic. In order to respond to this, and improve both customer retention and acquisition, almost nine in ten (87 per cent) said they are looking to make investments in digital enhancements.

According to John Berry, CEO of Efma, “The global impact of all-at-once digital adoption has changed the way insurers need to operate to satisfy their customers. Digital investment in connected channels is a critical ingredient for insurers of the future to be successful.”

Despite the increase in technology uptake, only 32 per cent of insurance executives say that digital channels are effective sales agents due to their lack of personalisation. This lack of personalised advice means that agents and brokers are still key to insurance purchasing. In fact, 77 per cent of insurance executives name agents and brokers as their most prominent distribution channel.

According to Anirban Bose, CEO of Capgemni’s Financial Services and Group Executive Board Member, “Today’s customers expect interacting with their insurers to be easy, and providers need to ensure their channels enable a convenient and seamless customer experience.”

When it comes to convenience of experience, insurance customers cited ease and speed of access to information as the key drivers. In order to increase digital engagement strategies more than half of agents and brokers surveyed are looking to digital tools including screen-sharing and document-signing as part of their offering.

Digital illustrations and product comparison tools were also named as contributors to improved customer experience. Unfortunately though, less than two-thirds of executives surveyed actually provide agents and brokers with these tools.

According to Capgemini, “In the future, ‘Digi-intermediation’ — a process in which agents are digitally empowered, and virtual channels are humanised — will eliminate distribution gaps, enhance CX, and optimise delivered value.”

Agents and brokers can also use APIs and AI-based analytics to derive insights around customer preferences. The company claims that this 360-degree view will allow insurers to “reinvent their operating ecosystem” in order to both win and retain customers. 

“By investing in the right technologies, insurers can win and retain customers while empowering their agents and brokers to deepen relationships,” says Bose.

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