You changed and the insurers already know it: see how they prepare for a "different" post-pandemic client
Without a doubt, the coronavirus and the local crisis pose enormous challenges for the insurance industry, ranging from addressing the economic situation of the segment to doubts related to coverage and care in the event of a claim, with the difficulties of social isolation. .
In this framework, this activity is very attentive to the changes that are taking place in order to face the post-pandemic. At the beginning of the year, the projections showed a turnover of close to $ 650,000 million by 2020. The situation, as expected, abruptly modified the plans.
The companies were forced to accelerate their digitization processes and, for the future, they have focused on technological innovation to capture a new customer profile.
The new look
From the Asociación Argentina Productores Asesores de Seguros (AAPAS) point out that, during the isolation, the policies fell 15% and the claims 70% in the metropolitan area.
In this context, insurers are racing against the clock. "The main challenge is to redefine business models. We must be more efficient and perfect processes to meet other types of demand," says Federico Bacci, Vice President of Channels at SURA Argentina in dialogue with iProUP.
The executive assures that the pandemic modified the business ecosystem: "Insurers have had to adapt our operations to a 100% digital modality to continue operating."
"The sector, known for its traditionalism, needed to embark on a digital transformation. The global pandemic accelerated the process, forcing companies to adopt new tools, models, platforms and to open channels that were not contemplated," he told iProUP Vanesa Rocca, General Manager of San Cristóbal Seguros, historical firms in the market.
The executive clarifies that "the digitalization strategies and decisions that have been carried out served to better navigate the situation." After all, the much-mentioned "digital transformation" began to reap its rewards.
One of the keys to this new strategy was the acceleration in the development of the online channel of the Insurance Advisory Producers (PAS). The creation and management of free websites for producers, which allows them to channel their sales directly from there and build their own brand, became more relevant. 350 new users were added to the 500 that already existed.
"Digitization was dramatically accelerated because companies had to move faster in lagging processes. Thus, a task that would have taken months or years was completed in a few weeks," says iProUP Gastón Maine, Innovation Manager of Grupo Prof. The executive observes a marked increase in payments by digital means.
At ATM Seguros, Eugenio Muerza, commercial manager of the firm that traditionally offered motorcycle insurance and is landing in other coverages, stresses that the company's operations have moved to the web.
Thus, the firm took advantage of the potential of the online quote and policy issuer. However, he warns that the claims processes still have a lot of paper use load linked to the documentation of unit discharges and the original forms that are required, with the aggravation that the records remained closed.
Specialists warn that those who deeply understand the changes to come will have a broad advantage over those who do not. This will be key for insurers to maintain their operation and guarantee the continuity of their processes once the social isolation passes and the activity resumes completely.
"We are facing a turning point in society as we know it. Events not only challenge us in terms of consumption, but also how we live, care for our health or conceive work," says Rocca looking ahead.
He assures that in a scenario like the current one, any strategy and estimation made beforehand is reconfigured. "These contexts force companies to rethink, adapt, seek new opportunities and overcome challenges. In our case, that path began and we traveled along with producers and customers," says the representative of San Cristóbal.
For Maine, the post-pandemic will open up possibilities to expand to new insurable risks and insurance will emerge that does not exist today. "Companies that offer products on demand, in which the cost is associated with the actual use of the insured property, will gain market. We will begin to see coverage more linked to household appliances," predicts Maine.
Traditional insurers will seek to adopt an increasingly "insurtech" profile, similar to how banks modernize by keeping an eye on what they do in this area. Products "made to measure" will gain space in this new stage that is coming. "Anyone who is not able to make life easier for a customer through technology will face serious problems," he warns.
For this reason, part of the sector has already begun to incorporate Business Intelligence, Data Mining, service integration and documentation digitization tools, among others. In other words, the look is 100% technological.
That said, for Muerza, "when we return to the new normality, we must target other types of needs, which are demanded by a market in which two variables will prevail: the trajectory and pricing."
The PAS and a new insured
From the SURA Trends Observatory, they indicate that consumer needs are increasingly related to speed and omnichannel and that it is there that must be targeted. For this reason, intensive work is being done on the availability of interconnected channels that improve the customer experience.
What is omnichannel? It is the integration of all the existing channels of the company, so that a client who initiated a communication (or a purchase process) by one of them can continue it in another.
The SURA executive adds that "Insurance Advisory Producers have a fundamental role in the value proposition", since they are the ones who are in daily contact with clients. For this reason, the company is equipping them with "digital" capabilities so that they can do their jobs better.
"We are facing a turning point in society. Customers are increasingly demanding and have more information and access to online tools that make it possible to shorten times and find customized products, which forces us to innovate and generate better services "says Rocca.
According to his vision, the ability to adapt will be key to "understand, accompany, anticipate changes and act with agility and speed."
Through technological tools that facilitate management and communication, San Cristóbal has enabled clients and third parties to continue with the procedures from an app, third-party portal or self-management site, passing the entire operation to digital mode.
A similar view reflects ATM, which has developed a tool that processes the issuance of an insurance policy and the delivery of documentation to the customer in less than 10 minutes only through a cell phone.
For his part, Muerza assures that "advisory producers who have incorporated the value of technology face the challenge of developing their businesses in collaboration with insurers, to achieve low-cost and high-productivity tools."
Maine contributes that "the digital reconversion made the public begin to use the web listing tools, the listing chatbot by WhatsApp and the online reporting channel, as well as the prior expert service for new customers to be in contact with the company".
He highlights that all these tools are very useful in this time of social isolation, however, he considers that the producer has a foot in technology and the real battlefield. "It acts as a link and that is why we are committed to making innovation a tool that helps you more and more in your work," he concludes.