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We can no longer choose to ignore digitisation – here’s why

30 January 2021
3 minute read

1LifeDigitalisation is everywhere and we can no longer choose to ignore it. Today, we are seeing more customers embracing digitisation faster than ever, which requires less personal contact but still demands immediate feedback, enhanced product offerings and value.

Turn change into opportunity!
The year 2020 was an interesting period for the insurance industry, when it came to technology adoption. The year 2021 must be the year insurers turn change into opportunity – especially regarding digital platforms.

In 2021, the ‘one-size-fits-all’ mentality will not work. Insurers must offer personalised, relevant products and services with convenient underwriting processes, remote acceptance security and quick claims processing – in a way that makes sense to the customers life stage and budget.

Critical points of reference
So, what should insurers who want to succeed in a digitised environment examine as critical points of reference, for existing and potential customers?

1. Simplified digitised sales processes.
Put togethersimplified and convenient sales processes that speak to the Financial Needs Analysis (FNA) and outcome in real-time. Financial advisers will need to tap into digital solutions, providing simpler, convenient parameter-driven underwriting processes, which are all paperless and on a digital platform. Customers expect efficient service, with enhanced expertise and personalised value, that digital platforms and Artificial Intelligence (AI) can deliver.

2. Intelligent underwriting.
AI has transformed the traditional way underwriting. Intelligent underwriting, built within the policy engine, ensures that the insurance application process is convenient, and uniquely aligned to the needs of the client. This generates a premium suited to the client’s affordability and life stage, while providing real, personalised policies and financial protection. Automated underwriting systems must be invested in, to enable the more dynamic and efficient processes digitisation now demands.

3. Remote acceptance and self-servicing platforms.
The world has changed, and people often expect remote, time saving processes. So, offering real safety and security for clients signing-up a new policy, for example, in the comfort of their own home through a One-Time-Pin (OTP) verification, is the norm. Financial institutions have been doing this for years, and insurers must do the same. The personalised aspect can be kept, with financial advisers urged to make use of remote interaction processes to bring both technology and the human touch into collaboration for the best, most efficient outcome. Self-servicing platforms are also key for policyholders, not only to update their own details and existing products quickly and safely, but also for insurers to provide a communication and education platform, especially for clients without an adviser, for example.

4. Relevant products and solutions.
Now more than ever, products and benefits offered to customers need to be relevant, easy to understand and tailored to their life stage needs, as well as affordability. Simplified terms and conditions and disclosure policies must be in place. Customers want a proactive approach from insurers as to what they need to do (throughout the policy lifecycle), to ensure 100% compliance and no surprises down the line. This simplification should include exact pay-out processes and restrictions – if any.

5. Claims Processing.
Real-time claims processing is fundamental. The industry is looking to build digital ecosystems to increase cost effectiveness, settle claims fast, as well as provide the simplest, and most customer-centric process. Allowing for faster, more convenient claims handling, and possibly even self-service settlement analytics from data collected through the entire claims process, will improve post-claims file reviews.

Our industry needs to evolve
In conclusion, the more we see insurers direct their business objectives towards the enablement of human-tech collaboration, being agile and evolving business models to incorporate digital functionality, the more dynamic our industry will evolve to be, in the shortest timeframe.

Here is to the year 2021… where we turn change into opportunity for all stakeholders, especially the policyholders!

Kobus Wentzel
Executive Head of Sales and Distribution

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