Embracing Digital Platforms: A Compelling Digital Solution for the Insurance Industry

BY: Patty Nicholson
AUGUST 25, 2021

Start gaining customer-facing, internal-facing, and competitor-facing advantages when you build a digital platform for your insurance company.

Digital transformation isn’t just for retailers and the Fortune 500. The advantages of adopting digital platforms to manage your insurance company, as well as provide an online portal for customers and agents, far outweigh the costs. Here are three benefits to realize and how not having a digital platform is holding your company back.

Key Takeaways

  • Consumers are learning to expect a digital platform from their insurers
  • A good platform will also support internal teams
  • RPA and AI are the basis of your digital insurance solutions
  • The three digital platform advantages involve customer-facing, internal-facing, and competitor-facing viewpoints
  • Besides benefits, consider costs and the urgency of adoption
  • Take time to create a good plan and budget in order to succeed

“Digital platform” defined

Once you may have thought “platform” was a word used only by IT. You may have dreaded having to learn to work with one digital platform after the next when they first emerged as digital solutions.

Now, the word platform is starting to be used in everyday conversation. In laymen’s terms, it represents a custom online workspace where all the tools you need to get a job done with a given vendor are at your fingertips.

In fact, customers are starting to appreciate and expect a digital platform from their insurance companies. Suddenly, it has morphed into a powerful competitive advantage. In short, platforms have come a long way fast.

Let’s take a quick look at what the old system of working with insurance companies was like for consumers and the benefits that adopting a digital platform presents to modern insurance companies.

How consumers historically interacted with insurance companies

To the consumer, the old system felt like it began when there was an incident and they made a phone call to report the claim. They probably spent time holding, then once they were connected with a service representative, they probably spent time going over your information and providing proof of identity. Then they arrive at the reason for the call: To report the incident. Usually, it could not be resolved at once and someone promised to call them back. Often an adjuster had to come out in person to observe the damage and call them back to reveal the resulting coverage.

What went on behind the scenes at insurance companies

Inside the insurance company, there were numerous behind-the-scenes processes that needed to happen to resolve each reported incident (and the other services needed, like onboarding and compliance). Many involved typical office processes like:

  • Answering customer calls
  • Calling the customer back
  • Sending follow-up emails
  • Filling out spreadsheets
  • Filing papers
  • Keeping track of updates
  • Sending payment reminders

Enter Robotic Process Automation

Luckily, a number of these manual processes are perfect for replacing with Robotic Process Automation, and platforms are the place to build that automation.

Insurance companies began to automate and continue to build and add on automations. Typical early automations improve processes involved in the following:

  • Underwriting
  • Verifying claims
  • Processing Invoices

Now the most receptive, tedious, and time-consuming part of insurance can be off-loaded to robots. Once each distinctive part of a service has been identified, automation can be applied. Time savings are immediate and cost savings begin to appear within the first few months.

A need for better data and tools

But first-generation digital platforms are just the beginning. Success with these improvements will lead to more automation, including areas that were not perfectly suited for robotics. Eventually, building better data and tools for your business will require moving toward focusing on data instead of processes with artificial intelligence.

First steps to AI

A logical next step in insurance industry solutions is to automate through AI. Instead of teaching computers everything they need to know to do the intelligent part of automation, we can give them the code to “think” like humans. Then it’s a matter of letting them find solutions for themselves by connecting to the vast supplies of information found on the Internet and in your data warehouse.

This next level of automation helps with more than improving speed and accuracy in claims management. It also helps with automation of risk assessment and policy administration.

In the future, insurance companies will look for ways to capitalize on AI with deductive analytics. In this case, the computer does not just respond with what it has already learned but deduces insights from data.

Internal and customer needs coincide

At the same time insurance companies are automating more internally, consumers are being “trained” by other industries to expect more from customer service, including a dashboard connected to a digital platform.

Advantages of a Digital Platform

Here are some of the advantages of a digital platform from customer-facing and internal-facing viewpoints — plus a competitor advantage perspective.

1. Customer-facing advantage

  • Faster service
  • More accurate service
  • Enhanced experience
  • Tailored experience
  • Access to more channels
  • More satisfied
  • More brand loyalty

2. Internal-facing advantage

  • Quicker processing
  • Easier cross-selling of services
  • Greater accuracy
  • Greater employee satisfaction as they offload tedious tasks
  • Cost Savings (after installation)

3. Competitor-facing advantages

  • Satisfied customers are more likely to remain customers
  • You are able to compete for more new business when you have satisfied, loyal customers and can demo a digital platform

An illustration of all 3 advantages

AXA, an Asian insurance company, found the customer-facing promise of digital platforms very compelling. They decided to create a digital marketing platform In a big way. Not only did they include a dream list of automations that a customer would like to find on a platform, but they also used the opportunity to do a rebrand. By creating a new brand avatar, Emma, and featuring her in an exciting customer platform interface, they were able to drive increased engagement with existing and potential customers.

The internal-facing advantages typically found with automation were a given, and it’s easy to see what competitive advantages accrued to a company that embraced automation on this large scale. One example: Emma’s launch attracted over 2 million logins.

Cost-benefit considerations

In summary, early automations for a digital platform can be thought of as quick wins on the way to increased customer, employee, and competitive advantages. At its most powerful, a robust digital platform is nothing short of an opportunity to reinvent your company, tech-wise and brand-wise.

A good plan and budget will help your company find its way from quick automation wins to long-term strategic success. As more insurance companies adopt digital insurance solutions, the early adopter risks and costs for companies like AXA diminish, making it an ideal time to build out your insurance platform with AI and RPA.

Ready to get the help you need to design your digital platform? We work with insurance companies on digital insurance solutions every day. Ask us about a free consultation.

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Written by Patty Nicholson

"With an exceptional ability to execute and implement enterprise-wide, highly complex strategic initiatives building trust with teams and cross-functional partners, and over 20 years of demonstrated leadership skills, Patty Nicholson oversees all operations while maintaining a commitment to 5-star customer success. Most of her career has been working with insurance organizations on ways to automate manual processes to new digital platforms."

AUGUST 25, 2021
RD Global Empowers Insurance Companies to optimize total digital experience, unify data, and harmonize processes by developing high impact technology solutions infused with a 5-star customer experience.