How Insurance Apps are Disrupting Traditional Industry
You may have noticed that some of the most irreverent marketing comes out of the insurance world. From Progressive’s famous insurance lady Flo to the GEICO Lizard, Insurance companies give an advertising agency the freedom to push the envelope. Watch an insurance commercial, and you would wonder, who signed off on this communication.
Part of the reason for these uniquely offbeat commercials is that in the insurance industry, it’s a monumental challenge to set yourself apart from your competitors. Progressive vs Liberty Mutual is not the same as Apple vs Samsung.
Apple sells the iPhone while Samsung sells the Galaxy. Both are smartphones but are still distinctly different products. Progressive sells Auto insurance and Liberty Mutual sells Auto insurance, two products that are the same.
So, how does an insurance company stand out and win customers if their product is literally the same as their competitors? It is a creative arms race to get the viewing public to take action.
In the nineteen forties, the call to action for these marketing campaigns was to fill out and mail in a letter to the insurance company. Then in the fifties through the early nineties, the push at the end of the commercial was to have the prospect call and speak to an agent.
Then as we entered the internet age, T.V. commercials ended with the call to action for the viewer to get up from the couch, head to their desktop and go onto the company’s website.
Now, if you watch those unconventional commercials the insurance industry is putting out, after all the jokes and one-liners, the call to action is to have the viewer pull out his smartphone and download the company’s mobile app.
So, if you’re an insurance company who has yet to roll out an insurance app, you’re now behind the times, and it’s time to get the wheels in motion before you lose even more ground. You may still not believe that getting an app for your insurance company will be a game-changer.
In the course of this article, let us explore why creating an insurance app for your agency is a must in your market place.
40% of insurance research time is spent on mobile devices
25% of insurance shoppers use only their smartphones
Let’s face it, nobody likes shopping for insurance, I don’t like paying for it, and you may like paying for it. So, what can we do about our insurance costs? What we can do is to make certain that we’re paying the least we have to.
If your company has an insurance app, a potential customer can shop your rates and see if she can save money by switching to you while she’s sipping an iced mocha latte at Starbucks. And by the time she’s taken her last sip, she may have a new insurance company for her auto coverage.
Your next customer is more likely to compare rates when they have some free time. In our busy world, we normally don’t plan for free time, free time finds us.
And when this free time finds us, we usually don’t have our laptop, we have our smartphone. And that is why offering an insurance app experience to your potential customer can increase the odds of their becoming your next insurance client.
That free time finds us while we wait in line for food or for a friend caught in traffic. That is why having an insurance app for your potential customer which can be downloaded while they’re waiting in line at Chipotle is critical to your business. An insurance pro knows that there’s one thing even more important than sales, and that’s retention.
Also, the reality that an insurance app can make the entire insurance experience easy is not only an advantage for client retention, but it can also be used as one of the greatest arsenals in your marketing and your unique selling point. If you have an app created for your insurance company, you have a whole smorgasbord of benefits you can communicate in your marketing efforts.
Your company can let your potential customers know that their whole insurance life will get a lot easier if they switch to you.
With your insurance app your customer can:
- Make payments
- Submit claims
- Make updates
- Cancel and start coverage
If you can offer a prospect an insurance experience they can start and finish while in line at Starbucks, chances are that prospect will become your client and remain on your book of business for years to come. Insurance apps ready to be downloaded onto your smartphone are not new………what’s new, is the public’s demand for insurance apps.
Pre 2016, the public wasn’t motivated to handle their insurance needs with mobile apps. But as app developers create and roll out applications that are as easy to use as Netflix, insurance shoppers are opting to download and purchase their insurance coverage without having to speak to an agent.
Let’s face it, salespeople don’t have a stellar image. For even an ethical professional salesperson, it sometimes takes several meetings to build trust. For many of these insurance purchases, an app can circumvent having to deal with an agent.
The fear consumers have is that an agent may oversell them to bank a higher commission. When the customer can purchase on a platform, then they have the power to select coverage themselves without feeling the squeeze from a sales agent.
If mobile app development company can deliver an app where the buyer can easily make their selections and be confident, they’re getting the coverage they and their family need, and they can do it on the go with their smartphone while waiting for a late friend, then the potential a mobile app can deliver to your insurance company is momentous.
With every opportunity that comes along, you have the companies that strike early, companies that strike later and gain less market share, then you have companies that completely strikeout.
Let’s discover who’s currently driving results (pun intended) for apps in insurance and are seizing market share.
Allstate released its insurance app to the public and the company has been rewarded with not only a slew of new customers but happy customers who stay because of the convenience the Allstate Mobile app delivers.
With the app, the customer can enjoy:
- Paying premiums
- Instant support during an accident
- A simple way to quickly report claims
- The ability to add a new car or driver
The General Insurance Services
In regard to producing amusing offbeat insurance commercials, The General is no exception. I’m sure you have seen the cartoon character of “The General” not asking but ordering drivers to go get their car insurance from The General. Now that The General has his own insurance app ready for download, his orders are more likely to be followed.
New customers of The General can:
- Instantly compare rates to see if The General can, in fact, deliver the best rates
- Add new vehicles
- Submit a claim with pictures
- Get tips for better driving
- Add or take off a driver
Life insurance is not something anyone wants to think about having to use. With a mobile Life Insurance app, the applicant can get through that uncomfortable process faster, and then know that his family is protected.
GEICO has an insurance app where the applicant can:
- Answer questions to see if they are eligible for coverage
- Find out what the various rates will be for different coverage amounts
- Purchase Insurance coverage and lock in his monthly rate and know his family will be taken care of.
Rather than having a Life Insurance salesman come to their home and try to “close” them on getting a policy that day, the prospect can shop for a Life Policy while they’re relaxing on a bench watching their kids on the playground.
While long-established insurance companies such as Progressive, Allstate, and GEICO are rolling out insurance apps and seizing market share, there are new-age InsureTech companies that are launching their businesses with a mobile application as their main focus, and in turn, staking their future on the effectiveness of their mobile app.
Founded in 2015, Lemonade Insurance is a quantum leap for the insurance world because of the company’s mobile app creators. Lemonade has created an app that uses artificial intelligence and chatbots to sell Homeowners and renters insurance. The app will also handle claims for its customers through both iOS and Android systems.
All this is without appointing any insurance brokers, which in the insurance business, is nothing short of a revelation. Lemonade Insurance was not founded by veteran insurance executives; it was two veteran tech executives.
The two founders who are truly disrupting the insurance world are Daniel Schreiber, who was formerly the president of Powermat and Shai Wininger, who had previously launched Fiverr.
Lemonade has leveraged A.I. to chatbot development. These chatbots give the user a complete insurance experience. The customer buys the insurance policy on Lemonade’s app platform. If there’s a claim to be submitted, the chatbots handle that as well. How well do these chatbots handle claims? They’re setting world records!
Let me explain: when the client purchases their policy, Lemonade’s software gets data and performs a cross-reference on a certain home or zip code. The submitted claim is put through 18 different fraud algorithms before the claim is rejected or approved. Three years ago a claim was submitted for a stolen coat. After a quick process, the claim was paid.
How quickly was the claim paid? It took 3 seconds!
Customers demand a claim process that is prompt. But before Lemonade’s mobile app not even the most demanding client would expect his claim paid in 3 seconds!
Now you may think that Insurance Apps may be able to deliver this experience to Personal Lines Insurance (Personal Lines being Homeowners and Renters) but that kind of efficiency would not be possible in the business insurance world also known as Commercial Insurance. A business needing insurance such as General Liability or Workers Compensation is significantly more complex than a Renters policy. For a Commercial Insurance policy and all its complexities, there must be at least an hour-long talk with an agent? Wrong!
There are several companies that have rolled out apps that have made the lives of frazzled business owners easier. One of these companies is Next Insurance. A plumber running a small business has to face a lot of challenges with his insurance. Finding the best rate for his Workers Compensation isn’t the finish line, it’s just the first ten steps into a marathon of changes and updates he needs to make to his policy.
Picture this: our plumber arrives to perform work at a new client’s office. He strolls in with his tool belt only to find out that he needs to list this company on a Certificate of Insurance. This could involve a thirty-minute phone conversation with his insurance company coupled with an hour of staring at his email waiting for the Certificate of Insurance to arrive so he can then start working.
When documents such as this are needed, it can take a normal insurance company (one that doesn’t offer the real-time convenience of an app) hours and even days to get their clients these documents. The result is that the business owner has to put his operation on hold, which halts his revenue.
Next Insurance’s founder and CEO Guy Goldstein have declared that the entire insurance business will one day be an online process where agents, claim adjusters, and customer service reps are no longer needed. Instead, what we’ll have is an insurance flow of online interfaces, algorithms, and artificial intelligence creating a simple and fast experience for the consumer.
Another major part of insurance is fraud prevention. A lot of insurance industry veterans will argue that letting mobile apps be the only touchpoint, could make a company more vulnerable to one of the issues that have plagued insurance from the very beginning……fraud.
Can an app protect an insurance company from criminals trying to punch through false claims? A couple of summers ago, in the land of make-believe, aka Los Angeles, a man in his twenties slapped on a blond wig, caked makeup on his face, shot a video on his smartphone, and put on a performance that could have made him an Oscar contender.
Instead, the only prize he was seeking was free stuff at the insurance company’s expense. He proclaimed that he had items stolen and he was out almost seven hundred dollars. The insurance fraudster submitted his claim and got paid. Three months later, the virtual thief circled back for a bigger score to the tune five thousand dollars. But, as the famous rock band from the 70s, The Who once said, “We don’t get fooled again.”
This time, using the company’s online mobile app, the fake claim was submitted, but algorithms flagged the claim as suspicious and zero money was paid out. Not willing to abandon his quest for free money, the man upped the ante and changed his wardrobe.
This time wearing a pink dress, he submitted his claim. Again he was defeated, and the claim was denied. While some insurance executives clash over just where the industry is headed, whether or not Insurance Brokers with their live agents will fade into business history, there is one fact that can be noted and pointed to as undisputable.
The disruption of the insurance industry by mobile app creators has created a new channel that has the potential to offer every customer a purchase path and a client experience that is quick, simple for anyone, and can be trusted. There can be debate over whether or not this will one day be the only channel for a customer’s insurance needs. But there can be no debate that this is now a crucial channel of business growth heading into 2020.
It doesn’t matter if an insurance company has been around since the early 1900s or is going to launch next week. To have a future in the new world of insurance, an insurance mobile app development is not just a good idea, but crucial to your insurance company’s survival and growth.