5 ways the insurance firms of the future will win

A wide range of external forces are rapidly transforming the world of insurance, be that new technology, heightened customer expectations or changing regulation and compliance rules. You might not be able to control these, but you can control how you respond to them – and the decisions you make in the face of these changes will be critical. So here are some of the key challenges you need to tackle head-on if you’re planning to stay ahead of the game…

1. Truly putting your customers first

“I’m sure you’ve heard a hundred times how insurance companies both large and small need to focus relentlessly on customer experience in order to survive the future,” says Tim Chisnall, Cognition24’s Chief Experience Officer. “And anyone who’s said this to you is dead right.

“The key fact to hold on to is that, these days, your customers aren’t comparing you to other insurance companies – they’re comparing you to all the other businesses they interact with,” he stresses. “So, to stay relevant and win, you need to deliver a personalised, seamless and satisfying customer experience that’s right up there with John Lewis, First Direct and the rest – because if you don’t, someone out there soon will. And that goes as much for B2B insurance as it does for B2C.”

This, believes Tim, means insurance companies need a world-class CRM (customer relationship management) system, that will give a genuine all-round view of each individual customer and every touchpoint you have with them. “If you don’t have a robust, fully integrated technology stack underpinning this, it’s impossible to put your customers first,” he says.

2. Effectively managing regulation and compliance

“You’re probably already deeply immersed in how your business is going to tackle the demands of IFRS17,” says Andy Nellis, Cognition24’s Managing Director. “And

you’ve probably spent countless hours worrying about staying on the right side of the GDPR rules while still putting your business’s data to good use.

“We’re sorry to say that there’s no magic bullet to take those headaches away – because, fundamentally, if you don’t have the right processes and structures in place, you’re likely to come a cropper,” he continues. “But, one thing’s for sure, if you don’t have robust, well-integrated technology underpinning those processes and structures – so you can manage your data in a compliant, transparent and secure way – you’re likely to hit all kinds of problems very quickly.”

3. Getting the best out of new and existing tech

“Insuretech was late to the fintech party,” says Tim. “But it’s catching up and now there are literally thousands of apps out there that perform a wide range of micro functions. The choice is bewildering – and if your business ends up picking options as if from a Chinese menu, without any structure, you risk creating an unholy mess of technological ‘solutions’ that can’t be integrated with each other and, ultimately, solve nothing. You could even end up in a worse place than before by having to spend countless hours trying to make everything work.

“A far better option,” continues Tim, “is to look for a tech platform that offers a wide range of compatible solutions to suit your business needs, and that can be integrated with some of the well-established and high-performing core insurance technology that’s already out there. As a guiding principle, the neater and tidier the structure, the better.”

4. Attracting and retaining the best talent

“Let’s be brutally honest,” says Andy. “Insurance is not the coolest sector to work in – and therefore it struggles to attract and retain the country’s best young talent. Yet, if you don’t have the best people in your business, you’ll always struggle to compete.”

Making insurance an industry that kids grow up dreaming about is probably too hard an ask for anyone, Andy admits. “But ensuring your millennial recruits have the opportunity to do great work, aided by technology that’s as easy to use as the Amazon website and just as effective, will go a long way to making your business a place where the brightest and best choose to spend their careers,” he says.

5. Having an all-round view of the business – while staying focused on your goals

“We could bang on about ERP here,” says Andy. (That’s enterprise resource planning – or, as Wikipedia puts it, “the integrated management of main business processes, often in real-time and mediated by software and technology”.)

“But, frankly, ERP is boring. Instead,” he argues, “you should be asking yourself some interesting questions about how you can gain visibility right across the business, how you can get a better (and faster) handle on your data, how you can seamlessly connect everything you do, from project costing to customer billing – and, most importantly, how you can use all this to steer the business in the direction you

want to take it. So, for us, ERP all about understanding your endgame, and then building the roadmap to get there.

“And when it comes to IT,” he continues, “the key is to make sure you’re choosing the tech to take you towards your endgame, and not compromising on that endgame to suit the tech.”

Ready to find out more?

If you’re ready to start thinking about the choices you’ll need to make to win at all of the above – and the partners you’ll need to help you along the way – drop us a line or give us a call. We’d love to get to know your business and help you make the best decisions to ensure it’s fit for the future.