When we talk to insurers about what’s keeping them awake at night, a few topics are mentioned again and again.
The future of insurance is a big one, and particularly how the advent of autonomous vehicles and connected cars will change the dynamic between drivers, OEMs and insurers.
But probably the most frequent conversation we’re having with our insurance partners is about customer engagement. The ability to connect with insurance customers and create loyalty and increasing lifetime value is an objective that’s commonly shared, but that seems somewhat elusive to some.
This was the topic of a recent two-day industry conference that I attended in London. It saw 100+ representatives from European insurers gather to tackle the elephant in the room, which was well articulated by one of the speakers, Stefan Knoll, CEO & Founder of German insurer, Deutsche Familienversicherung: “Almost no customer knows anything much about their insurance policy after they’ve bought it.”
Insurance is a necessary purchase, but not one that often inspires real sustained interest or customer delight so their decisions are often driven by price, not experience. Customers hope that they will never have to use it. They hope that if they do the experience will be quick and painless and that the pay-out will be complete. And apart from that, there’s a relatively small window once a year when any of us even think about insurance at all.
All of these factors do very little to frame insurance brands as those likely to deliver a strong, engaging experience, or with whom a customer is likely to enjoy a particularly close relationship.
But in an onmi-channel world, where information and recommendations are easy to discover, and where buying decisions are so often executed digitally, the need to invest in building engaging customer journeys was acknowledged by everyone.
The good news for a telematics solution provider like The Floow is that telematics was recognised as one of the key enablers that insurers should be using to develop engaging experiences. This is for a number of reasons:
- Fairness: as a price-sensitive purchase, insurance premiums that are reflective of a policy-holder’s true driving behaviour carry with them the notion of fair pricing
- Stickiness: because a driver’s score has the potential of improving when their driving behaviour improves, it creates a regular trigger to check and engage with your score and consider making improvements. Leaderboards, badges and other features of gamification can amplify this stickiness further, presenting opportunities for an insurance brand to be relevant to policy-holders throughout the lifetime of their policy, not just in a narrow renewal window
- Relevance: many policy-holders are successfully engaged by an interest in improving driver safety alone, either by their scores, or by additional services like educational prompts, or even driver coaching. Others find additional services that are powered by telematics, like emergency assistance in the case of an incident, very valuable
- Rewards: the nudge effect of providing visibility to driver scores, particularly when accompanied by regular small value rewards, can have a long-lasting positive effect on driver behaviour. In fact our data shows that the impact is much bigger than simply offering a one-off price discount
What was clear throughout the event is that we’re now in an era of constant digital transformation. One comment made by Steven Zuanella, Chief Digital Officer from RSA, was that technology will never stabilise so insurance companies must get used to constant challenges to their business models and be comfortable with a perpetual customer-centric innovation cycle that they must actively drive.
For Telematics Solutions Providers like The Floow, we will be increasingly focusing on assisting clients to map out their customer journey with telematics and to invest in features and capabilities that can add real value to the customer experience. This includes how they use and engage with a telematics-based policy and how the insurer communicates with an end user on an ongoing basis throughout the lifecycle of their relationship.
All of this requires a reframing of the relationship between the insurer and their policy-holders, putting more power into the hands of the consumer to determine, rate and value an experience and the relationship in their own terms. Monika Shulze, CMO at Zurich Insurance, put this very well – “Ask not how a customer fits into your company. Ask how your company fits into the customer’s life”.
If you’d like to find out more about how telematics can assist in developing relevance and compelling new conversations with your customers, please get in touch with us at email@example.com
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