Filed Under:Your Practice, Practice Management

Demand for mobile-delivered policy info is growing

Some 65 percent of consumers worldwide have never used their smartphone to interact with their insurer.
Some 65 percent of consumers worldwide have never used their smartphone to interact with their insurer.

A majority of consumers (55 percent) want policy renewal reminders delivered via email or a smartphone. And an additional 52 percent are interested in alerts regarding changes in their policy.

FICO, a predictive analytics and decision management software company, discloses this finding in a global survey of 2,239 adult smartphone users. The survey examines consumer preferences and tendencies with regards to mobile, online and in-person interactions with insurance providers.

"The mobile phone is a tool of convenience, but it's also intensely personal," says Russ Schreiber, who manages FICO's insurance practice. "People like to have information and control at their fingertips.

“With emerging mobile technology, it's possible for insurance providers to deliver what their customers want -- for example, to develop apps that send alerts as well as allowing more routine interactions like policy renewal."

Demand for information delivered via mobile apps, text messages and social media is growing most significantly among younger people, the report finds.

For people aged 18 to 24, 16 percent believe that an SMS (text message) from their insurer would be most convenient, nearly twice the rate of the 40- to 54-year-old demographic. People 40 and older still prefer to receive notifications on insurance renewals via email (43 percent) or post (32 percent).

"While not everyone has started using mobile devices to interact with their insurance providers, those who do report a significant increase in customer satisfaction," says Schreiber. "For example, alerts that keep customers up-to-date on their claims are growing. Insurers that create this type of dialogue receive higher recommendation ratings, which often lead to improved sales. Mobile is a way to be more present and remind the customer why their insurance is valuable."

Notwithstanding the benefits, the survey reveals that the mobile channel is underutilized by insurers. Some 65 percent of consumers worldwide say they have never used their smartphone to manage or interact with their insurer. Only 9 percent say they have managed their policy using their smartphone.

"While many insurance firms have built mobile applications, consumer usage is fairly low, as the function of these apps is typically limited to filing a claim or renewing a policy," said Schreiber. "However, thanks to analytic technology, insurance providers have new opportunities to tailor services to individual customers, strengthen loyalty, and ultimately, sell more."

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