How Insurance Companies Can Learn From The Boating Industry And Appeal To Tech-Savvy Consumers
A seasoned startup CEO, Naval Officer and Naval Academy instructor in the Israeli Navy, Amit is currently the CEO of Ahoy!
As the digital age progresses, industries across the board are scrambling to meet growing expectations for simple, convenient and innovative services demanded by an increasing tech-savvy consumer base.
The insurance industry is no exception.
Many of today’s consumers expect features that streamline and decomplicate traditionally lengthy insurance processes. Although the “human touch” will likely remain vital to building and maintaining trust among insurance customers for years to come, without incorporating the digital experience, success for the insurance industry will probably soon be out of reach.
As the number of younger insurance policy owners grows, insurers must expand their services to include specialized and personalized policies to appeal to customers’ newer standards for speed, quality and personalized service.
Take boating, for example. The insurance industry has long thought of boats as “like cars, but on water.” But using car coverage as the paradigm for boat insurance is likely to “miss the boat,” considering the distinctly different risks each sector presents.
For example, unlike cars, boats are always at risk, whether in motion or docked. While a car can be safely “stored” in a garage during a harsh storm, a boat docked in a marina can still be at risk of flooding or collision-related damage during a whirlwind (as Hurricane Ian recently demonstrated). The usage-based policies reserved for traditional road vehicles need to be finetuned to fit the specific needs of boat owners.
Indeed, it is in insurers’ best interests to tailor boating—and other—policies to the specific specifications of the sector, as it will no doubt yield more accurate coverage and, therefore, greater customer satisfaction.
Digitizing Customer Service
In addition to implementing adaptive policies and pricing, insurance companies should also strive to offer seamless digitized customer service across desktop, mobile and other communication channels – clear and intuitive experiences that are key for engaging the younger generation of users. In fact, a report from PwC found that 41% of US consumers “say they are likely or more likely to switch providers due to a lack of digital capabilities.” Additionally, “15% identified the lack of digital capabilities as the topmost challenge while interacting with insurers.”
One way or another, an insurance customer will encounter issues, and when that happens, they will put their insurer’s responsiveness to the test. If the response time is anything other than near instant, it will reflect poorly on the insurer. It is, therefore, necessary to offer 24/7 customer service or in-app self-service features properly equipped to handle the particular asset in question in order to keep pace with the growing deluge of customer queries.
Useful Resources Beyond Just Insurance
Beyond providing baseline coverage, insurers have a unique opportunity to anticipate the expectations of up-and-coming generations and offer useful resources and tools that safeguard the owner’s belongings in the short and long term.
Again, let’s look at the boating industry as an example. These tools might include tech kits and practical guides to help support safety on board during worst-case scenarios, appropriate GPS devices for optimal navigation and information detailing the licenses required for international sailing, among others. These resources do more than just provide value to the boaters; they play a role in fundamentally changing the traditional relationship between insurer and insured, moving from a purely, and occasionally acrimonious, financial relationship to one of the mutually aligned interests—protecting valued possessions.
Riding The Wave Of Innovation
As the digital age voyages forward, insurance companies specializing in boating and other niche areas must adapt to their customer’s shifting expectations. To that end, tech-enabled features must become an indispensable part of the insurance industry, the customer experience and the upsell process—if providers intend to stay afloat.
Specialized insurance agents are poised to help lead the wave of innovation and can serve as an inspiration for other aspiring insurers. Experts in niche fields who know the intimate details and preferences of the industry they serve will be most adequate at translating that knowledge into the user features desired by their customers, helping them better navigate their insurance, as well as the choppy seas.
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