Tags: Slice News ICS

There’s an image circulating on LinkedIn posing the question: 
Who led the digital transformation at your company? The choices are CEO, CTO and Covid-19. Resoundingly, Covid-19 is everyone’s pick.

In the scramble to move employees to work from home spaces, many companies were confronted with a sudden wake up call. Were they set up to continue business as usual? How will customer expectations shift? When this passes, what’s our new normal going to be? 

As is clearly evident during the 2020 global economy, the world is still able to function due to the cloud. Imagine what this would have been like a mere 10 years ago! No Zoom (oh right, there was Skype), no Uber Eats and the list goes on of digital services that are at our fingertips that we take for granted several times a day. In the midst of this economic environment it has also become clear that the insurance industry has an opportunity to be a positive agent for change by leveraging the cloud to innovate with new products and policies that fit whatever the new norms will be. 

I think we can all agree that we don’t know what the future will look like, yet we can also agree that it won’t be the same as two months ago. As I move into many of my “new normals” (Zoom personal training sessions, for example), I liken the experience to that of our minimum viable product (MVP) approach in new product development–to experiment, test, learn and tweak. My in-person sessions quickly pivoted to in-home virtual sessions without skipping a beat. We are all experiencing shifts and discomfort, but we’re being flexible and adapting. If your business needs to change on a dime, how do you adjust and make insurance agile? As recently published in a Forbes article, “according to Gartner, 84% of consumers are disappointed with the digital services and products they encounter with businesses.”

I think everyone is struggling with balance and flexibility. Even if consumers may be disappointed with some digital services, they don’t expect things to be perfect. The focus should be on adjusting and tuning, knowing that we don’t necessarily get it right the first time, but we always learn and move ahead. Not only can a fully digital insurance product, and a platform, allow carriers to support their customers through massive disruption, but it allows for responsiveness and experimentation. 

Should auto insurers simply be sending 15% discounts when very few people are on the road, thereby a drastic reduction in claims? Or should we be shifting to insurance modeled after signals and events (usage based, for example)? And, will this pandemic be the catalyst to consumer willingness to share more data useful for those needed signals and events? Perhaps so. Regardless, the digital insurer is closer than it was a few months ago. We’re closer to those who will have dynamic products based on signals and events, who continuously respond to changes in risk profiles, and process claims using algorithms instead of just people making decisions. 

Oxford defines the idiom “when push comes to shove” as when one must commit oneself to an action or decision” I think COVID-19 was that “shove” that committed us to take some of these products, pilots, and concepts from a maybe idea, or pilot, to deploying them overnight at scale. Let’s see how many stay on as the new improved normal of insurance. 

For more on Slice, check out this cover story feature in Carrier Management. 

Stay safe and wash your hands!