From Drones to Driverless Cars: Insurance Experts Discuss Key Technologies

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This post was originally published on www.OhioInsurance.org.


Drones and driverless cars are just two of the technology trends and challenges the insurance industry is facing. OII tackled these and other topics during its annual Central Ohio Insurance Education Day, From Drones to Driverless Cars: Changes and Challenges Abound, on April 20.

More than 150 attendees, ranging from insurance company representatives and agency practitioners to college students and instructors, gathered in Columbus to hear about current trends shaping our industry. The day focused on technology’s rapid impact to our industry.

Below is a recap of key insurance trends discussed at the event, and how insurance professionals can brace themselves for evolving technologies.

Adapting to the changing consumer profile

With our growing reliance on technology, it’s no surprise that consumer demands and expectations have changed. Consumers now expect faster response times and 24/7 access to customer service. In facttwo out of three consumers expect brands to respond to questions or complaints in a day, and 40% expect a reply within an hour.

Similar demands are being placed on insurance, and carriers and agencies alike must adapt to the changing consumer profile or risk falling behind. State Auto Insurance (@StateAuto) CEO Mike LaRocco (@laroccome) addressed this during the president’s panel, explaining that consumers still want a relationship with insurance agents, but seek it through varied channels of communication.

Insurance professionals should turn to new communication tactics (e.g. social media, text message alerts and company blogs) to reach customers and their varied communication demands. More and more, consumers choose digital correspondence over paper or direct mail, and are more inclined to respond to tech-based information. LaRocco confirmed that agencies and carriers willing to make these changes will thrive and grow in the near future.

Make interactions dynamic with big data analytics

Have you heard the term “big data” bantered around the office lately? If not, you will soon, as industries of all sorts are reaping the benefits from big data.

Big data is defined as a large volume of structured or unstructured data that reaches a business on a daily basis. Insurance companies, as well as agencies, are able to leverage massive amounts of data to improve business functions.

As Jillian Froment of the Ohio Department of Insurance (@OHInsurance) explained, it’s not enough to just collect data—you have to also find ways to use it to your organization’s advantage. Enormous data sets enable companies to track thousands of data points, improve processes, cut time and make better-informed decisions.

The president’s panel participants agreed that insurance professionals could better serve customers based on more robust data analysis. For example, professionals can use data on customer interactions or claims history to make future interactions more dynamic. The panelists also agreed that it’s important to move away from static and one-size-fits-all communications, so that customers experience a personal connection to both insurance agencies and professionals.

Brace yourself for future tech integrations

The technology takeover is here, and insurance professionals should brace themselves for its impact on our industry. We’re seeing new technologies rollout almost daily, improving our industry and also requiring us to make fundamental changes.

One of the hottest topics discussed at the event came from Kim Hazelbaker of the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (@IIHS_autosafety). Hazelbaker shared IIHS data on the future of driverless cars and the safety implications of introducing autonomous features like braking.

Insurance pros must prepare their products for the onset of autonomous vehicles, and the impact they will have on claims–from braking and crash avoidance systems to fully driverless cars.

Another key technology point was from Jeff Spaulding of Fire and Explosion Consultants, LLC. Spaulding outlined the pros and cons of drone implementation. Drones reduce risk associated with search and rescue missions, as well as HAZMAT and crime scene investigations. In addition, advancements in drone technology have reduced the amount of instruction time a pilot or crew needs in order to operate them.

While there are many advantages to drones, professionals may see some limitations. Limitations include weather and urban  infrastructure that can interfere with the effectiveness of drones.

3 key takeaways

  • Insurance pros: Prepare yourselves for major changes in the way we do business and serve customers. Thanks to a rapidly growing tech landscape and changing consumer demands, the industry is headed toward an era of innovation—full of opportunity for companies and agencies that are able (and willing) to evolve.
  • We must meet consumer demand with new outreach, prep for an incoming millennial workforce and replace legacy systems with new technologies.
  • Remember that we must take technology to the next level. It’s not enough to say you’re going to adopt it, but rather, you must really rethink how your processes will change due to new integrations.

Did you miss our event? No problem! Check out some of this year’s presentations. A special thanks to Kim Hazelbaker, IIHS/HLDIJeff Spaulding, Fire and Explosion Consultants; and Ridge MuhlyGen Re for sharing their expertise and I-Day presentations.

Did you attend I-Day? What was your key takeaway? Share it below.

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