The digital age that we’re living in has rapidly changed the way that all types of businesses operate. Novel software solutions are the backbone of innovation in numerous fields, and this certainly applies to the insurance industry.
Digital transformation reshapes the way that companies run their processes, making them more efficient and allowing them to reap the benefits of automatization. At the same time, the rapid digitalization across industries changes the perceptions and presumptions of customers. They are ever tech-savvier and expect businesses – including the insurance sector – to step up their efforts in order to deliver optimized and seamless experiences.
There are various other forces at work as well, pushing the reimagining of the insurance industry. The market is changing, and we are witnessing a steady hardening. It’s also obvious that there is an ever-increasing pressure for small and medium-sized companies to innovate.
As a result of these trends, insurance companies need to hop on the digitalization bandwagon if they want to stay relevant and competitive on the market. They need to create and use digital solutions both for streamlining their internal processes, as well as to provide relevant and up-to-date interaction with customers.
In this dynamically changing landscape, automatic app creation offers a great chance for insurance businesses to reap the benefits of digitalization. It allows them to craft software solutions that meet their needs at a fraction of the cost of traditional software development – and much faster than ever before. Automatic app building can thus be a major driving force for the speed and quality of innovation in the field.
Let’s take a deeper look at how digitalization can boost the performance of insurance companies, and how automatic app creation can directly benefit the industry.
The major challenges in the insurance industry and how digitalization can help
According to the 2019 PwC’s 22nd Annual Global CEO Survey, the perceptions of insurance CEOs are shifting with the times. They see the benefits of digital transformation and are keener to embrace it, aiming to use the opportunity to innovate and grow their companies. There is a clear trend for the insurance sector to move from a product-focused model of functioning to a customer-centric one.
As the survey shows, the insurance industry is undergoing a transformation on many levels. It is flexibly responding to many challenges that the changing times and the dynamics of the market impose.
The most prominent challenges today
One of the main issues that the sector needs to address continuously is the introduction of stricter regulations in a number of countries. For example, in the U.S, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act brought several changes for insurers since 2018. It was deemed as the most transformative piece of tax legislation in the country for the last 30 years.
In Europe, the updated Insurance Distribution Directive took force in 2018 as well. Tougher cybersecurity regulations are already affecting the industry which needs to handle sensitive customer data, with the GDPR in Europe and the Data Security and Breach Notification Act in the U.S. already in action.
Shifts in customer behavior are another big factor that drives change in the insurance industry. People expect a different level of service which should be seamless, delivered extremely fast and so most of the time – digital. This trend is both due to the mass digitization of all businesses, but also to the changing demographics of insurers’ customers. With more and more tech-savvy millennials purchasing insurance, their high standards for digital services and customer relations are becoming the norm.
As always, new market entrants are a challenge to established players from all sizes. Oftentimes the novel companies are better suited to meet the digital requirements of customers and the market, as they can embrace them straight away. This pushes existing insurance businesses to look for shortcuts to innovate in order to keep their competitive advantage.
However, in the strive for innovation, insurers often stumble upon another issue – the shortage of necessary skills in their current employee base. Overcoming this requires substantial investments in education, hiring, and novel systems. It’s also a process that requires time, yet it needs to happen quickly so that the companies can stay abreast of the industry.
How digitalization can help
In meeting these challenges, embracing digitalization is a winning move. Innovation through embedding new digital solutions provides speed and efficiency for insurance businesses of all sizes – and across the globe.
In contrast with just having a general IT strategy, digitalization goes much further. The process of digital transformation entails not only a shift from analog to digital operations. It also means a shift from a product- to a customer-centric approach to doing business.
First and foremost, by going digital, insurers can streamline their internal processes. That’s the first step towards improving productivity and bringing business to operate at the speed that the market demands. It’s essential in terms of adapting to the dynamically changing landscape.
Digitalization allows insurance companies to offer data-driven services. Today this is becoming the norm for businesses from all venues, as it powers up accuracy and efficiency.
It’s also key in tuning in to the new customer expectations for quick and seamless services, as well as predictive offers based on previous buying patterns. Insurers are able to provide better customer experiences by using data analytics and novel marketing and sales approaches powered by new technologies.
By embedding digitalization in their strategies, insurance companies also bet on expanding their staff’s skill base. As new technologies require learning and adapting to, they have to invest in training their employees, and thus making them more valuable members of their teams. This is a clear win-win, as businesses enrich their internal skill set, while individuals also gain new knowledge and market advantage.
All these factors feed into the faster growth and competitive power of insurance companies, which is ultimately what the industry is going after.
In general, in the context of the insurance industry, the process of digital transformation can include various aspects like better alignment between services and personalization for customers in real-time.
The issues with digitalization for small and medium-sized insurance companies
While going digital brings immense benefits, it can be quite difficult for smaller players in the industry to follow the latest technological trends. It’s true that they can often be more agile than their larger counterparts. At the same time, they may face harsh limitations in terms of resources.
As small and medium-sized insurance companies have smaller teams, they often struggle with limited human resources. This means they simply have fewer people who can carry out the digital transformation.
Oftentimes, the digital skills of the current staff are also not sufficient. This requires investments in training and education, or in hiring new team members with the necessary knowledge and experience, which is not always feasible.
The limited financial resources to invest in new tech are, naturally, a major hurdle as well. Partnering with the newest players in the InsurTech field, for example, needs an initial investment, which can be tough to obtain.
Last but not least, meeting the ever-stricter cybersecurity regulations is a big challenge for smaller insurers. Many companies struggle to adapt their processes to the newest legislation in their region.
Keeping in mind all of these challenges, it’s apparent that small and medium-sized insurance businesses have special needs in terms of digitalization. The digital innovation for them has to happen in the most budget- and resource-friendly way. But how to achieve that?
The benefits of automatic app creation for the insurance industry
Addressing the challenges to digital transformation can be difficult for many companies for various reasons – be it their smaller size, limited resources, or difficulty in transitioning. The good news is that automatic app creation can help in most of these cases.
In essence, it constitutes using a no-code platform to transform existing business data in easy-to-use and effective apps. This is done automatically – without the need for developers’ help or learning to code – and can be conducted by any employee – in any type of business. The apps created in this manner have powerful functionalities that fuel innovation and boost your company’s functioning in several ways.
Automatic app creation leads to a direct increase in productivity, as it helps businesses improve their internal processes. You can easily revamp the way that the employees in your insurance company work with the help of calculation apps and dashboard apps, for example. No-code platforms with a standardized security concept can also help with meeting regulatory requirements in terms of privacy and security.
Apps created automatically based on your business data – Excel and Google Sheets spreadsheets, SQL, and more databases – also hold great potential for boosting your digital presence. With their help, your staff can work with and share complex information in accessible ways, such as financial data and formulas for calculating insurance packages and quotes.
This brings immense benefits to customer-facing teams, as it allows them to streamline the sales process. For example, they no longer would need to fill in complicated spreadsheets and deliver them to a potential client. Instead, they can use an automatically created calculation app based on the formulas used in your business, which can also be made available straight to the customer.
The introduction of automatic app creation can bring additional benefits as well. It can significantly improve employee satisfaction. Your staff is empowered to create business solutions that fit their exact needs. They can realize their ideas with a few clicks and without any technical education. This makes their work faster and more efficient and helps remove frustration with slower processes and procedures.
Notably, you can also drive better customer relations with the help of automatically created apps. You can build client-facing apps that make it easier for everyone to get to know your products and obtain quotes in real-time. This can directly feed into improved customer satisfaction. Overall, automatic app creation helps reduce the number of different costs for insurance businesses. It drastically brings down the investment that you have to make in order to boost the digital transformation of your company. You can also optimize various segments of your operations, which leads to additional savings.
This allows you to direct your resources in the areas of your business development that need it the most.
Use cases of Open as App in the insurance industry
To illustrate how automatic app creation can be used by insurance companies, here are two case studies of employing Open as App in the field.
ARAG is the largest family-owned insurance business in the busy German insurance market, which also operates in 16 other countries. The company chose Open as App to put automatic app creation to use in optimizing its broker sales.
ARAG works with an extensive list of broker partners, which sell its products to further audiences. In the process of collaborating with brokers, the company has to share a lot of information about tariffs, premiums, and services, as it has to reach the end customer. This meant exchanging complex Excel spreadsheets with massive amounts of data and complicated formulas.
The insurance company was thus looking for an effective way to simplify this process and enable its broker partners to deliver its services to customers in easier and better ways. Creating apps automatically with the help of Open as App proved to be the right choice.
Thus, ARAG’s employees crafted a portfolio of sales apps that can be used by its network of partners. The company now has a full toolbox of its products in the form of apps that can be easily employed by brokers in their work with end customers. At the same time, the suite of apps is in line with the protection of ARAG’s business data, which remains fully under its control.
SDK ranks in the list of 15 largest private health insurance companies in Germany. It works with both private and corporate customers.
The company was looking for a new solution for its digital transformation needs and turned to Open as App. To conduct personal digital consulting to its clients, SDK’s employees needed a safe, compliant, and efficient tool. It had to help boost customer satisfaction while meeting stricter regulatory requirements and cost concerns.
By using Open as App, SDK introduced automatic app creation in order to develop key business apps necessary for its staff and customers. Building on its business data in Excel spreadsheets, the company crafted many apps. For example, it created a long-term care insurance app that quickly calculates the customer’s care gap, as well as an app for company health insurance. SDK also set up an action app with which its field service partners can carry out stock promotions.
The introduction of the different automatically created apps brought productivity optimization for SDK and its partners, as well as great customer experience for its clients.
What else can you do with Open as App?
Beyond the sales-enabling and consultation apps presented in the case studies above, you can use Open as App in many other ways to boost the performance and digital transformation process of your insurance company.
For example, you can set up different custom no-code apps to support the work of your HR department. For example, they can be used to manage information about hiring, as well as about the ongoing documentation for current employees.
In other departments where you need to improve efficiency, you can create apps to collect information fasterfrom different stakeholders. Apps can be employed as well to keep an overview of IT licenses and to generate performance reports for different teams.
The application of Open as App can also span innovative options for customer self-service, such as the possibility to book travel insurance on a mobile device just when departing for a flight – and still using special conditions targeted for a particular customer. In such cases, the platform can help with automatic calculations that the user can obtain straight away.
In the future, bots for customer communication built based on automatic app creation can be embedded in websites and chat systems. This can save a ton of time for your sales representatives, optimizing the sales process.
Get started with automatic app creation
Would you like to find out how automatic app creation can boost your insurance company’s productivity and digital transformation? Book a personal demo with an Open as App consultant and get all the information you need.