The world of motor insurance claims is changing and embracing the growing shift towards a more digital approach can help providers give consumers a tailored and supportive experience, says David Shepherd of Audatex
The Amazon effect
We are living in the age of the consumer. A time where companies are challenged with meeting the highest standards of customer experience, set by the demanding nature of consumers and fuelled by the ever-increasing access to new technologies. The motor insurance claims industry is no exception. It is now tasked with finding new ways of creating a customer experience that will attract, delight and ultimately retain customers, as competition grows increasingly fierce and consumer loyalty remains low. Today, just one in five (19%) consumers feel valued by their insurer and 21% have intended to switch providers as a result, according to a study commissioned by customer benefits and loyalty firm Collinson.
With new technologies making almost every aspect of life readily available at our fingertips, consumers are inevitably more demanding when it comes the process of handling their motor claims. These expectations have undoubtedly stemmed from the unprecedented level of customer service that we are now seeing from companies around the world. Leading global brands such as Amazon have arguably redefined the meaning of excellent customer service in recent years, with their ‘touch of a button’ approach driving consumer expectations for the same efficiency in every service they choose.
This has increased the need for innovation among modern insurers, which now face mounting pressures to digitise the entire claims process to reduce complexities and remove non-value touch points, to ultimately drive efficiency and improve customer experience. With the cost of UK motor insurance claims hitting more than £7 billion last year alone, the demand for an enhanced service is high and unlikely to falter as the next generation of vehicle technology starts taking to our roads. The challenge now for insurers is to match this quality of consumer experience throughout the motor claims journey.
Smart motor claims ‘on-the-go’
For today’s consumer, there is no time like the present, and quick and simple routes of communication are now essential when initiating a motor claim. As we become more digitally focused, insurers must develop new and more convenient ways for policyholders to handle the claims process from start to finish.
Mobile claims handling is proliferating across the industry of late as insurers look to adapt their service to provide convenience and ease of use for the ‘always on’ generation. More specifically, insurance providers are able to work directly with mobile app developers to create dedicated user-friendly platforms which allow consumers to initiate, or update, a claim using their device anywhere, at any time. Enabling customers to use their personal device will also help insurers to mimic the self-service style of many leading retailers and ensure they are able to engage and inform consumers at every stage of a motor claim.
However, empowering consumers with the tools to shape their own motor claims journey not only works wonders for their claims experience. In a time where customers often lack loyalty to insurance providers and are constantly looking for a better and more cost-effective service, offering a tailored and digitised service can to drive engagement and nurture brand loyalty, beyond motor.
Preparing for the future
In order to future proof their service offering and remain competitive among the tech-forward companies now entering the industry, insurers must also embrace the opportunity that innovative new technologies now present the industry. For example, the once far-fetched possibility of extended reality (XR) could even aid insurers in their efforts to provide better, immersive customer interactions. Recent research reflects this, with 84% of insurance executives believing that XR experiences will create a new foundation for interaction, communication, and information across the industry.
Yet, amid the ever-evolving motor claims process, the desire for transparency from their insurance providers, at all stages of their journey, is also growing amongst consumers and must be considered when building a motor claims approach for the future. Recent industry research into customers perceptions of making a motor insurance claim found that 61% of respondents would like to be continuously up to date at every stage of the process, meaning insurers must now incorporate new technologies to give their customers the required level of contact and information needed for seamless claims journey. Insurers also need to be able to ensure only relevant updates are provided if they are not to be discarded as worthless by busy consumers—in essence, make the content count.
For example, a multi-channel approach of digital and traditional formats, such as email, social media, telephone and online portals can work to improve communication levels throughout a claim and help consumers take better control over their claims. Integrating digital tools for claims initiation and relevant, status updates is now critical to providing customers with the choice they now demand to take their claims, or parts of their claims, into their own hands, when, and if they decide. Ultimately, this will help insurers to deliver a strong customer experience for every type of consumer.
The world of motor insurance claims is changing and embracing the growing shift towards a more digital approach can help providers give consumers a tailored and supportive experience. Today, the insurers who find new ways to put the consumer at the heart of every claim and make the journey, from first notification of loss to final settlement as simple as possible are the best positioned to succeed within the digital motor claims network.