Insurance has been known as the dinosaur in the tech space but things are changing at a rapid pace. A large amount of tradition and to be honest archaic companies in the industry have held it back but finally, insurance has broken free from its shackles. Consumers want better accessibility, speed of delivery and geographic availability of financial products.

Luckily start-up’s are changing the game and becoming an unbelievable threat to large insurers. Smaller companies are just beginning to use technologies such as mobile apps and customer data analysis to disrupt the sector and gain a competitive advantage over the Goliaths in the industry. Consumers’ needs are changing. The way we do everything is changing. Therefore, it should be understood that for insurance companies to survive, they must innovate and build new products to solve these problems.

Consumers prefer getting their information online, doing comparisons, taking their time instead of being rushed into a decision on the phone by one provider. Use MoneyPanda’s free car insurance comparison and get more than 9 quotes, instantly, side-by-side:

Unfortunately, we aren’t at the place yet where everything can be closed online in South Africa. With products such as car insurance you still need to have a phone call to accept the quote as the FSB(Financial Services Board) is still stuck in their ways but we have faith they will soon adapt to the changing environment. As they say, adapt or die right.

Data-driven Technologies Helping Consumers & Insurers

One of the biggest disruptors of the Insurance industry is data-driven technologies.

For Insurers:

Data-driven technologies are giving insurance companies the ability to better analyze data providing them the opportunity to determine risk to a level close to perfection. What does this mean for premiums? More accurate price of insurance for consumers, premiums will be fair which means lower risk consumers will pay less for insurance. We predict there will be more telematics-style products where you exchange driving data, for example, insurers can give a ‘specific-to-driver” bonus adjusted to your risk profile.

For Consumers:

Consumers want instant communication, feeding this instant gratification we crave. Technologies like AI, apps, and chatbots are driving a range of digital-first, human-friendly services that are tailored to give the consumer exactly what they require.

Today’s World of Instant Gratification:

The 24-7, online world that we live in has caused all industries a lot of stress but 10-fold the opportunities we have ever had. We live in a world where we can complain about our insurance provider, write a review about them and actually get a response from their team wanting to hear more about our problem.

Facebook: The all-mighty Facebook, the King of all social media. If you are trying to get hold of an insurance company and they aren’t contacting you back, what do we do… go straight to Facebook, odds are we will get a response in about 10 minutes or so. This is changing the customer service game in a big way!

WhatsApp: Insurers are now using WhatsApp to communicate with their clients, to quote clients or answer any questions a consumer may have. The forward-thinking insurance companies are putting a WhatsApp number on their sites for consumers to contact instead of landline numbers. Consumers are LOVING this, I mean who wouldn’t. We get to send our queries to someone online and we can see when they are online and have seen our messages. Which means there is no more hiding.

Chatbots: You get your traditional chatbot with your online helpdesk support answering your questions straight from the website. This hasn’t always been the most satisfying for consumers as most often than not when you are ready the provider is not. You have high expectations as there’s meant to be live feedback but most often than not as soon as you send a message you get an automated reply saying, “sorry we are offline at the moment”. Urg the horror!

As AI learning increases and becomes more popular, cognitive technology is making advances by having automated responses that actually answer the users’ questions accurately. There have been major improvements in speech recognition software taking Chatbots to a whole new level.

On-Demand Insurance Cover

Consumers are smarter causing insurance companies to make smarter products that are simple to use but really cool at the same time. In 2019 we predict there is going to be a massive increase in On-Demand insurance. This means that you can walk out of a shop with a new cellphone, go online and buy your insurance for that phone…instantly, no calls, no lead time. We are seeing this in product insurance but insurance services like car insurance and life insurance are lagging behind, purely because of South African legislation. We are hoping the entire industry goes in this same direction. We have helped hundreds of people save thousands just by using our comparison tool, compare your car insurance premium here in 5 minutes:

Insurance Claims Using Technology:

I’m sure many of us don’t even realize that our insurance provider has an app and have yet to install It. Take a second, go ahead…download it, it will be worth it. The reason we say this is that we don’t realize how many extra services our insurance provider offer until we can instantly use it.

For example, claims. So many of our providers actually offer in-app claims submission. This means you don’t have to go call your insurance provider, send multiple emails, get them to call you back and so on. You can take pictures in the app, enter another drivers’ details, take down other information like dates and details of the accident and submit the claim immediately. And that’s that, amazing!

Many providers also allow you to “call” a towing company or roadside assistance without actually calling but simply sending an in-app message.

With Artificial-Intelligence improving every day it is going to make it possible for the tech to analyze your claim and approve immediately.

Device Behavior Tracking:

Insurance providers are allowing you to put trackers into your car or wear wearable tech like Smartwatches and connect with them. This helps them track your behavior, exercise, driving habits, etc. which allows the insurance provider to give you a fairer premium.

Some insurers are even using machine learnings to quote you based on your social media profiles. Looking at platforms like your Facebook profiles to determine unusually high-risk individuals.

Insurance companies are fighting hard for your business and the only way to get it, is to (A) offer a better product or (B) give you a better price. Consumers are looking for both and we are becoming pickier as to who can have our money. And that’s 100% our right.

Better Prices: With all the advancements in technology insurance companies can more accurately predict our risk profile and offer us better premiums. Well, it’s a good thing for the less risky profiles, the more risk you have the clearer it will be to the provider. With insurance companies pushing down prices it causes a trend in premium decreases and the consumers win.

Better services and products: We are loving seeing all the traditional insurance companies catching a wake-up and they are. And because of the ability to communicate through platforms such as Social Media is making life just that much easier for us. Innovation in tech used in the insurance space is one to watch this year.

We think you may be interested in our article: Best & Worst Insurance Companies in South Africa