How to unlock the power of connected insurance
Customers increasingly expect a connected and seamless insurance experience. However, legacy systems, inefficient workflows, and disconnected data often get in the way, resulting in a poor customer and user experience. Insurers need to unify their data and move faster, quickly deploying new capabilities across the insurance value chain to increase efficiency, reduce costs, improve the customer experience, and accelerate speed to market.
ITC DIA Europe’s Platinum Partner, Appian, is a software company that automates insurance business workflows with an AI-Powered Process Platform. We sat down with Gijsbert Cox, Appian’s Insurance Industry Lead in EMEA and APAC, to answer “How to unlock the power of connected insurance to deliver a better customer and broker experience?”
Gijsbert, can you please explain why it’s so important to have a seamless insurance experience?
Connected insurance touches the entire value chain, from product development to distribution, underwriting, claims, and customer service. 90% of brokers expect insurers to offer a seamless experience across all channels, while 80% of customers prefer interacting with their insurers digitally. Insurers need to step up their game and deliver a truly connected insurance experience for their customers, which allows them to be more relevant and responsive with bespoke offers at speed. Insurers need to become more agile in their technology and operations to respond quickly to a fast-changing environment. This relates not only to customer demands but also to regulatory changes and technological developments. Only then can insurers leverage all the data at their fingertips to gather insights, provide more personalised products and services, improve customer and broker engagement and loyalty, and enhance risk management and profitability.
What are the most important trends you’re seeing in insurance automation?
As insurers look to deliver a modern and connected insurance experience, these are three major trends we’re seeing:
- Legacy modernisation – Insurers are modernising their IT systems and legacy applications with modern and secured cloud or hybrid architectures, creating responsive and intuitive engagement layers for their employees and customers, and adopting programming languages that are more agile, efficient, and scalable across all platforms and devices. This trend is driven by the need to improve operational efficiency, enhance customer experience, and reduce technical debt.
- No-code/low-code development – Insurers are adopting low-code platforms, automation and AI tools that enable non-technical users to create and modify applications without extensive coding or IT expertise. Experienced developers also embrace low-code because they can configure enterprise applications up to 20x faster to meet mounting business requests and be more productive. Low-code meets the need to accelerate development times, reduce costs, and improve collaboration between business and IT teams.
- AI – Insurers are leveraging AI and automation tools to streamline their legacy processes, automate manual tasks, and reduce costs. This trend is driven by the need to improve operational efficiency, reduce errors, and find a way to leverage vast amounts of internal and external data. AI and automation are implemented in underwriting, claims processing, customer service, fraud detection, and other areas, enabling insurers to provide faster, more accurate, and more personalised customer services. The growing availability of cloud-based AI and automation tools fuel this trend. They should be operationalised and integrated with legacy systems and applications for insurers to stay innovative.
Where is the industry headed, and what roadblocks do you see on the way?
The future of connected insurance will create more agile insurers that should be able to deliver more personalisation on time, as well as a seamless, digital-first customer experience. Proactive risk prevention and adopting emerging technologies will enable them to offer more comprehensive and innovative insurance products. The future will demand greater speed, agility, and flexibility. The insurers that will come out on top can rapidly evolve to meet changing customer, broker, and market demands.
The innovative insurers of the future will have to eliminate data silos and have a modern digital platform and IT ecosystem powered by automation and AI. They will be able to deliver a customer experience that is hyper-personalised, seamless, and proactive, using data and technology to provide tailored insurance products and services. Insurers that embrace these success factors will be the ones that stay ahead of the competition and thrive in a rapidly changing market.
The main challenges for insurance leaders include legacy system integration, data privacy and security, technical complexity, and regulatory compliance. They also need the right resources and technology to deliver everything with speed and agility. Addressing these challenges will be critical to unlocking the full potential of connected insurance and delivering better outcomes for the business and customers.
What are the first steps to achieve a connected insurance experience and how can insurtechs help out?
Insurers must break down data silos. They should invest in modern data management technologies such as Data Fabric that enable real-time data integration and seamless data flow across different systems and processes. Secondly, they should build applications that ensure data quality, consistency, and security while promoting data sharing and collaboration across the organisation and with external partners. Thirdly, it is crucial to prioritise talent development and training to build process, data and AI capabilities and foster a culture of innovation. And lastly, they could start small and then expand, but organisations should embrace the agile methodology for rapid application development.
AI-Powered Process Platforms like Appian enable insurers to rapidly build custom applications up to 20x faster and simplify, and automate complex workflows without the need for extensive coding or technical expertise. A modern application platform should provide a visual interface and pre-built components that allow business users to create and modify applications quickly and easily, speeding up development times and reducing costs. It enables insurers to connect with their extended insurance ecosystems and integrate with internal and partner legacy systems, 3rd party databases, and insurtechs where needed, developing new propositions through collaboration. By leveraging AI, process automation, and low-code, insurers can accelerate their digital modernisation efforts, stay ahead of the competition, and meet evolving customer needs and preferences.
Have there already been insurers that have been delivering connected insurance with Appian?
Yes, one concrete example is the success that Baloise Belgium has been able to achieve through the Appian Platform. Baloise is on a mission to enhance service levels for their customers and specifically their brokers since they are a crucial element, especially in the strong broker market of Belgium. Baloise began with optimising its claims process, starting with the first notice of loss (FNOL) in the home and content claims process. This was a complex task, which single core solutions can not handle alone since it involves a multi-persona process, where various internal and external data sources need to come together to deliver a synchronous outcome.
By connecting disparate data and improving workflows, Baloise has been able to enhance data quality at claims intake and improve workflow between external parties to expedite claims settlement and deliver next-level customer service.
Since Appian is a Platinum Partner at ITC DIA Europe, what do you plan to present on stage?
Appian can help insurers design, automate, and optimise complex insurance processes. Several learnings and key benefits will be shared in the session on the 28th of June at ITC DIA Europe. For example: a thorough review of your processes is key before you begin any automation work. One could do this manually with business analysts or digitally with a process mining tool. Either way, an organisational process audit is crucial to understand how information and workflows throughout the company to partners and customers. Otherwise, you may end up with a poor process, which is only partly automated and doesn’t solve what you were looking for.
Who is Appian?
ITC DIA Europe’s Platinum Partner, Appian, is a software company that automates insurance business processes. The Appian AI-Powered Process Platform includes everything insurers need to design, automate, and optimise their core processes from start to finish. Appian can help insurers improve their workflows, unify data, and optimise operations—resulting in more growth and better customer experiences.
Appian was founded in 1999 by Matt Calkins, Michael Beckley, Robert Kramer, and Marc Wilson in the United States. Appian has offices in the United States, Europe, and Asia, serving customers across multiple industries, including insurance, financial services, and government. The company raised $90 million in its Nasdaq IPO in 2017 and has continued to grow, with over 2,200 employees as of 2023. Appian provides end-to-end process automation with extensive capabilities, including artificial intelligence (AI), low-code, process mining, robotic process automation (RPA), case management, and industry solutions – all on one platform to help organisations streamline their business operations and accelerate digital transformation.