More and more companies these days are taking their business online, and that is no exception for insurance companies. By strengthen their online presence, businesses and insurance companies alike are joining an immense arena where modern day customers reside. This entails adopting the newest technologies and going digital.
Yet, software development, no matter web or mobile, is a tricky business. In order to stay afloat in this environment, insurers need to be familiar with the best practices and strategies for building web or mobile applications in their specific field. With this understanding, we have prepared a comprehensive guide to software development for companies in the insurance industry. We are confident that it will help navigate around possible pitfalls and build a successful product.
The business case for insurance software
Previously, every insurance agent had to deal with an enormous amount of paperwork on a daily basis. There were a lot of calculations that needed to be made and dozens of indexes to consider when preparing a single case. Oftentimes, all of these operations were performed manually, or with the help of a limited internal system whose software is composed of tools that are typically outdated.
Having a customer-facing modern application in place can change any insurance business drastically, opening up new and profitable opportunities. Namely, software development in insurance offers the following benefits:
- Streamlined and automated internal processes
- As a result, lower risks, reduced effort, and better staff performance
- Enhanced customer experience and accessibility
- Greater business competitiveness
- Access to valuable data with the ability to process it and gain valuable insight into customers and business in general
- Improved ROI
Modern insurance software can replace labor-intensive processes and outdated legacy systems. It can also help an insurance company meet the expectations of a modern customer and deliver a personalized experience. With these advantages, you will be in a better position to compete in a highly competitive marketplace and to grow your revenue.
Insurance software development best practices
Insurance technology, or Insurtech, opens up a brave new world of innovation to the industry that has remained unchanged for decades. Driven by the obvious advantages of an effective software solution, the growing pressure to adapt to a fast paced environment, and the challenges posed by startups, insurance companies are adopting new business models and investing heavily into software development.
In this regard, the following strategies and best practices tend to be crucial for building a successful insurance software product.
Focus on customer experience
It is good practice to simplify things, both in terms of business logic and UI in order to provide an enhanced customer experience. Making your product more user-friendly is achievable through the use of a modern and clean layout, and making navigation straightforward and intuitive. Enhanced software performance also contributes to achieving a satisfied customer.
Read also: Chatbot Apps: The Future of Customer Service
Build an omnichannel presence
Investing in both web and mobile development can provide the customer with meaningful interaction and a seamless experience across all platforms. Mobile apps can complement the core product or add value to it. If you are only starting your digitization journey, then we recommend first starting with just a website. However, make sure to optimize your product for mobile devices by making it responsive.
Ensure data security
This aspect is especially important for businesses that deal with personal data, finances, and other sensitive information. The product needs to be secure enough to protect the customer’s data from any leaks and cyber-attacks. Use a 2-step or biometric identity verification, and the latest encryption methods to prevent unauthorized access to sensitive information. Also, it’s good practice to use machine learning for fraud detection.
Invest in reliability
By using cloud technologies, you not only save on infrastructure cost and setup, but also provide 24/7 support from the vendor. Thus, your product will have up to 99.9% uptime, which is very important for insurance products. If a customer is unable to reach an agent in the case of emergency, it is not only frustrating for the customer, but the consequences of this lack of service will cause reputable damage.
Put customer data to use
Data analytics is found in many applications in the insurance industry. From fraud detection, risk assessment and management, to advanced personalization and smart recommendation algorithms, you can (and you should) put your customer’s data to good use.
Top features for insurance software
Depending on the target audience of the software, its features might differ greatly. When speaking about consumer-facing apps, the following capabilities are a must-have.
- Online/In-app quoting tool (Is created with dropdowns and manual input fields, an underlying assessment algorithm, and report generation)
- Claim filing and submission (claim drafts or personalized suggestions, autocomplete or dropdowns, file upload or access to the device’s camera, and geolocation)
- Customer profile (personal info, active insurance agreements, documents storage, submitted claims and status reports, as well as inventory)
- Personal inventory (in case a customer has multiple items – the ability to add, review or manage insured property is important)
- Payments (the ability to link your bank account and make automated payments or accept refunds)
- Online support (online chat with an agent – actual person or a virtual assistant, contact info, FAQ)
- Add-ons (push notifications, signature capture add-ons, ID scanning, security tools, “panic button” or ability to contact 991 or get emergency assistance in one touch, service locations or ability to locate nearby agents)
Probably one of the most innovative insurance providers, Allstate, offers a full-featured online portal and a wide range of mobile applications. Its website provides such capabilities as online quotes, finding local agents, the ability to file or track a claim, personal account, and exhaustive information on various aspects of the company’s business.
Its main mobile app, Allstate℠ Mobile, is basically a mobile, simplified version of the company’s web portal. It comes with the ability to set up scheduled payments, submit photos of the damage that a claim is being filed for, contact appropriate emergency personnel, and a number of other useful features such as parking or a gas station locator.
As with any other industry, insurance software development requires solid expertise and professionalism. No matter if you decide to use your in-house team or hire an experienced software development team, every team member needs to have a solid understanding of the industry’s regulations and best practices.
In order to ensure the best possible results of your initiative, choose a reliable provider with a proven track record of successful projects. Having worked with the world-known industry leaders such as Western Union, Gett, DPD, we at Eastern Peak have the skills and experience to help you build a modern web app or a user-friendly mobile app for your insurance business. Contact us now to get a free consultation and to secure your dedicated team.