The vast majority of insurers see mobility holding the highest value when it comes to providing consumers with information and better customer service, according to “The FirstBest Mobile Technology for Insurance Survey.”

The recent study, conducted by FirstBest Systems, revealed carrier smartphone and tablet use has increased since a similar survey in 2011, and that insurers are moving mobile use beyond basic job convenience.

More than 80 percent of the carriers surveyed said mobile would enable them to offer better and faster customer service.

Mobile device use also has grown among carriers and managing general underwriters (MGU), which includes more sophisticated device preferences: 62 percent of respondents prefer to use tablets for tasks other than phone calls, compared to 21 percent who prefer smartphones.

Traveling for business was the most popular reason for using a mobile device among respondents, followed by visiting clients. However, just being away from a workstation was also a highly cited reason, which points to the comfort level employees are achieving using mobile devices. As the report points out, these choices signal a shift toward mobile becoming more central to business than in 2011, when “while at home” was the second most-popular motivation for mobile use.

When asked “What tasks would you like to perform on the mobile device?” the top responses were:

  • Look up customer information from anywhere (87 percent)
  • Check the status of a claim (75 percent)
  • Check the status of an application (75 percent)
  • Show information to a client (73 percent)

“The topic of mobile enjoys undeniable popularity in the media, but in actual industry practice, we’re finding a significant change in behavior,” said John Belizaire, founder and CEO of FirstBest Systems Inc. “Clearly the use or desire to use mobile for day-to-day business has grown in the past two years. Mobile functionality is no longer just a personal convenience — it’s viewed as a valuable and strategic business tool.”
The survey included 55 respondents, representing 45 carriers and MGUs; 82 percent of the carrier respondents focus on commercial lines.

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