USAA uses a three-pronged approach to achieve a top mobile user experience, according to Patrick Kelly, the insurer’s emerging technology executive. That approach involves bringing customization, personalization and product individuality to customers.

Through the on-going modification of its mobile app, USAA offers digital experiences that mirror human interaction, enabling customers to alter menus by preference, and displaying open claims statuses for a personal touch.

“Our app used to have a very static environment and structured menu. We now use containers [similar to Google Cards] which our customers can populate with any information they want,” said Kelly at INN’s Insurance Analytics Symposium in New Orleans. Claims history and accounts are examples of container options available to users, he added.

USAA also uses geolocation to send pertinent messages to customers, Kelly says. During Hurricane Matthew, policyholders on the east coast received alerts urging them to file claims as they happened. Clients’ zip codes were used for pinpoint targeting during the storm. A similar strategy applies when customers visit a car dealership or mechanic—USAA sends quote or coverage information.

However, the system is not an exact science, Kelly said. Insurers today rely heavily on in-house and purchased data, but lack the preferential data that would aid in knowing when the best time to connect with a user is. According to Kelly, preferential data has the capability help insurers connect with customers the way only other humans can.

“Facebook and Google have tons of preferential data. They know whether you’re a dog or cat person. They know what route you took to work today,” he said. “Structured [in-house] data is huge, but relatively small compared to data we need for a better personalized experience.”

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