Some life insurers unsure they can get results from digital

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Life insurers are still lagging other industries and even lines of insurance when it comes to leveraging data in the enterprise, including on the sales side, according to a report from RGAX.

The innovation arm of Reinsurance Group of America surveyed 26 small to mid-size life insures. It found that customer-focused data strategies are not widespread in the industry. These strategies include:

  • Customer data for upsell and product cross-selling
  • Customer segmentation overall and by product
  • Data models for accelerated underwriting
  • Customer data for customer communications(personalization)
  • Underwriting data propensity models (smoker, aggregatecredit, driving records, behavioral, etc)
  • Analysis of prospects, suspects and customer data in yourCRM
  • Customer e-portal using data for a better serviceexperience
  • Customer data for persona targeting with lead gen andmarketing content
  • Data for conservation team

Of these categories, just under half of respondents reported that they only operationalize one of them at this time. Upselling and cross-selling was the most common application, in practice at 39% of respondents.

"Despite the continuous 'buzz' around using data to enhance insurance sales strategies, our survey findings did not yield a high number of respondents currently using data with a customer focus, suggesting this may be an area for growth," the report, which was authored by VP and distribution lead Donna Jermer, says. "Meanwhile, one carrier reported 'this is exactly where we fall short' and another is 'just starting to talk about this now.'"

Elsewhere, half of the respondents reported that they currently have engagement or loyalty plans in place or under plan, with the most common of these being life and legacy planning programs and second-most being identity protection. Nearly a third said it is too expensive to introduce or expand digital marketing efforts, mostly because their companies aren't equipped to recover the cost, RGAX found.

"While the cost of allocating resources and the expense of introducing/expanding digital marketing efforts remains high, many survey participants still felt that it is worthwhile and may be a recoverable cost, if done correctly," Jermer writes.

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