Approximately 50 percent of P&C insurers recently surveyed expect to offer their policyholders the ability to look up information, pay bills or report claims via mobile by the end of this year, according to a Novarica report titled “Mobile in Insurance Beyond Personal Lines: Current Trends and Expectations.”

More than 70 percent of P&C insurers have plans to invest in those capabilities over the next several years as well; 41 percent have plans to invest in providing the ability to quote and buy coverage via mobile.

P&C insurers remain ahead of life/annuity insurers when it comes to deploying mobile capabilities, and they look to stay ahead too, according to the report.

Still, life/annuity investments in all categories are expected to increase, and life/annuity insurers do lead their P&C counterparts in providing consumers the ability to quote and buy coverage via mobile devices, with more than 60 percent planning investments in the coming years. Providing the ability to look up info is expected to receive similar attention (more than 60 percent planning investments) in the sector; the companies looking to provide capabilities for managing wealth products will double in 2014, from 12 to 24 percent, according to the survey.

“The low numbers for managing wealth products reflect the composition of the sample group,” the report states. “We believe that enabling mobile capabilities for wealth products customers will become a critical element in competing with mutual funds and retail brokers for the wealth business of Gen X (now entering their prime investing years) and Gen Y.”

The survey of 79 insurers (17 life/annuity; 62 P&C), found that more than 60 percent of respondents overall are planning to deploy additional mobile capabilities this year; more than 70 percent of P&C respondents plan on adding new mobile capabilities in 2014, whereas for life/annuity insurers, the number drops back down to around 50 percent.

Agents and brokers are expected to benefit from some of those future investments, as more than half of the life/annuity respondents and 40 percent of P&C respondents expect to deploy agent/broker capabilities by the end of the year, and more than 70 percent of both groups expect to do so in 2014 or later.

The survey also found that life/annuity insurers are emphasizing the ability to look up info and enable quoting/buying via mobile when it comes to agent/broker investments; Nearly 50 percent also plan to invest in agents/brokers ability to collaborate with underwriters via mobile. Heavy investments are expected from P&C insurers in agent/broker capabilities (at least 60 percent of respondents in all categories), looking up info leading the way with nearly 80 percent of respondents planning investments in the next several years.

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