The insurance industry is going through tremendous change as consumers – especially millennials – demand a digital experience. With smartphones and tablets rapidly becoming ubiquitous, insurance carriers and agents are rethinking how they interact with digitally savvy consumers and redefine customer centricity. Given our reliance on our smart phones, it’s no surprise that 86 percent of consumers would prefer to conduct their life insurance research online, according to the "2013 Insurance Barometer Study" by the LIFE Foundation and LIMRA, and 52 percent of insurance customers would prefer to apply for or purchase insurance online.

To build a foundation for long-term success in the digital age and keep traditional and non-traditional challenges (increasingly eager to enter the market) at bay, insurers must offer their customers the fast, easy, digital experience to which they have grown accustomed – on the device of their choice. While they are succeeding on many fronts, such as the ability to get a quote or manage claims online, they continue to trail in one critical area – the ability to produce highly responsive, mobile device-friendly content from documents originally developed for print – such as explanation of benefits, rate comparisons, policies, contracts and more. This is no minor issue when one considers that these documents are the backbone of the highly regulated insurance industry.

Businesses have traditionally delivered complex documents to their customers using print delivery or electronics of the same printed output. This approach is not ideal for the mobile world where this highly regulated content must be viewable, actionable, and compliant across all of the devices that consumers use today.

Insurers have made large investments into expansive document libraries – ranging from explanation of benefits, rate comparisons, policy binders, and contracts – and do not always have the resources required to completely re-engineer the document library to accommodate mobile access. Recreating these expansive libraries of documents for mobile-only platforms is time consuming, expensive, and exposes insurers to new risks so it is imperative for insurers to deliver interactive and dynamic content by leveraging their existing investments.

Instead, insurers are looking for ways to cost-effectively leverage compliant content and business-rules created for paper output in device responsive documents that facilitate delivery to mobile devices – protecting and extending their initial investment. A solution that can leverage and repurpose existing document publishing assets and investments is essential to providing insurance companies with the mobile capabilities they so desire without compromising regulated content and rules. As important, a successful digitization solution should enable use on iOS and Android operating systems alike, as well as desktop browsers – truly enhancing access for customers.

When considering a solution for document digitization, insurers must consider a variety of factors:

  • Does the solution provide mobile context to existing content?
  • Can it reformat print page-styled content into mobile device responsive HTML?
  • Can it reformat print page-styled content into XML that can be transformed with industry standard mobile device responsive style-sheets?
  • Does the solution offer responsive, media-rich delivery to today’s hyper-connected consumers?
  • Does the solution provide these capabilities for historical content as well?

While the process of digitizing age-old documents might seem like a daunting task, insurers can ease the process and easily update their legacy systems to streamline document production across all lines of business, products, and channels with the right strategies tool – reducing costs and freeing IT staff for other more important tasks.
Insurance companies have made great strides in the last several years to accommodate customers’ growing demand for digital services. Customers no longer have to complete a paper application and wait days or weeks for a quote. And any time a customer has a question about his or her open claim, all he or she has to do is log online to check the status. To continue on this road to innovation, insurers must fully digitize critical documents and communications making them available to users from any device, at any time. Consumers operate every aspect of their lives from their mobile devices and insurance should be no exception. By stepping into the modern era and replacing outdated processes, insurers can improve the customer experience while retaining loyal customers and set themselves apart from the competition.

Randy Skinner is the development and consulting VP - insurance, at Oracle

This blog entry has been republished with permission.

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The opinions posted in this blog do not necessarily reflect those of Insurance Networking News or SourceMedia.

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