January 3, 2018 by Greg Somerville
There is no denying that natural hazards such as B.C wildfires, multiple flooding events and the hurricanes thrashing our neighbours have been top of mind for the property and casualty insurance industry of late. Too often, these major incidents are followed by horror stories in which insureds discover they have no coverage in place to pay out a costly claim.
The increasing frequency of natural disasters highlights an important opportunity for the insurance industry to get better at minimizing uncertainty for customers. To do this, we can support the customer in their purchasing journey, help them understand the coverages they are purchasing, be there for them when they make a claim, and provide service in the format they prefer, whether digitally or in person.
A customer buying insurance does not make any distinction between the claims and sales sides of the business. Delivering the best service and claims experience is what matters most to customers. The industry needs to adapt to customers’ changing needs. A few key examples of how to meet Canadians’ evolving expectations include 1) strengthening internal technology foundations, making it easier to process claims; 2) opening up Application Program Interfaces (APIs) to allow for better communication between insurer and brokerage systems; and 3) remaining committed to supporting emerging technology through investments and meaningful customer propositions.
Insurers and brokers have a moral obligation to help customers understand their coverage, highlight coverage exclusions and make valuable recommendations based on risk assessments. They also have an obligation to make it as easy as possible for customers to get the service they need in the most convenient way possible, often during difficult or confusing times. Continuing to put the customer at the heart of everything should continue to be the priority for 2018 and every year after that.