COVID-19 has been a driving force behind digitisation in the insurance industry, though one expert says that another issue has been front of mind for the majority of insurance businesses across Australia and New Zealand.
Andrew White, country manager Australia and New Zealand at Signavio, says that for most insurers, underwriters and advisers, ensuring compliance and cutting down on costs has been a major driving force behind revisiting their digital strategies, and this trend was well underway before COVID-19 struck.
White says that in insurance, digitising your processes is like ‘going from a street directory to a smartphone’, or a full financial system after using Excel. He says that when it comes to compliance, businesses are starting to fully appreciate the benefits of moving away from manual handling.
“One of the biggest drivers we’re seeing in insurance is around compliance,” White told Insurance Business.
“APRA compliance has been huge in Australia, and we’re hearing similar things from our New Zealand customers too. Companies need to get on top of their compliance and reduce the costs, and that’s an industry-wide problem.”
“Being more customer-centric and creating a digital transformation is what companies were working on pre-COVID, but we’ve certainly seen that COVID has brought a realisation to the industry that they need to get there sooner, and they need to do it better,” he explained.
“The insurance business really needs to be more agile and adaptable to the changes that are out there, and we’re seeing a lot of interest in the customer onboarding process – that is, onboarding from first request through to claims management, and trying those together from a compliance and NPS perspective.”
White says that while insurers want to improve their customer experience, they also want to ensure that any new process is cost effective – a significant concern in a turbulent time where profits are being squeezed.
With new financial services regimes imminent across both Australia and New Zealand, he says simplicity and a 3D view is going to be key to any successful digitisation process.
“Insurers need to ask how they can improve customer experience, but at the same time, how they can ensure that it’s still profitable from a cost perspective and compliant with the regulator’s standards,” White said.
“Those are all intermingled. With our own software, we enable that 360 degree view of customer experience, process, and the details of the transaction with the customer. That’s where we’re seeing a lot of work coming up across both Australia and New Zealand.”