Virtual Viewpoint: Quick Return on Mobile Investment

What areas of mobile technology for insurance can bring the quickest return on investment and why should insurers adopt them?

What is the fastest ROI in mobile? Make your landing pages and Websites mobile compatible with smart-phones and tablets; especially with the iPhone and Android devices.

Sounds obvious, right? But, apparently it’s not. A recent Google study shows that 79 percent of all insurance company landing pages and Websites are not optimized for mobile. Surprised? I was. An Equation Research report completed on behalf of Gomez, Inc., shows that 61 percent of consumers would likely never return to a site with a poor mobile experience. That combination is deadly.

Years ago when Captain Kirk of the Starship Enterprise flipped up his communicator, he spoke to someone, even otherworldly, but he was just talking. Think of the cell phone of just five years ago. In addition, Kirk’s communicator did not have the power to do anything in a connected world except talk. He could not buy anything, make payments, combine friends and family through social media, play games, or search for anything anywhere anytime. But we can and are.

Today we can buy almost anything on our smartphones and tablets, including insurance. Of course, in fairness, the insurance industry has not been completely idle in mobile. Besides the ability to purchase insurance or make a claim there are a variety of experiments going on at insurance companies.

For example, at least one company has implemented “snap a photo of your driver’s license and get an auto quote.” Another company allows you to snap a photo of your “accident” and file a FNOL from an app on your smartphone. While these are serious attempts to harness mobile technology and are important to the future of “mobile” in the insurance industry, most companies are missing the point.

Smartphones and tablets have become a ubiquitous part of our world, yet only in the last year have their numbers actually begun to surpass so called dumbphones. However, the trend is accelerating exponentially. In theUSwe are just over halfway through the dumb-phone conversion cycle. By 2016, roughly 60 percent of the “computing” devices used to communicate, text, buy goods (including insurance), pay bills, play games and host a myriad of other goods and services will be a smartphone. And another 20 percent will be on a tablet.

And another statistic that should get you thinking: In 2012 it is projected that 18 percent of all searches for personal auto insurance will be done by a mobile phone. It is expected that within five years that number will triple. But no one is really sure.  How about four times? Or even more or sooner?

As of today, smartphone penetration of all adults between ages 18 and 64, at all income levels, is dramatic and climbing fast; with surprisingly large concentrations in the peak earnings years. As to current and future consumers, here’s a quote from a blogger commenting on a presentation from a recent mobile conference, “I teach at a nearby university, and for my students, even a laptop is too big. They want EVERYTHING to come through their smartphone, or, if necessary from their tablet.”

Clearly there are not a lot of university students buying any type of insurance, yet. But, in a very few years, these will be consumers of automobiles, homes, startup businesses, etc. You get the point.

Smartphone and tablets are the mobile megatrends of today not tomorrow. You had better be on board.



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