Filed Under:Agent Broker, Agency Technology

How video-enabled services are transforming the insurance industry

Insurers are leveraging interactive video services as part of their digital transformation.

"Digital transformation" is a key initiative for insurance companies, Vidyo says, as many are adapting to new technologies to help reduce costs, increase efficiency, and transform the way they do business. (Photo: Shutterstock)

A recently released research study found that over 70% of insurance professionals have plans to initiate or operate video-enabled services for claims management, loss adjustment or remote expertise, while over 60% plan to deploy video for sales and advisory services.

This information comes from a new Vidyo and Efma study on the insurance industry’s digital transformation to video-enabled services. 

The study polled 84 insurance services professionals from 34 countries. The study's researchers say these particular subjects are leading the insurance sector into the digital age, where video has emerged as a critical channel for interacting with customers, delivery advisory services, selling insurance and more.

Related: InsurTech sets the stage for 'A Tale of Two Industries' 

The rise of digital insurance

Vidyo and Efma researchers report that insurers are leveraging interactive video services across two key areas of their businesses.

The first goal with video is to humanize customer engagement for complex or emotional interactions. The second goal is to streamline the process of getting customers to the right expertise.

Researchers cite millennials and Generation Z as the driving force behind InsurTech adaptations, as this customer base is less likely to visit a branch, and demands convenience via mobile and online resources.

Related: When worlds collide: Insurers and InsurTech 

As more and more services are delivered without face-to-face interaction, online insurance product purchase attempts have tripled since 2011, according to the 2017 Insurance Barometer Study. Additionally, Accenture cited in its Reimagining Insurance Distribution report that 31% of P&C Personal Lines sales will be digitally executed from start to finish by 2018.

The research study's key findings highlight insurance companies' perceived benefits of adopting interactive video-enabled services to develop and improve customer relationships and satisfaction.

"The survey reveals how and where today's insurers are planning to meet the needs of their modern customers: virtually, over video connections, in the blink of an eye,” said Efma CEO Vincent Bastid.

Video's role in InsurTech

The 2017 research study identified the top perceived benefits of video for sales and advisory services:

        1. Increased perception of the organizations being innovative (67%).
        2. Increased customer satisfaction (61%).
        3. Faster customer service (60%).

Other noted benefits included increased attractiveness for new customers (56%), increased customer intimacy (46%), reduced workload in branches and reduced number of branches (43%), and increased customer loyalty (39%) and revenue (20%).

Choosing the right technology

For insurance professionals considering transitioning to video, the Vidyo and Efma report offers 7 key characteristics insurance companies should consider when choosing a technology provider to power video-enabled services:

        1. High-quality video and audio.
        2. Ability to cope with whatever technology setup the consumer is using.
        3. Ease-of-use
        4. Security and compliance.
        5. Scalability.
        6. Branding and customization
        7. Integration capability.

Key success factors beyond the technology

The study’s researchers say finding the right technology is critical, but not a guarantee of success. Here are 3 key success factors insurance companies should focus on:

        1. Staff training and culture adaptation. It is critical for companies to effectively train employees on how to work and interact with customers in front of a camera, and how to use the video technology.
        2. Creating a video-friendly environment. With such a visual medium, it’s important to pay attention to factors that may disrupt the video experience, including lighting, sound, background noises and setting, etc.
        3. Communication. Promoting the new product internally and among the customer base is imperative to its success. 

Human interaction in The Digital Age

As digital transformation influences all industries in different ways, the insurance industry faces a need to re-create a human connection with customers in a world where face-to-face interaction is growing less common. Video offers companies that tool, allowing insurers and customers to connect virtually from the comfort of wherever their mobile devices take them.

"We expect video to fundamentally change the way insurance services are delivered in the years to come," the report states, "and our survey indicates that video-enabled insurers can accrue significant benefits to their businesses as well as competitive advantage."

Vidyo is a leading video conferencing company. Efma is a non-profit research organization. Read their full video-enabled services research report.

Related: What's on the horizon for P&C insurers in 2017?

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