Insurers looking to up their game on customer service should follow the lead of technology-driven companies when it comes to establishing closer, more interactive ties with their policyholders.

This was the first thought that came to me after attending a recent briefing by a former auto executive talking about the implications of web-connected cars. I went in laser focused on the issues relating specifically to insurers—including telematics, new safety technologies, and, of course, development of "driverless" vehicles. But I came out of the discussion realizing that insurers actually had a lot in common with auto manufacturers when it came to customer service and fears of being disrupted by more web-centric competitors.

Disconnected from end users

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