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An Insurance CIO’s 4 Top Mobile Challenges

Peter Settel, CIO of Homesite Insurance, says that HTML5 is making insurers think hard about whether a native app or mobile website experience is best for their mobile initiatives.
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I sat down with Peter Settel, the CIO of Boston-based Homesite Insurance, earlier this year, and among the topics we discussed were the opportunities afforded to insurance companies by mobile technology. Following are his views on four of the most important issues insurers must understand to reap rewards from their mobile investments:


1. Native Apps vs. Mobile Web

Settel believes HTML5 and Javascript allow insurers to "create pretty amazing user experiences that rivals things people have done in native" on the mobile web.

"But, if I'm an insurance company, and I want to create maximum penetration with a customer group, is there a benefit to going to a native app because I can get some distribution?" through the app stores, Settel asks.

"Pushing" information to a policyholder's mobile phone is much more easily accomplished through an app, which does make a difference for certain use cases, Settel adds: "If the customer is used to using instant messaging and getting stuff pushed to them, we want to replicate that experience. We have a more point-to-point relationship through the app."

Nathan Golia is senior editor of Insurance & Technology. He joined the publication in 2010 as associate editor and covers all aspects of the nexus between insurance and information technology, including mobility, distribution, core systems, customer interaction, and risk ... View Full Bio

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Ramesh S. Natarajan
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Ramesh S. Natarajan,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/18/2013 | 8:16:34 PM
re: An Insurance CIO’s 4 Top Mobile Challenges
Settel really interested in - 'quotes from pictures,'" he says. "We can geocode a photograph and from that latitude and longitude we can get to your property address and derive all sorts of information. And from a picture we can get an idea of your internal contents and satisfy what we need from a base perspective. Please share more information.
Anthony R. O'Donnell
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Anthony R. O'Donnell,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/12/2013 | 6:57:13 PM
re: An Insurance CIO’s 4 Top Mobile Challenges
Regarding claims functionality, as in other cases of online communications, the public's inclination to work with apps rather than a voice on the phone is likely to increase. Most people, once they get the hang of it, are happy to work things out with an app, provided the service gets them where they want to go, so to speak.
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