May 22, 2013

For most insurance execs, their smartphones are their lives, connecting them to emails, keeping them on track for appointments and most likely acting as a source of entertainment while traveling. It’s amazing what you can accomplish through mobile technology, like deposit a check to your bank account via mobile app (so you have extra cash for poker tables) or FaceTime (i.e., video chat) with someone hundreds of miles away (letting them know you’ve lost that money from a bad hand).

Tom Clayton, HP Exstream
Tom Clayton, HP Exstream
In order to remain profitable, productive and competitive, insurers have seen the need to develop mobile capabilities to meet rapidly changing customer expectations. A recent report from Novarica revealed that 60 percent of insurers will add new mobile capabilities for policyholders and agents in 2013. The news isn’t surprising, with more than half of U.S. adults already connected to the web through a mobile connection, such as a smartphone or tablet.

Here are three reasons insurance carriers should consider betting on mobile technology:

1. Mobile App Wager: Mobile apps allow insurance carriers to easily connect with consumers and allow consumers to file claims. Liberty Mutual’s mobile app allows consumers to start a claim, and it records information such as accident location via GPS, the other party’s insurance information, a voice note recording to help remember specific details, and images pertaining to the damage.

2. Proof of Insurance: Providing proof of coverage has never been so easy. As of January 2013, 22 states are considering an electronic proof-of-insurance coverage legislation. The new legislation will allow drivers to use their smartphones to show their insurance identification card. Colorado is the latest state to adopt the new law, allowing Colorado drivers to show digital proof of coverage via mobile devices in early August 2013.

3. Gold Incentive: Insurance carriers have the opportunity to offer incentive programs to consumers via mobile devices. State Farm is running an incentive program that tracks the amount of miles policyholders drive, factoring the information to determine whether the driver is eligible for a monthly discount. One way the data is collected is through smart phones, either from an enabled Bluetooth on the device or via a charger port. The data is then sent to the insurance carrier via app or Internet.

About the Author: Tom Clayton is an insurance industry expert with HP Exstream, a customer communications management (CCM) solution.