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.
April 12, 2013

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."

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