Insurance industry must embrace digital to drive customer satisfaction say speakers

Published: July 11, 2017

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones



The insurance industry is finding it hard to modernize as companies seeking technological improvement are often hampered by regulations. Speakers at a recent conference suggests the industry is not agile enough and there needs to be more synergy between companies and regulators.

Paul MacDonald, senior vice president of claims and chief claims officer for RSA Canada claimed the insurance market is “struggling to speed up the process of being more agile”.

“Customers can go online and renew their passport with the government of Canada,” MacDonald suggested June 29 at the Insurance Analytics Canada Summit, held at the Toronto Marriott Downtown Eaton Centre Hotel. “The vast majority of customers, with some exceptions, still can’t renew online most of their insurance products. That seems crazy to me that the Government of Canada’s faster than we are as an industry. That’s a bit of a wakeup call for us frankly.”

MacDonald was speaking as part of a panel called Analytics are Transforming Claims, Underwriting and Pricing. Moderated by Stephen Applebaum, managing partner at Insurance Solutions Group, panellists were asked how data analytics in the claims process could breed improved customer satisfaction. Applebaum asked panellists how the use of data analytics in claims can address customer satisfaction.

“A lot of our internal processes were designed to improve our speed and our expenses” MacDonald said. “So now we are spending a lot of time asking ‘What does this mean for the customer? How many questions on the application? How long does it take for a claim to be processed? What is the fastest way for getting them to preferred supplier and why would they even bother using a preferred supplier?’”

Sam Natur, president and CEO of Bullfrog Insurance Ltd. Added that most customers are now embracing digital to contact their insurer.

“We are at the point now where smart phones are over 80% of the visits that come to our site,” said Natur. “We are a brokerage so we are not necessarily handling a claim, but it strikes me that at the end of the day, if we can make things as accessible to the customer as possible …  that in itself is just a step forward.”

“If you are looking at, ‘I am going to fax you a form and then you are going to fill it out and then you are going to fax it back to me,’ it’s like, is this 1985 again or what? It doesn’t make sense,” Natur said.