What exactly is Insuretech?
Many people see insurtech as the technology behind insurance. According to Prominence Support, a leading domestic insurance provider, this is an overly simplified explanation of a complicated topic; In real world terms insuretech can be applied to the many different parts of technology that are enhancing and, at the same time, disrupting the insurance market. Things like smartphone apps, wearables, claim tools, autoswitching technology, software that shows the cheapest policies automatically, and car telematics are changing the insurance landscape beyond recognition.
But is insuretech beneficial to customers?
Before we answer that question, let’s have a look at some of the problems that insuretech brings with it:
Some people are put off by insuretech
Asking a young driver to fit a black box telematic system to their car so they can reduce their car insurance premium is a great way to breed animosity. Everyone wants to save money, but black box systems alienate drivers with feelings that ‘Big Brother’ is watching them. How many cars have you seen with stickers apologising for a black box being fitted? This apology manifests out of a frustration for having to fit it in the first place. People don’t like to feel they are being manipulated into doing something they don’t necessarily want to do.
Equally, forcing customers to view policies online and driving them towards chat robots when they are looking for support, can be really frustrating for some and can push them towards insurance companies who still employ old fashioned customer support options.
It can prevent customers from getting the additional coverage they need
Insuretech can prevent customers from obtaining supplemental insurance coverage they need because they no longer have the same contact with companies that they would have had before. Online tools and aps showing customers the cheapest policy options with no expert input can lead to issues with under-insurance and poor cover.
We are over automating life
While, insuretech is a great way to provide insurance companies with data that allows them to understand customers and provide better value by automating tasks that would normally require an expert’s input, it is taking the science out of insurance and putting faith in unbendable technology. In the old days getting an insurance policy required you to speak to an expert who would guide you towards the right purchase. Nowadays people put their requirements into an online portal and are automatically shown the cheapest options. They have no guidance and will have little idea of what they are buying.
We are losing that personal touch
This ties in with the previous point but as we march forward to an automated world with limited interactions with each other, we lose the personal touch that reassures us that what we are buying quality. Insuretech, while a great way to automate insurance processes, is only helping with this disassociation between the things we buy and the companies who sell them to us.
So, is insuretech the devil?
Of course not. Like all areas of society, technology is taking over. Insurance is no exception and while the change over may be jarring for some, the benefits it brings outweigh the negatives at the end of the day. Any technology that makes insurance cheaper and easier to buy can’t be bad and as insuretech improves, we are only going to experience even more ways that it will improve our insurance buying habits.