We live in the era of technology innovation where easy access to the Internet via computers, mobile phones and other hand-held devices have become a part of an individual’s everyday life. The penetration of this technological innovation is rising at a rapid pace in developing economies such as India. Customers use these devices to easily obtain the updates or information on the insurance products and services as well. It is considered to be the expected trend in the near future.
The insurance sector has come up with innovative ways to leverage the mobile and internet channels to sell their products and services and at the same time attract the millennial generation customers. The Internet helps in better illustrations and easy retrieval of information from the source through the enhanced ability of the browsers and websites. It also helps in maintaining the transparency of the costs associated with the various insurance policies.
As it is rightly said by Stephen Hawking that, “We Are All Connected By The Internet Like Neurons In A Giant Brain”.
The customer preferences about buying insurance products or services have gradually changed with the rise in usage of the Internet. This behavioral change is seen in all age groups and is prominent among the young customers. People use the Internet to compare with the various insurance quotes available online, to make policy payments or make any changes in the policy and to contact the insurers through the various online platforms. Thus, the Internet is more of a necessity than a luxury.
The Internet era has enforced Insurers to provide a robust self-service portal for the customers. This ultimately helps in improving customer experience and at the same time reducing operational workload. These portals help in increase in the insurance related activities via this channel.
The increasing usage of the Internet, however, varies across both life and non-life insurance product or services. The analysis on the usage of Internet for Insurance Industry states that there are still customers who rely on agents for Life Insurance while there is an increased number of customers who rely on the online channels for buying non-life insurance products or services. Non-Life Insurance such as motor insurance or property insurance requires less advice making it more suitable to be sold or purchased online.
The online sale of insurance products has huge potential for distributing policies while maintaining the overall costs. It is essential for the Insurers to focus on increased adoption of this channel to generate new product sales and also to provide related services to their customers. These channels are also helpful in providing customer service and collect customer feedback. It is also leveraged to provide claims management and related services to customers.
Implications for the Insurers are – Insurers should identify these products and develop the necessary systems to sell them online. It is also essential to study the typical profile of a customer who is more likely to use the internet to get information on insurance products, and then create targeted online sales strategies. It is important for insurers to make sure that the portal works as an integrated part of the whole omni-channel distribution network while developing the online portal.