For years (decades?), small insurers have viewed their technology as an expense. Their portals? Expense. Their internal systems? Expense. Their billing system? Expense. Their claim management system? Expense.
You get the idea.
In a “people first” industry, these systems were always viewed as secondary. We’ve got great relationships with our agents and policyholders. Why should we spend any more than we have to on our technology?
But so much has changed in the last half decade.
Apple, Netflix, Amazon, Facebook, Google and countless other tech giants have fundamentally changed our consumer-based digital expectations. And whether we recognize it or not, those digital expectations apply to our experiences at work.
This is precisely why small insurers that continue to view their technology as an expense – and not as an investment – will experience the following challenges…
- Agents will write more business with insurers that have invested in ways to make doing so easier and faster.
- Policyholders will choose other providers that make making a payment or filing a claim as easy as ordering paper towels off of Amazon.
- Ambitious new talent will go to work at other companies that have made the investment in the technology and are thus positioning their teams for growth. This has a residual impact on customer satisfaction: people like doing business with smart, efficient people.
- Business processes will break down as sole knowledge holders leave or retire.
- Cash will burn faster to fuel worsening inefficient processes.
OK, Enough of the Doom and Gloom! Tell me What to Do!
To start, it’s time to redefine your relationship with your technology. Talk to your team. Talk to your agents and your policyholders. Figure out where they are experiencing friction and then assess the existing solution. Determine what those solutions are costing you and extrapolate that over the next five years. Then add on another 15 percent because legacy technology will consistently get more ornery and costly over time.
Armed with a real sense of what doing nothing about your tech will result in, you now need to evaluate what your options are. Here’s the good news:
Most of what’s been holding you back from upgrading your technology no longer holds water.
It doesn’t cost as much as you think it does thanks to new plug-and-play solutions and efficiently designed platforms.
It won’t bring your entire business to a halt because today’s implementation strategies are modular and designed to work around business units and minimize impact.
It won’t take forever.
It won’t require any steep learning curves. (Remember, our evolved digital expectations are universal!)
And in the long run, it will be more than worth it.
Check out some of our further reading:
- Modernizing Your Insurance Tech Stack: 5 Myths Demystified
- Insurtech is Leveling the Playing Field for Small Insurers
- Afraid of the Lift and Shift? Try Upgrading Your Portals in Just a Few Weeks