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Securing the programmable world | Insurance blog



As we enter a new phase of innovation following the disruption caused by the covid-19 pandemic, insurers must look ahead to determine what their technology priorities should be today. Spring 2022 Technology vision the report focuses on the expansion of the digital world and the increasing overlap between physical and virtual reality. One of the trends I think is most relevant to insurance companies is Accenture’s vision for the programmable world.

In the report, Accenture found that 74% of global executives said the number of IoT or edge devices deployed in their organizations had significantly increased in the past three years. With that information in mind, insurers must understand how their products and customer interactions can stand out in an increasingly digitized reality.

If insurance leaders want to move forward, they need to focus on functionality rather than novelty. A truly programmable world will rely on robust technologies that drive efficiency and engagement while measurably reducing cost and effort. The question is not, “How do we develop new offerings to demonstrate that we can keep up with the latest technology?”

; The question must be: “How do we design or adapt products and processes to deliver the most value to customers through a programmable world?”

There are two insurance use cases that I believe will be heavily impacted by innovation towards a programmable world: customer interaction and embedded commercial insurance. The implications of augmented reality (AR) and technologies such as programmable materials could change the way both personal lines and large commercial operators do business.

Reimagine customer interactions

For operators of personal lines, AR and IoT technologies offer new opportunities to personalize the customer experience and improve the claims process. We’re already seeing auto insurers use IoT technology like connected telematics devices to offer more personalized, usage-based policies. This filing sets a precedent for the rest of the property insurance industry not far behind.

Innovation in this area is already happening with offerings such as Allianz Partners’ Visi’Home, which the company launched in France back in 2020. Visi’Home is a video diagnosis service that supports customers remotely in the event of damage to their home or possessions. Support staff can assess damage and connect customers to repair resources without having to dispatch someone directly. They can also initiate the claims settlement process based on the video assessment.

With AR glasses technology, for example, this process can happen in real time, potentially without the intervention of a human agent. AI could search for damage and make recommendations to the customer, provide a list of resources or initiate a phone call to a nearby technician and let the customer know what their policy covers, all in the moment.

IoT solutions and innovations that break down barriers between real-world behaviors and digital data collection can also enable insurers to understand and support their customers on an increasingly personal level. computer vision, speech recognition, and wearables can enable the environment to respond to individuals as they move through it. An example given in the Technology Vision report is a set of stairs that flattens into a ramp as a wheelchair user approaches. Technology like this can make spaces safer and change the way we insure things like homes, vehicles and small brick and mortar businesses.

Understanding how customers interact with the environment also makes sense for life insurance companies, although data ethics and privacy must be at the forefront of this type of innovation.

Customers are accustomed to what Tech Vision refers to as a “virtual lifestyle” during the pandemic – interacting with colleagues, friends and brands, often exclusively online. The metaverse will allow us to engage in a virtual lifestyle in new ways, similar to the rise of social media that allowed us to build virtual lives in the first place. Carriers should focus on extending the convenience and personalization of the virtual world to customers’ everyday lives: improving customer well-being and streamlining interactions through new technologies.

Embedding insurance into business operations

After the publication of last year’s Insurance Technology Vision, I discussed how digital twins can assist insurers with distribution, underwriting, operations and claims. Through data from IoT and 5G connected devices, digital twins can provide real-time data and context about the environment.

In my previous post on this topic, I gave an example of digital twins that provide deeper context around car accident claims. I see a similar application for digital twins in commercial manufacturing and warehouse environments. With digital twins, every machine in a factory or vehicle in a fleet can continuously generate data around risks such as wear and tear and let workers know when equipment needs servicing.

For workers, digital twins combined with AR and IoT technology can also increase safety on the job, changing the way transportation companies underwrite workers’ compensation insurance. Another compelling example from Tech Vision: a worker moving through a factory can see an overlay of potential hazards with AR glasses, and machines can be turned off and on remotely as they walk by, reducing the risk of accidents at work.

But equipping entire factories and workforces with IoT hardware will be a costly endeavor. This is computer and machine vision come in, allowing insurance companies and their customers to “run” ahead by eliminating the need to fully equip spaces and individuals with physical hardware. Advances in machine vision make it easier to leverage visual data to run diagnostics and assess risk. Instead of relying on wearable devices and integrated sensors, commercial operators can use a network of cameras to perform similar work. Companies such as Basler and Qualcomm are already developing plug-and-play solutions with powerful cameras and integrated machine learning systems that perform advanced object classification and facial recognition.

With continuous risk-related data available to both commercial customers and carriers at all times, underwriters have much greater insight into risk, enabling more tailored and cost-effective premiums and products. In the programmable world, insurance risk assessment can be built into every part of an organization’s operations.

Looking to the future

A programmable world offers a wealth of opportunities for insurers to get closer to their customers and the assets they insure through more direct access to real-time data. It will also enable insurers to respond to customer needs more quickly and process claims much more efficiently. Overall, a programmable world could be a safer and perhaps more predictable world. With that in mind, insurance companies can consider how they can pioneer this safety-enhanced, reduced-risk reality.

If you want to discuss your digital strategy and improve your opportunities for a programmable world, contact me.


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Disclaimer: This content is provided for general information purposes and is not intended to be used as a substitute for consultation with our professional advisors.
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