The coronavirus crisis has demonstrated the importance of the digitization of the economy and society. This is because the companies that had already invested a great deal of energy in modernizing their processes and infrastructure remained operational during the lockdown.
There are other reasons why insurers should pick up their speed on digitization. And these are the wishes of their own customers. As the industry association Bitkom recently found out, there is certainly still a lot of potential in digitization.
Media disruptions in claims
Only six percent of the 1,000 respondents were able to settle their claims by using digital means only. Usually, the insurers request additional paper-based documents from their customers. This results in greater, and actually unnecessary, effort for both sides. The customer first has to deal with the process and then mail the documents to the insurer. The insurer then usually digitizes these documents at great expense. This additional work is only necessary because there is simply no process yet for digital processing.
Customers are satisfied with digital communication
Overall, policyholders are satisfied with the progress made so far with digital communication channels. Respondents described their communication with the insurer via smartphone app (64 percent), text chat on the website (64 percent) and via messenger apps (63 percent) as good or even very good. In second place are traditional contact forms, telephone contact or receiving advice in an agency or branch office. Video chats and social media were rated as significantly worse.
Younger users as drivers for online contact
Only 40 percent of younger people between the ages of 18 and 29 would prefer personal consultation on location (40 percent) if they were able to freely choose how to contact the insurer. Although this personal contact narrowly beats using a messenger (36 percent), a direct comparison among all respondents shows how strongly the preference for this means of communication is anchored in this target group. Only 23 percent of respondents prefer to use a messenger. If young consumers have a free choice, they use their phones and their email, which clearly lead the ranking. The results of the survey show a clear tendency among younger consumers to prefer digital channels.
The coronavirus is likely to continue to fuel trends
In recent months, digital technologies such as video-conferencing have conquered large parts of the population that had never used these technologies before. Therefore, the assumption is certainly justified that the contact options mentioned by the policyholders have shifted even further in the direction of digital channels. In this context, an intensification and expansion of digital services, for example in claims processing, seems to be both reasonable and necessary.
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