Four tactical tech ‘wins’ now within reach for UK insurers

11th March 2024

Nicky Njerpe

by Nicky Hjerpe

Which technologies should UK insurers focus on – to get the greatest payback and transform the customer experience? Four big opportunities stand out.

Tech spending by insurers globally will grow by a modest 5% in 2024, predicts Forrester. In particular, providers seem keen to improve the customer experience (CX), grow revenue and reduce costs.

However, investment must be targeted carefully, especially by well-established companies. That’s because maintaining legacy systems eats away as much as 70-80% of IT budgets for incumbent insurers, leaving them little room to innovate, according to figures quoted in InsurTech Magazine.

So how best should insurers transform? What are the smartest tactical moves to meet the changes in the insurance claims landscape and rising customer expectations?

Here are four opportunities worth exploring – where you can innovate without spending a fortune.

1: Business-ready AI and machine learning

Tech is rarely discussed today without artificial intelligence squeezing itself into the conversation. But with insurance, you need to be extra careful. AI can’t be allowed to run amok.

It’s important to choose platforms that have built-in security features and compliance controls. These will help to protect your data and processes, reducing risk as you meet insurance industry and data privacy regulations.

Also, choose AI that’s business-ready. In essence, this means it’s usable right away by business teams as well as their colleagues in IT – without anyone needing to be a data science expert.

The best AI and machine learning tools shouldn’t be seen as standalone entities. Their capabilities will be housed within tech tools and platforms (which we’ll consider in a moment). For example, pre-trained custom machine learning can be inserted into apps and automation flows. You can apply sophisticated rules to unstructured data – and drive value across the business in real-time.

AI can help customers with claims enquiries too. AI-powered bots equipped with conversational messaging can deliver seamless experiences across channels, from chat and email, to social media and voice calls.

2: Robotic process automation (RPA)

RPA can offer quick wins for insurers. As well as accelerating processes and boosting accuracy, you can free your team from daily drudgery – and divert their skills into areas of genuine customer value.

The best RPA tools can be used safely by teams without technical expertise, though some help and oversight from IT departments is valuable.

First, identify any bottlenecks, points of failure or areas that require significant manual effort within the claims process. Then, explore whether these are largely repetitive, routine and rule-based activities. If so, then they could be prime candidates for RPA.

AI-powered software bots can support your team, often by bridging tricky gaps in the claims workflow. For example, you can automate the handling of inbound emails and documents with rule-based triage. It’s possible to streamline processes, reduce errors and expedite resolutions.

3: Streamlined contact centre capabilities

It’s possible to energise your CX with an all-in-one platform using technology that allows for rapid integration with key third party systems, such as your ERP or CRM. You can also connect easily with services such as Microsoft Teams.

Insurance companies can bring all their communications into a single feed, so agents can deliver a truly joined-up customer experience. This can include contact channels, such as voice, email, SMS, Facebook Messenger and chatbot conversations. It’s easy for claims advisors to access to every contact record.

Artificial intelligence can shine here too. AI-powered routing can create personalised journeys, blending self-service and human-assisted experiences. You can also use automation to update customers on their claims progress and services before they need to speak to anyone.

4: Low-code development tools

It’s possible for insurance companies to create apps and innovate in major ways — without needing to take up massive IT resources, hire outside developers or spend heavily. This can be achieved in a fraction of the time too.

Low-code development platforms empower insurance teams to build their own applications, without needing programming expertise. For example, claims professionals and colleagues from IT could join forces to design new services, integrate systems, connect data and transform processes. These might enable greater self-service or help you to gain deeper customer insights.

Teams can use intuitive drag-and-drop user interfaces and rapid business process automation tools. Ultimately, they can deliver digital experiences that make life better for employees and customers.

What’s more, this kind of innovation can take place with zero disruption to existing systems. Low-code apps on the best platforms can be built, tested, deployed and scaled simply.

Discover more

Even just 5% of an IT budget can deliver a significant return on investment if it’s used tactically with AI, RPA, low-code and some of the new contact centre tools available.

This article was also published in Insurance Edge.

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