The insurance industry is probably not the first industry you think of when it comes to the rapid embrace of Technology. However, few market sectors are as ripe for Technology-fueled disruption. Despite its risk-averse reputation, the industry is experiencing an influx of new competitors all vying for a piece of the trillion-dollar insurance pie.
In personal auto insurance, a growing roster of insurtech upstarts like Lemonade, which acquired Metromile, are leveraging in-vehicle telematics alongside other digital-native capabilities to lower premiums and improve the customer experience, putting new pressure on market incumbents.
In addition to startups, Amazon has made a series of aggressive moves into the insurance category over the past few years, hoping to replicate the same frictionless buying experience with insurance policies as they’ve done across ecommerce, pharmaceutical and health insurance industries.
Ultimately, today’s digitally-minded consumer demands choice and simplicity. But bringing digital innovation to market remains a time-consuming and costly endeavor for even the largest and most well-resourced players in the insurance ecosystem. This is why the emergence of quick and cost-effective low-code and no-code platforms has become an increasingly appealing option as insurers plan new digital-first CX strategies.
Old problems, new challenges for insurers
The pandemic made one thing clear — businesses without a clearly defined digital roadmap have ceded market share, while those that were able to meet their customers where they work and live have thrived.
Yet, as many CIOs in the insurance market have come to realize, the path to digital transformation can be a rocky one. Perhaps the most notable barrier to their digital transformation ambitions is the software talent gap, where the demand for skilled developers exceeds supply. As a result, CIOs tend to reserve their scarce engineering resources for business continuity and the most mission-critical development activities.
Among incumbent insurance providers, it’s also common to find legacy systems that have been cobbled and patched together over the course of several decades. For CIOs intent on modernization, they appreciate that due to the size, complexity and inflexibility of these legacy systems, they must proceed with caution.
The exponential growth of data in the insurance industry has also created both new opportunities and headaches. This data provides valuable insights into customers, markets and trends. However, the struggle to manage, share and integrate large amounts of disparate data – and do so in a manner that doesn’t run afoul of government regulators – has stymied many transformation projects before they could even get off the ground.
Low-code and no-code platforms enable non-technical users to rapidly build applications without having to understand and write code. Even non-technical users can create and operate applications using intuitive point-and-click tools.
The growing appeal of low-code lies in its ability to democratize application development outside of technical roles, empowering the person closest to the problem to solve the issue for themselves. As Forrester notes, the demand for ever more automation, ever more quickly, requires more minds and hands producing applications. Meanwhile Gartner predicts that 65% of all app development will be on low-code platforms by 2024.
Low-code platforms can also dramatically reduce the time it takes to gather customer feedback and incorporate it back into the product roadmap – which is critical in a market where the switching costs for consumers are lower than ever.
We’re seeing a growing number of insurance providers using low-code platforms to build unique solutions to jumpstart their digital transformation objectives. These three examples show how companies across the insurance spectrum are putting the power of software creation in the hands of their employees to drive efficiency and improve their customer’s experience.
- Highly customizable applications for partner ecosystems. For example, Roost, a provider of home telematics solutions for property insurance carriers and claims organizations, delivers the products directly to property owners. The Technology delivers real-time sensor data that allows insurance providers to more accurately price their policies while improving the user experience for their customers. Because of the B2B2C model, Roost serves as a centralized hub for all information moving across this ecosystem of consumers, IOT devices and insurance partners. Instead of developing custom applications for each partner program, Roost uses low code to build custom-branded applications for their insurance partners which are easy to adapt for each partner’s unique requirements.
- Real-time process automation and approval workflows. Allison & Thompson Insurance is a retail insurance broker based out of Texas. Without the luxury of a dedicated IT department or the budget to hire expensive software consultants, they turned to low code to create custom reports, business rules and automated workflows to enable their approval processes and boost broker productivity.
- Industry-focused insurance websites and portals. A top-five global insurance broker leverages low code to build and launch a variety of web properties tailored to different industry segments. For example, the digital experience for the accounting industry includes specific policies and customer onboarding processes compared to web properties dedicated to industrial trades like construction. The industry portals were all built with low-code applications based on a corporate template and then customized for each industry segment.
To remain relevant in an increasingly fractured and competitive industry, insurers have little choice but to adapt to the changing times. We’re now seeing a shift taking place where insurers from across the spectrum are embracing tools like low-code platforms to accelerate their digital transformation initiatives — placing the power of software development in the hands of non-technical business users. By democratizing the software creation process, insurance providers can keep pace with the innovation their customers demand.