What do insurance customers really want? According to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), during the COVID-19 pandemic business insurance customers have felt frustrated and disappointed with what they consider to be an extremely low level of support provided by their insurance agencies. This has ultimately resulted in a perception that traditional protection policies have failed to deliver value, translating into a loss of clients.
When looking at how security providers can work with the insurance sector it’s important to take a customer-centric approach to consider what customers want. Convenience around the ability to find information easily, the ease of onboarding and ease of transacting will ultimately have a significant impact on the insurer’s ability to help support their end customers, improving their ability to retain their existing client base and, ultimately, attract new clients.
But it goes beyond merely improving customer experience to looking more broadly at how an insurance company can manage interactions while ensuring safety and security for their clients as part of a smooth and seamless experience.
Security and trust – Getting IAM right
As a consumer, having control over communications with an insurance company such as being able to choose how and when these interactions take place, is an important part of the customer journey, with digital automation, personalised access and simple navigation enriching the experience.
Conversely, a cumbersome or stressful experience can have a negative effect on an insurance brand. It’s therefore essential that insurance companies facilitate a process where information can be accessed simply across multiple platforms at the touch of a button.
From a security perspective, insurance firms are trusted custodians of customer data and have a duty to protect and control access to this data that goes beyond simple password protection. Dealing with end customers as well as business to business partnerships demands a full identity access management (IAM) strategy with properly secured APIs and usage-driven intelligence to make sure that unusual activity can be spotted and addressed. This is necessary to vastly improve cybersecurity, avoid data breaches and instil customer confidence through trust. No matter how good a user experience is, if data is not protected, customers will be lost and the brand damaged.
Working with the insurance industry on its own terms
While digital transformation across many industries is seeing a move from on-premise to cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS), large legacy sectors such as insurance cannot necessarily make the jump to cloud overnight. Therefore, a hybrid model is often a good match; still running traditional on-premise software, but managed as-a-service.
Those security and systems providers who are having conversations with the insurance industry to understand how they can help them achieve their goals of improving the customer journey, while also establishing stronger identity management and cybersecurity practices, should therefore be prepared to be flexible from a hybrid point of view. Meeting the insurance industry on its own terms will help to ensure that any security offerings closely match existing insurance industry operations and behaviours.
Nick Jukhoop expands on and develops these areas in a conversation with Chris Barngrover, Senior Cyber Security Strategist, at MicroFocus, an Identity Methods partner.
Read our next blog on Delivering Identity Access Management (IAM) into the insurance sector
By Nick Jukhoop