COVID-19 has accelerated guidance (or suggestions or recommendations) for insurers to accelerate their initiatives to reshape their various business, financial, and customer-facing operations to ‘be digital.’
I have a hunch that what has actually accelerated is the ‘doom-and-gloom’ wailings from analysts, consultants, journalists, and technology firms to their insurance company clients and prospects (rather than a ‘significant number’ of insurers actually ‘going digital’).
But every participant (insurer, broker, agency, claim adjudicator firm, reinsurer, and others) have to manage to the fact that the insurance industry is replete with archipelagos.
One of the groups of scattered islands are the panoply of silo-ed – and old – systems that insurers use to keep the firm operating.
Another group of scattered islands are the existing customers of the insurance firm. It may sound like something out of a horror movie but not every customer wants to conduct commerce with the insurance firm using digital pathways or, don’t be shocked, apps for their smartphones (or tablets).
The next group of scattered islands is as important as the first two groups: people on the ‘wrong side’ of the Digital Divide who aren’t able to conduct commerce with insurance firms using digital pathways even if they wanted to do that.
‘Going digital’ is necessary but I suggest it is far from sufficient.
Insurance firms have to manage to the reality that “the world is NOT flat!”