Can technology offer a turning point for travel insurers?
Insurance companies regularly face significant challenges in developing products and services that fit the needs and preferences of modern customers.
In particular, insurers have historically struggled to resolve the thorny issue of travel insurance.
, and this number is surely set to increase as the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic makes customers more cautious. Despite this, travel has long been the “problem child” of the insurance family - offering only a minor revenue stream with high loss and combined ratios, and a long road to breaking even on a customer.
Yet, with demand set to rise as the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic continues to be felt, embracing digital platforms that facilitate both face-to-face and remotely-delivered care could help insurers turn this challenge into an opportunity.
Transforming travel insurance
It isn’t just the cost that makes travel insurance problematic for insurers. Generally, insurance companies have been slow to embrace digital transformation, perpetuating a customer experience that alienates huge chunks of the market as a result.
Today, Millennials and Generation Z expect digital-first engagement and experience by default. With the oldest Millennials now entering their 40s, these demographics make up a significant percentage of travellers for the insurance market.
The pandemic has significantly changed attitudes towards remotely-delivered care but also, more broadly, towards the use of technology to organise face-to-face consultations. It is now more crucial than ever for insurers to present consumers with a frictionless experience when it comes to healthcare abroad.
Is this the turning point?
Health cover might only be part of an insurer’s travel product but, with concerns about Covid-19 likely to drive increased uptake of policies, new technologies could provide an opportunity to tame the “problem child”.
By tapping into the telehealth boom, insurers can tackle both customer experience and cost in one fell swoop. Consumers are becoming increasingly comfortable with getting medical advice through apps - accessing doctors on demand just as they would hail an Uber or book an Airbnb. In today’s digitised world, telehealth offers the instant, digitally-native experience they want.
However, the main issue when using telehealth in a foreign country remains access to prescriptions. Only international networks offer a solution to this problem by using multilingual local doctors for their telehealth service. These digital platforms can also facilitate physical consultations when needed - offering travellers the control they desire and addressing their concerns about access, language, and convenience.
By providing travellers with solutions that can direct them to the most appropriate form of medical attention for their individual circumstances - whether remote or face-to-face - insurers can reduce claims costs by keeping them out of hospital. In doing so, insurers will not only help themselves but also the wider healthcare community, preventing overcrowding and wasted resources.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a pivotal crisis, increasing our reliance on technology significantly in a short space of time. Even more importantly, it has forced industries that have been traditionally slow to innovate to accelerate. All sectors must now consider how best to use the appropriate technology in order to keep their customers safe. Travel insurers have the opportunity to reduce costs and improve their service while also mitigating the biggest concerns of travellers and the issue of overcrowded hospitals both now and in the longer term.
This article was contributed by Jenny Derfler, CEO and Co-Founder of Air Doctor
SLK Software: Optimising performance in the digital economy
Established in 2000 in Bengaluru, India, SLK Software recognises that fast-paced digital transformation is creating an unprecedentedly fertile period of opportunity for global businesses.
As such, with a firm belief in the power of simplification and automation to yield new and exciting experiences, the company has been challenging the status quo for over 20 years through an approach that is:
- Relationship oriented
- Strategically focused on a desired outcome
- Reliant on automation tech
Believing in purposeful automation
SLK’s specialisation in automation tech is full spectrum: artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), Computer Vision, Natural Language Processing (NLP), Robotic Process Automation (RPA), and more, are all part of its core competencies.
Citing 90% productivity improvements, 30% business growth through better customer experiences, and up to 20x faster go-to-market capabilities, the reasons for its focus are clear.
The company currently serves the banking, financial services, insurance, retirement services, M&A, manufacturing, and supply chain sectors. Solutions offered include:
- Intelligent Business Transformation
- Agile IT Automation
Accelerating workflow processes
The latter is a tool specifically calibrated to enable business users an easy method for capturing document processes. This can occur across any application, with these individual tasks then seamlessly combined for both improved compliance and governance.
Carol Castelloni, VP of Transformation at CNA Insurance, highlighted this as providing critical support in helping the company meet its business objectives:
“SLK’s Avo Discover tool accelerates how we can document workflow processes, measure impacts on enhancements, and identifies future automation opportunities.” Liberated from having to focus on these process-driven aspects of business, CNA Insurance has been able to refocus its attention on creative problem-solving instead.
Ultimately, this is the most important benefit that SLK brings: it optimises the back end so that clients can channel their energy towards what matters the most, customers.
Read more about SLK Software and CNA Insurance in the June 2021 edition of FinTech Magazine.
Pictured: SLK Software team (source)