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Gearing up for Amazon insurance

14th December 2017

In recent weeks Amazon has begun recruiting insurance professionals in London as it prepares to target the insurance sector in Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Spain, according to research from data and analytics company GlobalData.

While Amazon and The Warranty Group, which underwrites Amazon Protect policies, have as yet declined to comment, it is believed that Amazon – with its reputation for outstanding customer service – is gearing up to disrupt the European insurance sector.

What does this mean for insurance retailers?

Following a sharp rise in InsurTech investment in the first half of 2017, it’s no secret that the insurance sector is facing digital disruption from new, technologically-driven businesses which threaten to outpace incumbents by providing services for the customer of the digital age.

Customer service in particular is something the insurance industry is renowned for being one of the worst at, while Amazon is widely regarded as one of – if not the best – business for putting the customer at the heart of their proposition.

While Amazon is foremost a delivery service provider, it already offers coverage against accidental or manufacturer’s induced damage and theft for electronic products. It’s investment in smart speakers platforms ‘Echo’ and ‘Dot’ also place the company perfectly for the widely discussed IoT (Internet of Things) revolution, and will allow it to capitalise on customer lifestyle data to deliver competitive premiums.

If Amazon enters the European insurance market, retailers won’t only face the challenge of delivering an improved customer experience. They’ll need to be thinking about bringing their whole IT infrastructure up to a level where they can effectively compete with the digital giant.

Finding a solution

Unaffected by regulatory requirements, legacy infrastructure and data siloes, InsurTech businesses are able to be agile while exploiting innovative technologies to deliver an enhanced service.
While many InsurTechs only add to the fears of digital disruption, the majority exist to enable retailers to improve their insurance proposition;

Amazon continually adapts to the digital landscape by adopting new technology.
Insurance incumbents especially are hindered by legacy IT infrastructure and disparate data sources. InsurTech platforms can sit above existing infrastructure, meaning businesses don’t require a complete upheaval of digital architecture and no previous efforts and investments are wasted. Resolving siloes and bringing all of your data together in one place provides a 360-degree view of the customer, enabling better insight into the customer needs with access to existing product holdings and browsing history.

Amazon is accessible across multiple digital channels.
While the ability to speak with an agent is not likely to be replaced any time soon, digitally savvy customers of the newer generations prefer to purchase their insurance products online. Being able to deliver both is the key to adapting to the digital age, and your omnichannel service should cover multiple consumer touchpoints in order to cater to all customer preferences.
With a complete picture of the customer, including contact history across all of your touchpoints, agents are now able to apply both context and relevance to deliver a more informed customer experience.

Amazon uses analytics to deliver tailored product offerings.
And insurance retailers can too. InsurTech can enable tailored product offerings deriving from the consolidated data you now hold on your customer. Technological capabilities allow for the delivery of intelligent prompts and next-best actions, guiding your agent as to the most effective course of action after the core customer need has been met. This can improve conversion activity, for example by asking a customer whether or not they want to proceed with a quote they had previously generated, and cross and upsell metrics.

Digital is here to stay

Technology is not a passing fad, and every industry is now making efforts to implement their digital transformation strategy in order to remain current and competitive.
While the insurance sector has been slow to adopt digital strategies, not conforming to the digital age is more threatening than the risk of investing in new technology. With rumours of Amazon now gearing up to enter the European insurance market, now is the time to invest in customer-centric insurance technology.

HUGHUB is a customer-centric, product-agnostic digital solution for insurance retailers. Find out how HUGHUB can help with your digital transformation strategy here.