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SapientRazorfish Pursues Technological Growth in the Insurance Sector

SapientRazorfish is innovating and pursuing technological growth in the insurance industry. Yogita Khaitan, Director, Program Management, SapientRazorfish discusses the digital transformation in India and its effect on the insurance sector.

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Yogita Khaitan_Director, Program Management, SapientRazorfish

Yogita Khaitan, Director, Program Management, Sapient Razorfish in an interview with BW Businessworld describes the work carried out by the organization in driving digital growth and tools to drive the insurance industry.

What is the difference in India as compared to other global markets when it comes to adoption of new technologies in the insurance domain?

The Indian Insurers have been slow in adopting new technologies such as blockchain, AI, machine learning, mostly because they have seen stunted growth over the past 3+ years, and have not been able to increase profits or sustain the CAGR experienced in the 2001-2009 time frame.

With Regulatory compliance driving insurers to be more complaint, the Indian Insurers are struggling to allocate budgets towards new technology innovations or regulatory compliance.

A digital strategy that works in the US may not work in India as the market challenges, DNA and customer needs have to be kept at the forefront of designing digital solutions for the best ROI. Some of the challenges that Indian Insurers struggle with, that need to be kept in mind while creating a digital transformation strategy are:

•Like most Asian markets, India is a Savings Oriented market

•Low policy persistency due to myriad of reasons ranging from inappropriate selling and coverage to Agent attrition

•Low penetration due to low awareness, savings mindset and policy persistency

•Agency is the primary distribution channel

•Fraud and Claims management (increase scrutiny or relax the process is the question) in a competitive market

•An evolving regulatory framework that aims at protecting customers and addressing market concerns impacting life and non-life insurance has significant non-compliance implications

Due to the “Digital India” push by the Government, India leads globally in biometric technology adoption as per the report here. Many people in India claimed to have used Biometrics for authentication and this number is far ahead than the US or UK.

KYC networks enabling people to be authenticated without submitting documents is also now a reality in India. The mindset that may now be required for Insurers, is not to spend funds in silos and see how they can form a consortium to lay the Infrastructure that will benefit the industry as a whole and in turn the customers. Some key use cases for these include customer authentication, document validation and sharing to facilitate ease of customer movement between Insurers as required. The USP for an Insurer lies in product customization where they can provide true value besides the great infrastructure on the cloud.

How is digital transformation in India turning out to be for the insurance sector?

Digital transformation begins not with technology but by putting the consumer at the centre and mapping out consumer journeys. Customizations of product, ease of use through digital channels, enabling agents through technology- Indian insurers have started experimenting with all such use cases. Here are some examples of what brands are doing in India.

•HDFC Life’s Cancer Care is a highly customizable niche product that can be purchased online. Its features include online quote generation, e-signature, upload manager for documents and online premium payment

•IndiaFirst Life Insurance issues OTC policies in just 30 minutes from the time it receives data on its servers

•ICICI Lombard enables its agents to cross sell products with the help of intelligent mobile apps. The company is using analytics software to develop models to help its agents in doing so.

•Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY), Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY) and Atal Pension Yojana (APY) are social security schemes launched by the Indian Government in 2015 and can be subscribed to via an SMS. They take into consideration banking KYC and auto-debit payment from customers’ bank account.

How is SapientRazorfish bridging the gap in enabling digital transformation to the insurance industry?

Clients invite SapientRazorfish to own all of the digital transformation strategy and execution, defining customer experience, mapping end to end journeys and measuring customer experience outcomes- all while driving true customer engagement across varied channels. We’ve leveraged bots, IOT, Big data and AI, machine learning to implement varied solutions for several fortune 500 companies.

By co-creating with consumers, we’re ensuring adoption and utility. This approach is summarized here. More broadly, we’re bringing all our connected capabilities to lead this sort of insurance transformation, including Customer Experience advances for eSurance, Marketing Transformation at Travelers and Aviva, IT Modernization for AIG, to just name a few.

What are the key trends in this space?

From a technology standpoint, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) are key new technologies that have the potential to streamline insurer operations while enhancing consumer experience. Actual IOT use cases have been explored in the Property and Casualty smart home space.

Let’s look at a combined leverage of these technology trends in detail:

1.Robotic Process Automation and Cognitive / Artificial Intelligence

RPA can reduce manual operations costs, automating repetitive tasks and can be implemented for the following use cases:

•Standard Robotic - Perform all the functions a claim executive would perform to expedite claims processing, reducing operational cost and improving accuracy and compliance

•Intelligent Robotics- claims document scanning for handling paper, or speech-recognition systems for call centers to respond for quotes or claim status, an advanced implementation where claims can be combined with analytics platforms and RPA software to approve or reject a claim based on data patterns for subjective decision making

Cognitive RPA can help transform insurance business functions like Customer Engagement, Insurance Sales and Customer Service, Underwriting and Risk Management, Claims Management, Fraud Handling, Regulatory Reporting.

2.Chatbot, Cognitive, AI, RPA

Chat bots, robo advisors and virtual insurance agents, leveraging cognitive RPA is expected to have a significant impact on customer engagement roles in the industry. The following are the use cases where one or all of the technologies can be implemented:

•Insurer can employ a chat bot to help insurance agents in the quotation process for complex insurance products

•Artificial Intelligence systems can discover patterns that can be used in insurance underwriting

•For example, AIG has invested in a startup company called Human Condition Safety to offer a solution that combines wearable technology with AI to track workers’ safety in factories.

3.Gamification, Virtual Reality

Engaging users and addressing business challenges are the key drivers for game design with the intent to support business strategies. Following cases that can be implemented:

Segment:  Health Insurance, Organization Goal:  Consumer Engagement, Consumer Goal:  Increased Physical Activity to pass on premium discount benefits to customers / Stay Fit and Healthy

1.Digital devices such as wearables can enhance the gamification experience. For example, health insurers can invite customers to use their digital fitness wristbands to participate in real-time challenges with their peer groups. This can improve customer engagement, encourage competition, and promote physical activity within a specific time frame.

2.BioBall created by Cigna takes snapshots of the patients while playing ball to capture BP, Pulse rate and cholesterol readings transferring the same to the headsets.

4.Blockchain, IOT

Blockchain is a distributed ledger that offers use case opportunities to Insurers across the value chain from verified digital customer identity to automated underwriting, claims management and fraud prevention. A few use cases include:

•Enhancing consumer experience by leveraging customer identity data, verified and available in the distributed ledger, shared between a consortium of insurers, KYC databases and notary networks. This will reduce the burden on the customer to submit KYC documents multiple times

•Efficient and speedier claims processing- startup companies like  InsurETH built a flight insurance product using smart contract where the policy conditions were held on Ethereum blockchain. In the event of a delayed / cancelled flight the smart contract would automatically initiate payouts increasing trust, transparency and customer experience

•Internet of Things (IoT). Cars, home appliances can have their own insurance policies registered and administered by smart contracts in a blockchain network, automatically detecting damage first and then triggering the repair process, as well as claims and payments.

How can insurance service providers adept themselves to provide a superior customer experience?

Insurers will have to change their mindset from “Product Centric” to “Consumer Centric” so that they can design for superior customer experiences.

Today, customers are way more empowered thanks to the technology available at their fingertips. Disrupters such as Amazon and Uber have changed their expectations of service and experience from all category players, including insurance companies. Therefore they demand products based on their needs and expect to be engaged when needed and be serviced anytime anywhere once they make the purchase.

Insurers looking to provide value to consumers by defining a superior customer experience should keep the following steps in mind:

•Every customer belonging to a demographic has different needs. It is important for Insurers to segment their customers by lifestyle, age, earning and spending patterns to derive a persona of an individual for a segment

•Prioritize the customer segment, identifying consumer journeys across touchpoints and the experience you want your customers to have at every touchpoint

•Get a blueprint of current and future consumer journeys

•Current-state journey maps to identify and fix tactical issues

•Future-state journey maps while design thinking the journey and apply new technologies that ease manual business process and operations (through intelligent RPA)

•Mapping out the customer context and behavior will help digital teams understand actual customer behavior and the role that each touchpoint plays within an end-to-end journey. Digital teams can concentrate on optimizing the touchpoints as part of that journey, rather than as a standalone experience. This should help define the features, functionality, look, and feel that the touchpoint must deliver in order to be successful.

What are the ways in which insurers can create scalability and reach out to the most remote areas of the country?

Insurers have always experienced challenges in distribution of Insurance in rural areas. They can tie up with Common Services Centers (CSCs). To assist with quick adoption of insurance products by these centers, insurance companies are developing user-friendly lean mobility solutions based on portals.

CSC outlets are information and communication technology (ICT) enabled delivery points of government, financial, social and private sector services digitally at the village level. At present, there are more than 160,000 CSC outlets around the country. The highlight of sourcing insurance from this channel is STP, with no documentation due to e-KYC being in place

With the help of the CSC centers and Gram Panchayat the Insurers can build fully functional automated digital booth (one per village) that can help spread awareness educating villagers in the locale languages about Insurance and policies, getting the villagers to interact with robo advisors (named Savitri Devi) on the touch of a button for policy issuance or filing claim.

Initially a person from the Insurer is present full time to address any queries and educate an influencer like the school teacher or doctor that the villagers will trust being part of the village community. The influencer can then act as a local advisor (part of the Insurer loyalty program getting discounts in premium themselves by being of service to the community).

Insurers can further think of the following business strategies that will help deepen penetration:

•Crop Insurance schemes from Indian Insurers aided by Government will help deepen penetration in the rural areas with predominant farmer population

•Return on the minimum premium invested by framers (under schemes such as Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) will help mitigate the rural distress caused by crop failure or damage due to factors like unseasonal rains, monsoon failure, storms, floods, pests and diseases) and claims settled faster during calamities will help build trust and the farmers can  explore other areas for Insurance

•Setting up infrastructure where mobile hospitals are available for in localities to showcase value for the health Insurances premium people in rural area pay for

•Micro insurances, peer insurances can especially be leveraged effectively in the rural areas


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