Unlocking the Insurance Industry’s Post-Covid Potential with a Great UI

Full-service digital insurance experiences are in demand, but require great UIs for both consumers and staff. Anastasia Rezhepp, Head of Design Studio at DataArt, talks about the peculiarities of digital user experience in the insurance industry and tells about DataArt's approach to it.
11 min read
08/24/21
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By Anastasia Rezhepp
Head of Design at DataArt
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Unlocking the Insurance Industry’s Post-Covid Potential with a Great UI

The global environment is changing faster than ever, and consumers around the world are relying more heavily on digital platforms. Insurance is not immune to this trend. According to PWC, 68% of consumers would be willing to use an app from their insurance provider. Market leaders like Digital Natives are already reaping the benefits of offering a stellar digital experience.

A great digital experience is not just about the customer. Every participant in the insurance process, from brokers to back-office employees, can benefit from a user-friendly, secure, and reliable user interface (UI). But what makes a good UI? And how can you make the technological changes needed to remain competitive?

DataArt has a wealth of experience in this domain. In this article, we will break down the key points to consider when creating agent and client portals and streamlining direct sales processes.

The Importance of Digital Experience in Insurance

Before we get into the nuts and bolts of creating agent and client portals, we must understand what drives demand for digitization and what constitutes a “great” customer experience (CX). McKinsey found that 70% of consumers base their opinion of a business on the quality of their CX. At the same time, according to a recent post in Insurance Times, 73% of UK consumers think that insurance companies’ CX fails to keep pace with expectations.

For the consumer, a full-service digital experience means that every part of the insurance process is digital, including:

  1. Finding, comparing, and choosing an insurance product. This includes:
    1. Access via an online portal or mobile app
    2. Viewing personalized product offerings
    3. Sorting with highly customizable filters
    4. Comparing offerings with an easy-to-use quoting and comparison tool
    5. Virtual help in the form of a digital assistant (such as a chatbot)
  2. Buying a specific insurance policy or product. This includes:
    1. A clear, easy-to-navigate purchase interface with smooth payment integration
    2. Electronic documentation processing and electronic signature capability
    3. Online policy administration options. This includes: being able to cancel, renew, change, or amend a policy via the app
  3. Claims management, including:
    1. Online claim generation
    2. Electronic document processing
    3. Image recognition
    4. Intelligent automation
    5. Virtual help in the form of a digital assistant (like a chatbot)
    6. Claim updates

However, for a digital insurance platform to be competitive, these functionalities should be paired with absolute transparency, data security, platform reliability, and as much personalization and flexibility as possible. The way users interact with their insurance provider is constantly evolving — cross-channel accessibility and voice activation are just two examples of recent changes. Companies need to be able to adapt quickly.

In tandem with the above, the experience of insurance employees, agents and brokers also needs to be efficient and seamless. This includes:

  • Intelligent document processing
  • Interconnected internal systems
  • Reconciliation and quality assurance checks
  • Searchable consumer logs

By combining front-end and back-end UI developments, businesses can offer a genuinely reliable, accurate, and convenient CX.

Video Website page Learn more about DataArt’s Insurance Software Development Services

Putting Digital CX Into Practice

UI Roadmap

The road to creating a UI that meets the criteria above can be broken down into four key areas:

1. Quoting and Comparison Portals

Creating an accurate insurance quote and providing appropriate policy coverage can be a complex undertaking and includes many data points that are unique to each consumer. Automating the process of data gathering from multiple systems is key. However, the biggest roadblock to this endeavor is usually legacy systems that stymie data harvesting.

The simplest solution is to develop a rules engine to automate and validate every aspect of the quoting process, including data gathering. A custom rules engine can be integrated with existing legacy systems and can also consider evolving conditions like taxes and discounts. It can then be used as a bedrock to build out quotes, which are then delivered to the front-end UI.

2. Customer Portals

Customer portals range in functionality, from basic informational platforms to multi-faceted communications, sales, and content platforms. Good portals that include the quoting engines mentioned above can increase lead generation and customer retention. Developing the right platform for your business will depend on your company’s level of consumer engagement and your wider strategic objectives. In general, any customer portal should follow these best practices:

  • Develop strategies to encourage customer usage
  • Consider a multi-channel approach
  • Design the UI to be as simple and attractive as possible
  • Provide easy 2FA login
  • Ensure immediate access after sign-up
  • Provide consumer training and appropriate documentation
  • Partner with advisors and promote them on the platform
  • Provide support channels that are easy to find and can respond quickly
Mobile Insurance Application

3. Admin Portals

Admin portals are the other side of client portals and equally important. That is because accurate and near real-time application/claims processing is crucial to CX. Claims processing is especially tricky — McKinsey estimates that around 30-40% of business costs come from major end-to-end processes like claims settlement.

The single most effective way to achieve near real-time results is to remove administrative burdens on staff. This leads to a UI that combines both in-house and consumer data (ideally from the consumer portal) and automates as much of the verification, document processing and communications process as possible.

4. Agent Portals

Almost 90% of insurers say they plan to invest in digital enhancements, but only 32% say digital channels are effective in securing sales. That is because many insurers cannot offer personalized services through these platforms. By allowing insurance agents to access and manage their insurance portfolio via a dedicated portal, the barrier to personalized advice is removed. Agent portals vary in functionality, but can include:

  • Reporting
  • Benchmarking
  • Record-keeping
  • Remuneration
  • Training
  • Pipeline management
  • Premium management
  • Recruitment

A good agent portal should be focused and leverage automation to improve agent productivity.

Connecting the Dots: Building the Best UI to Enhance Customer Experience

When building an insurance app, it is important to do so in a customer-centric manner. That does not just involve the consumer-facing components — it should also work for the agents and other staff behind the scenes. At DataArt, we use UX frameworks to make that happen.

Customer Journey Map

We create Customer Journey Maps (visualizations of different stages of users’ interaction with the product) and Service Blueprints (showing internal and external interactions in a form of connected swim lanes). Using these tools, we can understand and visualize different elements of the service. For example, we can determine at which point communication with a chatbot will be of the most value.

Service Blueprint

Let’s say we know that there is an error with a form that customers fill out on an insurance company’s website. We can review the analytics and understand where people drop off; and/or interview the users, so that they explain why they drop off.

Combining qualitative and quantitative methods usually results in good results and a strong, user-centric design.

At the same time, it is important not to forget about the aesthetics of the app. In a recent project, we performed emotional response testing, when the representatives of the target audience chose the option that felt the friendliest.

Accessibility guidelines are also increasingly popular and are essential for making your app available to those with disabilities. DataArt can design apps to adjust necessary features like contrast, navigation, errors, and micro-copy to help accommodate these users.

Smart Car Application
Video Website page Learn more about UI & UX design and consulting services from DataArt Design Studio

Case Study in Insurance UIs

One of DataArt’s clients was a global financial services company that offers a range of insurance products. The main goal of the project was to help customers find the services and insurance plans that best fit their needs. The client had a diverse, global product portfolio, which required designers to account for cultural differences in the design of the app.

DataArt used modern usability best-practices in its design approach. The project was implemented using the User-Centered Design (UCD) methodology, which focuses on the needs and preferences of end-users. The design team tested the readability and usability of the platform to make sure it complies with WCAG 2.0.

DataArt designed a digitally progressive platform with a comprehensive user flow, which allows users to easily purchase insurance policies that fit their needs.

The process is entirely paperless, and contract signing is fully automated. Users fill out a short form that helps match them with a suitable package, which significantly accelerates product purchasing and reduces the abandonment rate.

Digital Insurance Platform

Conclusion

The insurance industry is rapidly digitizing, and it has become imperative to do so in order to stay competitive. But tackling all the different aspects of client and employee UIs requires an in-depth design process, and many businesses lack the technological expertise needed to properly address this challenge. Fortunately, consulting firms like DataArt can be invaluable in this regard. With our depth of experience in insurtech, we can create custom solutions that meet your strategic objectives and stay within budget. Contact us today to find out how we can help you stay ahead of the market.

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