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Insurers cannot neglect the mobile distribution channel

Anuradha Shukla | Aug. 24, 2012
APEJ insurers have to serve a tech savvy consumer generation, says IDC Financial Insights.

Insurers can no longer choose to neglect the mobile distribution channel as the latest survey by IDC Financial Insights reveals the increasing popularity of the mobile channel.

Sixty percent of insurance customers across Asia/Pacific excluding Japan (APEJ) use more than one interaction point to purchase their insurance policies, and insurers have to recognise the importance of the mobile distribution channel.

Consumers quickly switch insurers if they do not find their preferred channels or are not pleased with the performance of the channels.

Insurers in Asia/Pacific have noted this change in consumer behaviour, and are open to adopt a multi-channel distribution policy so that they can offer several touch points to interact 24x7 with their customers.

"The advent of electronic channels and the emergence of a tech savvy consumer generation are radically changing the distribution strategies of insurers," said Li-May Chew, associate research director at IDC Financial Insights Asia/Pacific. "Alternative distribution models are being utilised to supplement the traditional agency channel and cater to divergent buying preferences of policyholders.

Self-service capabilities

Insurers are adopting the mobile technology due to its self-service capabilities as it allows customers to easily submit requests, claims or complaints and receive acknowledgement.

Mobile technology also helps insurers to inform clients speedily about promotions. Option of multimedia communications enables policyholders to submit on-the-spot digital photos to the workshop from vehicle accident sites to obtain same day repair cost estimates.

In addition, machine-to-machine technology such as telemetry enables insurers to introduce pay-as-you-use policies.

IDC advises insurers to be cautious when using mobile technology as the ongoing trend of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) poses potential information risk for the insurance sector.  

"Devices like the iPad and iPhone have unleashed a torrent of employees wanting to bring their own devices into the workplace, leaving IT departments with headaches around security and support," said Bryan Ma, associate vice president of Client Devices Research at IDC.  "Fortunately, a large ecosystem of solutions has also emerged to help IT departments manage this new multi-OS multi-device environment."


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