Top 3 Insurance Industry Trends in 2021

According to a recent poll, 54% of CIOs believe that insurance companies are resilient and will continue to remain so if they move quickly and decisively. Although this is not big breaking news, we have all witnessed how insurers have evolved in the last few years, to meet the changing requirements of policyholders. Several new trends have emerged as more insurers adapt to these changes. Leading insurers like Allianz, Munich Re, Nationwide, and Liberty Mutual are pouring in money to find the next best thing in insurance.

3 key pillars defining the strategy for the insurance industry trends

As the business dynamic has changed in the last few months, insurance organizations continuously anticipate, adapt to, and manage risks and assess the appropriateness and completeness of their strategy during and post-pandemic. The following three pillars have defined insurers’ core value proposition, go-to-market, and technology adoption:

Redefine purpose: “There’s never been an era where the world was more in need of a high-performing insurance industry. But to meet the moment and return to growth, insurers must rationalize and rethink their core strategies — from what products they offer, to how they operate, to which markets they serve”, stated EY in their Global Insurance Outlook 2021.

Agile and customer-centric approach: Everything insurers started doing -product portfolios, organization structures, and technology reflected deep insights into market needs. Right products delivered through the proper channels earn customer loyalty and enhances operational efficiency.

American Family Insurance started by implementing Agile within their digital experience team to aid informed decisions in 3-6 days. Today they use Agile CX Sprints for Marketing and Innovation programs as well.

Value-based services: As the pandemic changed the customer needs, the insurer in the health and auto sector shifted towards ‘usage-based insurance.’ This approach optimized the cost structures, strategically prioritizing investments for insurers.

Key insurance industry trends

Leading carriers worldwide have reimagined their insurance products and offerings to thrive in the new reality with these guidelines. Here are three insurance industry trends you cannot miss in the insurance sector

Becoming more human with automation: 79% of insurance executives believe collaboration between humans and machines will be critical to innovation in the future. Intelligent process automation helped insurers transform their business, become more human, and better adjust to market volatility.

As per a report by Juniper, “Intelligent automation adoption will boom over the next five years, with more than 65 percent of carriers adopting the technology by 2024. The study found that they’ll do so to cut operational costs and remain competitive as they counter flat premium growth”.

Intelligent Automation helps in delivering significant benefits such as:

  • Efficiency, by automating the mundane tasks and minimizing manual data handling.
  • Customer satisfaction, by reducing the turn-around time and improving speed and accuracy.
  • Scalability, by enabling faster decision-making processes and new business generation.

Tailored solution for the customer: Millennials and Gen Z, who are used to stellar online services by Amazon and Apple, expect every company and industry to offer the same level of personalized services. Your customers want immediate access to payments, claims status, and policy information.

Allianz uses five steps to offer personalized policies:

  • Listen to customer
  • Figure out their stated needs and latent needs
  • Review current scene of system and process
  • Re-align them to customer’s requirement and
  • Deploy the right technology

Other insurance brands like Lemonade, Allstate, Nationwide allow full customization, which can be achieved through their app or their company website, within a fraction of a second.

Another category of personalized insurance products that are in high demand in 2021 is Switch-on and Switch-off insurance. An excellent example is Usage-based car insurance. It allows car owners to insure their vehicles for kilometers; they tend to drive instead of the run-of-the-mill full year.
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Auto-insurer Metromile Insurance Co.’s revenue grew from $4 million in 2017 to a massive $106.4 million in the last quarter of 2018. Metromile tapered its services by providing personalized suggestions depending on miles driven.

Pro-active fraud and risk management: Insurance frauds are not new but have now been amplified. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) estimates that the total cost of insurance fraud in the United States alone is more than $40 billion per year. Gartner developed the CARTA approach that goes beyond single-point risk assessments to encompass continuous fraud prevention and detection across a customer’s journey on all channels.

The CARTA strategic approach specifies that effective fraud and risk management require:

  • 100% device visibility and automated control
  • Continuous monitoring, assessment, and remediation of operational risk
  • Micro-segmentation to contain breaches and limit lateral movement/damage
  • Technologies and products from several vendors
  • Detection, posture assessment, and control of physical and virtual devices as well as cloud infrastructure

Technologies to boost digital trends in insurance industry

While Insurance organizations are tracking these trends, their key enablers are technological innovations to become an agile, customer-centric, and data-driven organization. In 2019, insurers spent nearly $225 billion on InsurTech and the number grew in 2020.

Here are the technologies that are driving transformation in the industry:

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to overcome operational roadblocks

Insurers adopting process automation in areas ranging from underwriting and claims management to fraud detection and customer service have witnessed significant changes. Early adopters of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) have noticed reduced labor and claims processing costs and increased efficiencies in document and data management.

MetLife conducted a value stream analysis within its U.S. to determine how to minimize the mundane, rote tasks employees need to do, enabling them to focus on more value-added, customer-facing tasks. This exercise picked approximately 60% of processes that could be reengineered, and 40% could be automated. As a result, by the end of 2018, they have used more than 110 robots to optimize customer and employee experiences through simplified, digitized, and automated processes.

Automated data crunch

Data-related automation helps insurers unlock rich insights that range from understanding clients’ needs to make personalized promotions to offer data-backed advice to drive real-time decisions. For example, Planck, an AI-based data platform, reviews online images, text, videos, reviews, and public records and helps the insurer determine premiums, process claims, and give SMEs faster quotes.

Virtual assistants with AI-powered web & mobile chatbots

Another application of cognitive technology is AI-enabled Chatbots and Virtual Assistants. They interact with the customer in natural language processing and add a human-like touch. For example, Juniper Research claims that conversational AI chatbots for insurance will lead to cost savings of almost $1.3 billion by 2023, across motor, life, property, and health insurance. ( up from $300 million in 2019)

Predictive analytics in proactive fraud and risk assessment

The use of predictive analytics in identifying fraud risk indicators allows early flagging and response to any potential incidents. Here are three absolute favorite methods by the insurer to proactively detect fraud:

  • Social network analysis: The hybrid method includes statistical methods, network linkage analysis, organizational business rules, fraud-pattern analysis, etc., in identifying fraud clusters to see correlations between clusters and aid fraud detection management.
  • Big data, predictive analytics detection: This method is proactive and can handle Big Data sets and make predictive analytics reports.
  • Customer relationship management: This method interlinks to social media placing customers in control of their information and enabling customer transparency.

The future of insurance industry

The pandemic has elevated the insurer’s role in envisioning potential future disruptions and strategic opportunities and defining the future customer experience, business models, and capabilities needed to capitalize. Front-runners already see results; many others are following.

Among these, what trend do you expect to take the forefront of your organization? We can help you to pick the one that suits your requirements. Book a consultation today to know more.

How universities are using AI to power operational efficiency

The role of technology in the education industry has witnessed some monumental trendsetters, right from 2019, which saw the advent of Big Data, Internet of Things (IoT), and Machine Learning. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has also been a significant contributor, revolutionizing education. Keeping up with the changing times, universities have started embracing AI. A Market Search Engine report has predicted that AI will become the primary trend and grow more than 45% by 2024. The pandemic has also proven to be a catalyst for positive change, accelerating universities’ education technology needs.

Artificial intelligence has been in use for quite some time now. Several industries have already leveraged this new-age technology and seen substantial improvements in their processes. The education sector is the latest to join the AI bandwagon. Colleges and universities globally have introduced AI in their instructional and institutional operations. Managing the entire operations—right from student screening to placements—has been an arduous task, but not anymore.

Leveraging the power of AI

AI’s influence across universities

Recent advancements in AI have made the academic world more convenient and personalized. It has not just made education accessible to students but helped universities automate and speed up tedious administrative tasks.

  1. Admissions and student screening: Leveraging cognitive technologies in the admission process helps universities predict the applicants most likely to be accepted and enrolled, their states and countries, courses they choose, and if they’ll become engaged alumni. AI speeds up the admission and administrative processes, including admissions decisions, visa processing in case of an international student, student housing selection, and course registration.

    Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, deployed algorithms to maximize their student recruitment with a competitive skill set.

  2. Round-the-clock query resolution: Educational institutes use chatbots to perform multiple functions, including conversations with students, answering queries besides assessing and correcting assignments. Chatbots also store, process, and communicate data.

    Georgia State University installed ‘Pounce’ to address issues/obstacles faced by students, including enrollment, class registration, placement exams, and financial aid applications. Students connect to the bot through smart-text messaging and resolve their queries 24/7.

  3. Video-assisted remote learning: Overnight, distant learning has become the top trend due to the pandemic, giving rise to online education to help students effectively learn without disruptions. Though AI can never replace a human, video calls for better teacher-student engagement, irrespective of their location. By using AI-enabled Learning Management System (LMS), teachers can monitor student progress. Students are classified based on their learning ability and content designed to suit each learning style. Reading assignments and long lectures can be broken into smaller segments, helping students understand them better. Machine learning, along with text summarization, can transcribe complete lectures. Students can also connect with their peers, exchange notes, and clear doubts, real-time, while teachers can pay attention to students who require personalized coaching.

    Ivy Tech, a community college, having campuses across Indiana, leveraged AI to enable its student base to perform better. An algorithm was developed to monitor students’ online behavior patterns and identify students at risk of failing. Around 3,000 students were assisted, thereby improving their chances of getting better grades.

  4. Immersive content with AR/VR: Virtual experiential learning has pushed the boundaries of traditional education. Immersive technologies like Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) provide a digitally constructed environment to enhance the learning experience. Students can perform science experiments, surgeries, or even explore the universe, along with their peers.

    Arizona State University introduced virtual reality (VR) labs for its biology students. They draw blood, analyze samples, manipulate DNA, and perform experiments, all without leaving their study spaces.

  5. Monitoring students’ performance: Machine learning tracks students’ progress and needs individually and provides insights for enhanced outcomes. Teachers can use these insights to better cater to each student’s academic and personal growth.

    Kent State University in Ohio has integrated AI in its developmental math program. With ALEKS (Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Spaces), students take online classes in a monitored classroom, often assisted by a graduate assistant, faculty member, or peer tutor. Based on the student’s understanding, the difficulty of math problems is adjusted.

  6. Placement assistance: AI-powered platforms and digital analytics can help universities to manage placement and alumni efficiently. Conversational AI, powered by human expertise, is integrated to plan on-campus push, campus recruitments, assist students in cracking placement exams, and monitoring their progress.

  7. Automating administrative processes: Administrative tasks, though time-consuming, are a necessary function. Administrators are often overwhelmed with repetitive work such as new student admissions, managing class schedules, student attendance, processing grades, and monitoring placements. Automation is a crucial way to reduce their burden substantially and keep the processes running smoothly. The staff can eliminate manual routines and instead focus on more creative and inventive roles.

    New York University has deployed BobCat, an AI program that maintains the institution’s library. It plays a librarian’s role, helping students and teachers search, scan, and get library resources such as books/ebooks, sound recordings, videos, e-journals, etc. It also keeps track of the repository, maintains check-out and records for all returns.

AI has enhanced the way teachers run their classrooms. It has also helped administrators expedite their tasks. It replaces the traditional pen-and-paper method with innovative teaching methods, collaborative task management, and seamless operations. Recognizing the potential AI brings to the table, universities, in collaboration with IT companies, are deploying intelligent algorithms. These timely interventions are helping universities address challenges and drive efficiency across functions.

Conclusion

Artificial intelligence is undeniably transforming the education sector worldwide, and the potential for progress is tremendous. With artificial intelligence surpassing human abilities and making a difference in the way universities function in more profound ways, it is the right time to jump on the bandwagon. And for that, you need an expert partner.

At Trigent, we provide AI solutions that are easy to use and intuitive, ensuring seamless adoption of this latest technology. With Trigent’s AI-powered tools, you can accelerate your digital transformation initiative in this new normal successfully.

Reach out to us for a business consultation. We’d be happy to partner with you on your AI adoption journey.

Technology Trends That Will Reshape Retail in 2021

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2020 pivoted the world to everything digital. Everything-from-home became the new norm, and we reimagined new ways to function this year. It was no different for shopping – eCommerce came to everybody’s rescue. Although online shopping is not new, it took center stage. Consumer-facing technology saved the day, and digital payments, telehealth, cloud-native apps, etc., are now mainstream in the AI-driven world.

Adobe recently revealed comprehensive insights on consumer spending and eCommerce based on some of the top retailers’ eCommerce transactions in real-time. The Black Friday sales figures touched a whopping $9.0 billion, a record high indicating an increase of 21.6% compared to last year. Taylor Schreiner, Director of Adobe Digital Insights, stated, “We are seeing strong growth as consumers continue to move shopping from offline to online this year. New consoles, phones, smart devices, and TVs that are traditional Black Friday purchases are sharing online shopping cart space this year with unorthodox Black Friday purchases such as groceries, clothes, and alcohol, that are usually purchased in-store.”

Digital penetration is now irreversible and will continue to navigate retail trends through 2021 and beyond. Here’s a quick lowdown on technology trends that will reshape retail in 2021.

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) will ensure an immersive consumer experience

Retailers leverage augmented reality to shift the focus from features and benefits to an immersive retail experience enabling young and restless millennials to choose better. While apparel companies went all out with their AR fitting rooms to help choose according to body type, beauty technology leader Sephora came up with magic mirrors in stores and mobile apps to enable consumers to see how the myriad make-up treatments and colors looked on them.

On the other hand, IKEA allowed consumers to place catalog items at scale in their homes to make better buying decisions. In a technology-driven world, the augmented reality and virtual reality market are predicted to touch 16.1 billion by 2025 globally, underlining a 48.8% CAGR for the forecast period 2020-2025.

Having tasted a shift in consumer behaviors, One Aldwych Hotel in London, in collaboration with Dalmore Whisky, treated their consumers to a distillery experience with VR. They offered a VR whisky cocktail that allowed them to visit the distillery, albeit virtually to see the barrels and the water and the fields that went into its making. To ensure deeper engagement and take out the loneliness from virtual shopping, brands now allow you to co-shop with your friends by helping consumers share product views and experiences. Popular brand Lego has created digital shopping assistants to make the whole experience a lot more exciting. These assistants even make personalized gift recommendations to take the digital shopping experience a notch higher.

After launching its Shopify AR to help businesses curate more immersive shopping experiences, Shopify also confirmed that interactions with products having 3D/A.R. content have a 94% higher conversion rate compared to those without it.

Retailers are also becoming more experiential, indulging in what we call ‘retailtainment’ where experience becomes immersive and memorable. For instance, Marvel invited fans into their cinematic world through interactive displays and real-life movie props at their touring Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N.

Virtual Assistants for 24×7 Customer Service

Retailers are leveraging chatbots and virtual assistants to interact with their consumers while robots lurk outside warehouses to manage inventory. AI-powered voice recognition technology is also playing a significant role in adding value to the whole shopping experience.

Retailers are also deploying mobile CRM to engage consumers with offers, discounts, reward points, loyalty programs, style alerts, etc. According to Forrester statistics, 50% of teams saw an increase in productivity after using mobile CRM. An IDC study predicts AI-powered CRM activities could increase global business revenues by $1.1 trillion by 2021, drawing attention to the extensive role AI plays in driving customer conversations and influencing customer behavior.

Hybrid Apps enable retailers to reach a wider audience, grow the market

As consumers continue to rely on smartphones for all their needs, hybrid apps play a pivotal role in bridging the gap between brands and consumers. They are pocket-friendly and work exceedingly well for small businesses too. Brands are now relying on messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger to engage with customers.

Hybrid apps have caught the fancy of retailers because they are a multi-platform app development option, unlike native, that focus on a single platform. Hybrid apps have a single code that applies to both Android and iOS, saving developers valuable time. Besides, it is also advantageous as developers can maintain, update, and upgrade by making changes in just one set of code instead of multiple code sets, delivering an at par customer experience across platforms.

Social Commerce and influencer marketing will enhance reach and value

A recent survey revealed 41% of respondents admitted to shopping online for stuff they would normally buy in stores. The recent introduction of Facebook shops is a classic example of the growing popularity of social commerce in the personalized shopping arena in the digital world. Social commerce is now becoming an integral part of ecommerce and is clearly here to stay.

With social commerce on the rise, the influencer game is stronger than ever. It has now transitioned from selfies and clever photo edits to unique influencer video content that connects, educates, and entertains. IGTV, Instagram Reels, and Instagram Live are all playing a major role in helping brands build solid digital communities through shared interests. Fitness experts for instance conduct live workout sessions on Instagram Live and then publish the same on IGTV for those who couldn’t tune into livestream.

Contactless is the buzzword now

A safe, seamless, frictionless experience is what we need. Contactless payments, contactless delivery and pickup, seamless checkouts, 1:1 in-store appointments, contactless checkout and delivery, and click-and-collect services are all crucial steps in that direction. Also, the fear of contamination has encouraged retailers to deploy drone technology to ensure the fastest delivery. Retailers are working in tandem with fintech companies to build better transactional models for quick, contactless payments.

Contactless mobile payments are in high demand, especially in this period of crisis. Consumers carrying their cards tend to spend more than those with cash in their wallets that often limit their purchasing power. Contactless payments are not just a fad but have greater staying power for the sheer speed, security, and convenience they offer. Those who have failed to adopt them have lost business. As per the 2020 Holiday Spending Insights Report by NMI, 43% of consumers avoided retailers that did not offer contactless payments. Tap-to-pay cards are popular, so are mobile wallets such as Google Pay and Apple Pay.

Make your retail business future-ready with Trigent

The retail environment is changing at a rapid pace. Clearly, brands are going out of the way to redefine the possible and are winning the game in the midst of the pandemic. It is important to go omnichannel to provide best-in-class experiences to consumers across touchpoints because the online and offline worlds converge.

Serve your customers efficiently by accelerating the adoption of the latest developments in technology. Capitalize on Trigent’s market experience to incorporate the best practices and implement solutions right the first time. With its comprehensive suite of IT Services offerings, Trigent is your go-to partner for all your IT digital evolution requirements.

Contact our Solutions Specialists today. Request a demo now.