Pankaj Arora, President – Personal Lines, Banks & Affinity & Marketing, Liberty Videocon General Insurance Company talks about the usefulness of digitization and how the insurance industry is also waking up to its many benefits
BY PANKAJ ARORA
President – Personal Lines, Banks & Affinity & Marketing, Liberty Videocon General Insurance Company
We live in an era of instant gratification, right from Social Media posts to loan approvals – we need everything at the click of our fingers. With the advent of modern technology, our choices have expanded and the dynamics of marketplace have changed dramatically. Gone are the days when one would walk into a store to buy something. These days, people surf the shopping site online, compare their product choice with other similar products, check out peer reviews, and then zero down to a choice before the final purchase is made online. In times such as these, businesses are fast embracing digitization in order to create more value and drive digital enablement for their customers.
The basic definition of Digitization would be the creation of a digital (bits and bytes) version of analog/ physical things such as paper documents, health records, insurance policies, location data, identity cards, microfilm images, photographs, sounds and more. Thus, it refers to the process of simply converting and/or representing something non-digital into a digital format, which then can be used by a computing system for multiple purposes. Moreover, while digitization was more of process reengineering earlier, today it begins right from the stage of discovery of a product, on-boarding of a product and support of a product – everything is getting mirrored online these days!
Every individual’s life is dependent on some or the other digital technology – like booking a cab, making payments through digital wallets, transferring money via online banking, ordering food through food delivery apps, comparing insurance policies online before buying, etc. Everything is just a click away and people are adopting it whole-heartedly, as it provides complete transparency between the supplier and the customer in a time-saving and cost-effective manner.
Today, insurance buyers’ expectations have been shaped by their digital experiences with sophisticated companies in other sectors, such as Amazon and Uber. The digital bar for insurers is high and rising. And digitization will eventually bring in benefits for customers, as it will help them in buying insurance policies at a lower premium, making insurance plans easier on the purchaser’s pocket, helping to compare all the pros and cons of insurance policies online, directly buying and renewing policies at one’s convenience, and providing cancellation support, etc.
The insurance industry is on the verge of a paradigm shift. The speed of change has accelerated as a result of tremendous increase in the volume of electronic data, the commonality of mobile interfaces, and the growing influence of artificial intelligence (AI). Earlier, the companies who had adopted digital were at the forefront. However, today digitization has permeated every level of the competitive landscape. Society’s growing dependence on digital technologies is not only reshaping customer expectations but also redefining boundaries across industries. Insurers cannot avoid this phenomenon: as traditional industry borders fall away, the future of insurance stands to be greatly influenced by platforms and ecosystems.
The increase in ecosystems is a natural result of digitization. Organizations with adaptability at the core of their strategy will be the only ones who can use their strengths to their advantage. Evolution has taught us that it is not the strongest species that survive, but the ones most responsive to change. In the end, it’s always about the survival of the fittest.