In my quest for finding the perfect gift for my 6 year old nephew I thought he would love a drone. What kid doesn’t want their very own flying “thingy” with a built-in HD camera that connects to your smartphone and has a battery life of 3 hours? I was right. He loved it. Drones aren’t just the next cool toy for kids either. Admittedly, I think I was more excited than he was to open the box and play with it. I mean when I was a kid, we were limited to remote control cars where the battery lasted 15-20 minutes and then you had to wait another few hours for the battery to charge before you could continue tearing up the rug and nicking the dining room furniture.
My nephew is onto something
Shortly after presenting my nephew with his gift and winning the “Awesome Uncle Award”, I read an insurance industry publication on the use of drones by a major U.S. carrier to create efficiencies during the claims process in an effort to ultimately improve customer experience. This article certainly got my wheels spinning.
As a sales professional focused on insurance technology, I am always talking with carriers about how important it is to connect communication letters/forms to data sources, especially during the claims process because it streamlines and improves efficiency. Usually these discussions are focused around the traditional data source types like the policy, billing, or claims system but the article got me thinking that this paradigm is quickly changing. In the age of the self-driving car, the commercial drone, and wireless headphone that probably have more technology in them than Apollo 11 did, what is the next generation of insurance going to look like? The amount of data and how that data is collected will provide carriers with a wealth of new information. As these aspects change over time, so too will the way carriers will have to communicate with their customers. I don’t think we are that far off from a day where drones collect data, send it back to the carrier, and the carrier immediately notifies a policyholder on the status of a claim in a fraction of the time that it is done today. What is defined as a data source today is very different from what a data source will look like in the future. Just as children can sometimes see things that adults miss, the carriers that stay ahead of the curve and become the early adopters of this new type of technology will surely catapult themselves over the competition.
Over the last several years there has been a major shift for carriers to get a handle on modernizing communication. It goes far beyond the reach of e-delivery. Carriers realize that in order to be successful and retain and grow the customer base, they need to have the mechanisms in place to quickly adjust how they communicate with their policyholders. We have seen how companies like Google are entering the market and changing the game. It makes you wonder, which carriers are ready to capitalize on these new market trends and which carriers are going to fizzle out into obscurity and eventually become the focal point of the “do you remember the carrier X” conversation. Truth be told, time will tell.