Improving the customer journey

Insurance agents know the story. A potential customer has interest in purchasing life insurance. Yet the process is difficult. It can take up to four weeks, is paper heavy, requires multiple questionnaires, is time consuming and can be confusing for the potential policy holder. It is no surprise that many abandon the application process before it is complete.

A new way

One solution now being utilised by Swiss Re with selected primary partners in China is to put the whole journey in the hands of an agent with a tablet. The solution utilizes the Swiss Re life underwriting guide, Magnum. 

The process is undertaken by an agent face-to-face with the customer, so that the human interaction provides the basis of trust. Every stage of the process subsequently is undertaken digitally. There is no paper. The whole process takes less than an hour. The customer is informed at the point of sale of their status and their premium. Medical tests are only required for high sums insured.

Circular learning

Having all your data digitalized has the additional benefit for the insurer of having significant volumes of data to analyse. It allows the breakdown of portfolios by a particular agent. It can assess the age bands with which the agent has most success – it even provides good data on whether the risks being underwritten by the agent are of a higher standard than the average. Management can also see whether an agent is underwriting no impairments onto their portfolio, which, in comparison to the average, suggests that something is going wrong in the process.

All this information can be accessed with a few clicks. With automation, a dashboard of different agents and their underwriting portfolios can be created – while maintaining data protection controls.

Numbers are a mark of success. There are now 110,000 tablets in China. The goal is to have 200,000 in the hands of agents by the end of 2016, from a salesforce of 250,000. And, with circular learning, insurers are realizing how they can make their processes more effective and their portfolios better balanced.

About the speaker

Francis Blumberg is Head Strategy & Client Services at Swiss Re. He spoke at the "Next Generation Insurance Customer: Bringing it to Life" which took place on 22-23 June 2016 at the Swiss Re Centre for Global Dialogue.

Summary by Simon Woodward