Mobile and Web Self-Service Roadmaps: Where Are Life Insurers Headed?

by Karen Monks, April 16, 2015
Industry Trends
North America

Abstract

Celent sees a self-serving agenda made in the interest of insurers instead of a self-service agenda that is in the interest of the customer. In a world where customer service matters, meeting policyholder demands, improving customer service, and retaining customers should be on the top of any business’s list, yet respondents ranked these low in importance.

In the report Mobile and Web Self-Service Roadmaps: Where Are Life Insurers Headed?, Celent conducted a survey to explore customer self-service in life insurance by asking 17 questions related to current use and future plans for websites and mobile devices. The survey asked about current customer service volumes, availability of customer-focused websites and mobile apps, website and mobile app functionality, and future plans regarding both channels.

The primary reason life insurers will implement customer self-service is to make agents happy, with a secondary reason to improve efficiency. Life insurers cited meeting policyholder demands as the third most important reason, tied with improving quality. Improving customer service and retaining customers are near the bottom.

“Now is the time for life insurers to expand their website and mobile functionality. Today’s customers are used to a connected world,” says Karen Monks, an analyst with Celent’s Insurance practice and author of the report. “Companies that want to be competitive in the future markets for business have to abandon some of their traditional business models to meet the rising expectations of consumers and agents.”

The report also provides suggestions to life insurers on how to embrace and succeed in implementing a customer self-service strategy. This report is the third in a series about customer self-service in life insurance. Celent’s two previous reports reviewed life insurance company websites and mobile device functionality and provided an outsider’s look at what self-service capabilities were available to life insurance customers. 

Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies. With a team of internationally based analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is a wholly-owned operating unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

Media Contacts

North America
Michele Pace
mpace@celent.com
Tel: +1 212 345 1366

Europe (London)
Chris Williams
cwilliams@celent.com
Tel: +44 (0)782 448 3336

Asia (Tokyo)
Yumi Nagaoka
ynagaoka@celent.com
Tel.: +81 3 3500 3023

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

1

 

Key Research Questions

1

Introduction

2

 

Key Research Questions

2

 

Method

3

 

Respondents

3

Current Customer Service Processes

5

 

Call Centers Still Reign Supreme

5

 

Current Available Self-Service Functionality

7

Life Insurer Customer Self-Service Plans

9

 

Website Plans

9

 

Mobile Device Plans

10

What Does It All Mean for Life Insurers?

13

 

Call to Action

14

 

Potential Benefits

15

 

Potential Challenges

15

 

Tools for Success

16

Conclusion

18

 

Steps to Take Now

18

Leveraging Celent’s Expertise

19

 

Support for Financial Institutions

19

 

Support for Vendors

19

Related Celent Research

20

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