The next wave of service innovation

keyboard with a car key

The insurance sector has undergone significant change in the last decade, but it’s likely we’ll see even greater change in the decade to come. Traditional business models are being challenged by a profound transformation in the way consumers purchase, own and use vehicles, new ways of assessing risk and the introduction of disruptive technologies.

These changes are taking place against a backdrop of global and local forces that are challenging common assumptions about vehicle insurance. The latest and most prominent of these – the COVID pandemic – is a reminder that the best-laid strategic plans of organisations can be completely upended by unforeseen forces.

The insurance sector is resourceful, though, and is responding to these challenges by exploring innovative insurance models and embedding effective and resilient relationships.

Allianz is one such insurance provider looking to turn obstacles into opportunities.

We have been investing in a wide-reaching transformation initiative that includes simplified insurance products and modernising our platforms. Importantly, our initiative is one that puts customer front and centre.

Flexible and responsive

Insurance and technology expert Jeff Wargin has written extensively on the topic of customer-centricity and says any insurance innovation brought to market now must have two distinct benefits to appeal to prospective and existing customers1.

Firstly, the innovation must enhance customer flexibility so that customers can self-service their insurance needs through a number of different channels, whether it be web, mobile apps, phone, or even via chatbot.

The second is that any new innovation must promote responsiveness. Insurance providers should utilise the many customer touchpoints now available to them so they can give customers a highly responsive service that feels personalised and empathetic.

Allianz is always looking for opportunities to deliver on these customer service fundamentals, which it says will make our products more competitive across all customer and partner channels. Focus on customer service will help:

Addressing customer pain points

We intend for our transformation initiative to remove obstacles along the entire customer journey. A key element will be allowing customers to research and purchase insurance options at their own pace.

We conducted a survey of over 4,000 people, and found that most customers want the ability to compare insurance options in their own time and through their channel of choice. Some customers prefer to both research and purchase online, while others prefer to do initial research online and then speak to someone about their options.

We understand that offering a rounded and flexible customer experience means giving customers the functionalities they want, with the ability to engage at their own pace. Our transformation initiative will address the other fundamental identified by Wargin – the need for personalised and responsive interactions at every customer touchpoint.

We understand that no matter how efficient the transaction process or the benefits provided, customers still expect a personalised experience, as much as they do with retailers such as Amazon or Netflix. We will be updating customer communications to be more user-friendly and relevant to each customer, recognising the insurance purchase stage they are at.

We’re currently testing the program insights with new direct customers in 2022.

This article has been prepared by Allianz Australia Insurance Limited ABN 15 000 122 850 AFSL234708 (“Allianz”). Information contained in this article is accurate as at 3 February 2022 and may be subject to change. In some cases information has been provided to us by third parties and while that information is believed to be accurate and reliable, its accuracy is not guaranteed in any way. Any opinions expressed constitute our views at the time of the issue and are subject to change. Neither Allianz, nor its employees or directors give any warranty of accuracy or accept responsibility for any loss or liability incurred by you in respect of any error, omission or misrepresentation in this article.

1 7 disruptive ideas changing the insurance industry