The benefits provided by new technologies have become unmistakably more pronounced, especially in light of the turbulence posed by the worldwide pandemic. But as people emerge from the uncertainty of the last two years, they’re now rightfully turning to technology and fintech providers to find a more stable, predictable and safer environment to stand upon.
In terms of offering protection, no sector could fit the bill more appropriately than insurtechs. Here, in this guest post for The Fintech Times, Daniel Poole explains how insurtechs are continuing to harness the most contemporary technologies throughout their services to offer more personalised, more human experiences to their customers.
Poole is the VP of strategic partnerships, EMEA for Cover Genius, an insurtech company for embedded insurance.
In his role, Poole is responsible for leading and executing the company’s retail strategy across EMEA and creating value for partners by delivering a seamless insurance experience to customers.
Cover Genius’ vision is to protect all the customers of the world’s largest online companies through XCover, a global distribution platform for any line of insurance or warranty, and XClaim, an API for instant payment of approved claims that delivers an NPS of +65, a result that has been independently recognised as the highest for any insurance company globally.
Here Poole analyses the value of insurtechs in property and auto:
In 2020, the pandemic acted as a catalyst to speed up the process of shifting purchasing experiences from in-person to online. We saw a boom in e-commerce, cloud technology and virtual reality as consumers and businesses adjusted to life in lockdown. Today, consumers remain interested in convenient online experiences, especially as the world continues to face unpredictable covid surges, increasing gas prices, supply chain constraints and more. Two sectors are uniquely poised to move away from antiquated customer journeys with the help of innovative technology: auto and real estate.
A history of fragmentation
Customer journeys in the real estate and auto sectors are historically fragmented. Homebuyers and renters typically travel hours to tour homes, work with real estate agents to secure a property and are then referred to separate entities to secure loans and insurance policies.
Similarly, car buyers travel to dealerships to test drive, compare prices, and, again, are referred to separate entities to secure insurance and financing. But as demand in these sectors increases, proptechs and insurtechs are emerging with innovative technology solutions that rethink the traditional process of finding a home or car.
Rethinking real estate, how proptechs and insurtechs rise to the challenge
Homebuyers and renters today are facing a difficult market. Since 2019, home prices have risen nearly 30 per cent, forcing more people to rent. Those prepared to buy in this market have to beat out the competition. Inventory has dropped to record lows, and fewer options have led to multiple offers and bidding wars in the market. With consumers facing so many stressors, the real estate sector is seeing a rise in technology solutions that provide home buyers and renters more options and convenience.
For example, with one in two renters paying more than 30 per cent of their income to rent due to rising costs, proptechs like Rhino provide renters with financial freedom and flexibility by eliminating the need for large security deposits. Instead of paying a large upfront cash security deposit, renters pay a small monthly fee, and Rhino insures the property owner for damages that might occur. It’s a win-win. Renters can maintain control of their cash and landlords are still protected in case of damage or loss.
When it comes to insurance, the process of protecting your home or rental has historically been fragmented and confusing. However, insurtechs can provide a streamlined customer experience by embedding insurance options in trusted digital platforms.
Rhino recently partnered with insurtech Cover Genius to offer users embedded renters insurance, maximising coverage for both renters and landlords with a seamless product experience. Similarly, banks offer a digital platform for homeowners seeking embedded insurance options. A recent study from PYMNTS, found that 23 per cent of digital banking customers in the US would be highly interested in bank-embedded homeowners insurance offers.
In the face of skyrocketing demand, proptechs and insurtechs are rethinking the home buying and renting process to offer creative solutions. This trend will only continue to grow as we move ahead in the digital era.
Addressing the needs of today’s car buyer with tailored technology
Global supply chain disruption has led to pent up demand in the automotive industry, as well. In the face of limited inventory, covid surges and more, car buyers remain interested in more convenient online experiences when making a purchase.
Many of today’s consumers start the car buying process online with research showing out of all sources of information brand and dealer websites have the greatest impact on new car-buying decisions. Some don’t visit a dealership at all and complete the entire purchase process online. Online car retailers like Carvana saw a 74 per cent YoY increase in retail unit sales in 2021 with a key driver being offering consumers an intuitive and convenient online experience for buying and financing cars. With the customer experience shifting to be at least partially online, there is an opportunity to use technology solutions to solve historical pain points in the car buying process.
Auto insurance is a perfect example. Instead of diverting customers to purchase insurance separately, digital companies can embed insurance for a simplified experience. Research from PYMNTs and Cover Genius found that 44 per cent of digital banking customers in the US would be highly interested in embedded auto insurance offers when making a purchase.
Insurtechs leverage real-time data to offer personalised options to customers with diverse needs – whether they are looking to buy or rent vehicles, shop for parts, etc. They also allow customers to dynamically bundle their policy instead of purchasing blanket policies that aren’t relevant or cost-effective. Using technology to create convenient, personalised experiences can help companies in the automotive industry beat out the competition in this new online marketplace.
As we enter an increasingly digital-first era, industries with complex customer journeys should look to digitise and streamline wherever possible. Technology-enabled companies, such as insurtechs, are addressing the needs of a modern buyer with novel solutions that reduce friction and create a more relevant, personalised experience.