By Joseph Kamiri
In recent times, the financial services industry has gone through an overhaul with customers rapidly adopting and demanding digitization as a key determinant of brand consideration. Queuing and long waiting periods are no longer the norm and can actually be a deterrent to consumers engaging with a brand. Further, with instant gratification increasingly becoming the norm, service providers are now faced with the need for quick, relevant and timely digital platforms to meet emerging consumer needs. CIC is keen on digitization and innovation. The company is exploring ways to leverage emerging technologies such as data analytics and machine learning to increase effectiveness and responsiveness to clients’ needs.
Adoption and utilization of data
Data analytics, for instance, has become a key element for organizations seeking to provide an efficient and cost effective way of collecting and utilizing data in a controlled environment. Consumer data such as their preferred way of communicating, income level, age and geographical positioning has helped in developing customized products and solutions, making the consumer journey more intuitive and seamless.
In some instances, clients are able to do an immediate online price comparison and determine the right products aligned to their desired premiums. By utilizing algorithms designed by the insurer, clients are equipped to make decisions in a timely manner, making the consumer journey intuitive as well as cost effective. For instance, CIC has adopted technological integration in the client onboarding process for microinsurance solutions. One particular case is the CoopCare medical product digital onboarding process, where clients are able to input and submit data digitally, reducing any delays in accessing the product.
Another way that data is being applied in insurance firms is through telematics. This is especially prominent in health insurance where there is increased adoption of wearable devices that track elements such as physical activity, blood pressure and heart rate. Data collected is used to determine the client’s risk level and guide the pricing. In some cases, clients are able to negotiate for lower premiums based on their health metrics.
Telematics are also being used in motor insurance. By monitoring driving habits and mileage, insurers are able to predict the level of risk associated with the driver’s behaviour, helping them determine the right premium. This becomes beneficial for both the insurer and the motorist who is able to leverage their safety ranking to get lower or customized premiums.
Additionally, insurance firms are utilizing technology to report and capture accident scene details real time, allowing for prudent claim processing. This helps with operational efficiency and allows the insured to have an objective analysis of the situation.
Further, data analytics has helped save time for the insurer by automating fraud detection. Through inbuilt systems, insurers are able to determine information credibility and curb any interferences or risky activity detected. By leveraging machine intelligence, insurance firms track anomalies and flag clients who are inputting wrong or misleading information. This not only protects the insurer, but also helps to secure client data against cybercrime.
These are some of the benefits, data analysis brings to the insurer and the insured. With myriads of solutions and opportunities presented by data utilization in the insurance industry, this remains a crucial add on for firms seeking consumer and brand growth.
As CIC Group, we are keen on being an industry leader in digital adoption and utilization in the insurance and asset management space in our markets of operation. To this end, we have established a research and innovation function as well as a framework to spur and encourage innovative thinking across the Group. This function has been included to enable the automation and simplification of our processes, making it easier for our entire ecosystem to administer services and access products. This has also seen us invest time and resources towards infrastructure building for our digital platforms. For instance, our M-Bima platform has been built to enable digital on boarding of all our individual life customers. This has enabled clients to get access to services in a timely and seamless manner.
Globally, technological integration continues to advance with financial service providers leveraging data to calculate risk and price products. As the developing market continues to evolve, these solutions are likely to be incorporated by financial service providers. Further, with clients demanding continuous product development, having a strong research and development department becomes a critical element of organizational growth. To this end, CIC continues to invest in talent, products and platforms that are market relevant and future centric.
The writer is the General Manager – Marketing and Customer Experience – CIC Group