It’s been less than a week since the Cake & Arrow team returned from InsureTech Connect 2019 in Las Vegas, where thousands of industry influencers, innovators, stalwarts, and thought-leaders gathered to explore the opportunities and challenges ahead in the future of insurance.

The 3-day conference touched on a variety of subjects that have rapidly built momentum within the insurance industry, and are bound to come up at of any forward-thinking event: AI, automation, consumer privacy, customer data (of course), and more.

As the week kicked-off, however, our team quickly noticed a consistent theme uniting each session. Whether we were discussing opportunities presented by a new technology or the challenges associated with corporate transformation, each conversation ultimately focused on improving the insurance customer’s experience and how we, as industry leaders, can drive this improvement.

InsuretechConnect

Here were our most significant CX takeaways from InsureTech Connect 2019:

1. Move Faster. No Excuses.

Throughout the conference, speakers expressed an urgency for improving customer experiences. While we’ve certainly heard the “fail faster” mantra in the past, this year’s event placed a larger emphasis on our need to catch up as soon as possible to close the gap between customer expectations and the experiences that insuretechs are actually delivering.

This urgency resonated with us, especially since we recently wrote about how a fear to experiment is taking root within the industry, due to challenges in acquiring, synthesizing, and visualizing large data-sets.

To kick experimentation into gear, Does Changing the CX Need to be this Hard? moderated by Toby Alfred at Principal, highlighted a solution for moving faster and circumventing big data challenges—leveraging smaller qualitative tests on a super-specific audience. Through iterative and qualitative experiments with your core customers, insuretechs can gain insights that are just as actionable at a pace that is infinitely faster (and less expensive).

2. Keep Customers Front and Center From the Start

Another common theme was the need to align your customers with their ideal product rather than aligning your product with its ideal customer. For example, during a lunch workshop entitled Insurance Digital Transformation in Action, Erie Insurance Group outlined their three year journey to transform their digital customer experience through reduced expenses and enhanced analytical capability. Their key learning for success in this journey? Involve UX as early as possible.

By starting with empathy and a firm understanding of their customers, Erie was able to establish the core system required to address their customers’ primary needs and then build subsequent functionality.

3. Add More Value Outside of Insurance

Several speakers, including Hippo CEO Assaf Wand, discussed the huge opportunity for the insurance industry to provide more value to their customers beyond just insurance. Carriers are sitting on a mountain of data and, while not always 100% applicable in informing insurance products, it is still extremely powerful and has massive potential to improve the lives of customers.

Clever hypothetical examples of how insurance companies might provide real value outside of insurance by leveraging data on-hand included:

  • Home insurance carriers leveraging smart home devices, like garage door openers or home monitoring, to notify users of unusual use to alert them of potential security concerns.

  • Renters insurance carriers fulfilling renter’s security deposit obligations

  • Pet insurance providers connecting users to pet-related services like dog-walking or cat-sitting.

The possibilities seemed endless, and it was clear that there was a substantial opportunity for insurance providers to offer customers more value beyond simply reducing cost.

Overall, InsureTech Connect 2019 illustrated that, despite the distance between consumer expectations and their experiences, the industry continues to reorient itself to make the customer central to its focus. We’re very excited to see where this leads and to return in 2020. See you then!