Three Insurtech Trends to Watch in 2018
The insurtech industry is a strange animal. On one hand, the industry is exploding, with billions of investment dollars being put to work. There is no shortage of exciting new changes and start-ups improving an incredibly flawed and complex system. On the other hand, there's a lot more that needs to happen. The health insurance ecosystem still involves way too many players, moving parts, manual processes, not to mention piles of paperwork. It remains antiquated, costly and error-prone. So, what can we expect to happen in this space over the next year? Which trends are hyped-up dreams for a future decade and which are actually happening now?
It's safe to assume that U.S. healthcare won't transform overnight. But things are moving. Small fires are spreading, and these three trends in particular are ones that we can expect to gain a lot more traction in 2018:
Automation Will Replace Human Effort
By this I don't mean to say: “The robots are coming for our jobs! Run!” But there's still a massive opportunity to achieve a solid middle ground, deploying technology to arm customer-facing employees like brokers and agents with tools to provide higher quality, more timely information to existing and potential customers. Rather than massive human displacement, we can expect to see humans providing better customer service in a more efficient manner.
The focus on digital solutions will continue to align around operational excellence, streamlining processes and removing unnecessary costs. We probably won't see an industry that implements a single, shared platform that stores and integrates healthcare data in the short-term, but we will see individual carriers and other stakeholders making strides that yield results. The industry knows it's time to move on these initiatives, and that the fruits of true innovation will elude them until significant process improvement is achieved.
The solutions that gain the most traction in 2018 will be ones, like Benefix, that address these pain points while benefiting carriers, brokers and the insured alike.
Look to Analytics
As digitization unfolds, the desire to harness and analyze this data will take center stage. Industry players will seek to extract insights from digital platforms, shedding new light on consumer trends, carrier trends, cost-efficiencies (and inefficiencies), and other key data points that can help them achieve new levels of success and profitability. Digital platforms with built-in reporting capabilities that illuminate those issues will be in high demand. Ultimately, these insights will catalyze innovation as they're leveraged to create new products and services.
Increased Customer Outreach
This year, more insurers will work to develop the necessary capabilities to become a bigger part of their customers' everyday lives, promoting wellness and delivering a range of tools to help keep the insured (especially technology driven millennials) healthier. We've seen insurers promote healthy behaviors in the past, but what we'll likely see in the future is a much more hands-on, collaborative approach. We may see health trackers, incentive programs, nutritional monitoring and other offers that attempt to engage with customers and motivate them to make healthier decisions.
So hold on tight! Insurtech was already on fire, but this year things will heat up even more as all of these ideas and initiatives really take off.