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Insurance Innovated: Top Takeaways from InsureTech Connect 2021

2021’s InsureTech Connect conference in Las Vegas came and went faster than a Bellagio fountain show. But after three days of demoing, expoing, and networking, one thing is crystal clear: digital acceleration is well underway in insurance.

In the two years since the last in-person ITC conference, the world has been flipped on its head by the Covid-19 pandemic and unpredictable weather patterns. And policyholders from drivers, to homeowners, to businesses, are as plugged in as ever to their insurance coverage. 

For insurance companies, heightened expectations mean they must adopt technologies that allow them to move as fast as possible to deliver quality customer experiences around the clock without sacrificing security or efficiency.

Here’s a look at the most important conversations that took place.

Policyholder experiences must be seamless

As insurance companies create new pathways to serve customers, the policyholder must be kept at the center of their decisions. Whether online, offline, omnichannel, or over the phone, customers must experience the same values and brand elements that caused them to sign up in the first place. 

Insurers must be acutely aware that any customer-facing solution they adopt not only offers a branded experience, but one grounded in ethics. In conversational AI solutions, for example, this means using carefully crafted natural language models that actively remove biases to understand people and languages equitably while offering familiar reliability.

ROI is paramount

Before introducing new technologies to an insurance organization, transformation leaders must know what their return will be. Important questions to ask often start with their own employees. How will a solution save time and empower as many team members as possible – not just management? How will decision-makers track value? And, ultimately, how will a given solution’s value be tracked? 

Insurers must be diligent and utilize tools like ROI calculators to make decisions while ensuring a given solution comes with easy-to-use dashboards that give agents and leaders real-time insights.  

Building vs. buying vs. partnering

As digital transformation becomes ubiquitous throughout the insurance industry, it’s more common for businesses to ask what solutions they can build themselves. Conversely, with a growing market of purchasable technology, decision-makers are more often looking for reliable expertise to come with any given solution. 

Important questions to ask when exploring each avenue include whether your organization has the resources not only to build a solution, but the time and dedicated know-how to manage it long-term. When buying a solution, make sure you’re getting a partner versus a vendor – a team dedicated to your customers, your ROI, and a relationship built on trust. 

Solutions must land and expand

With so many technologies in the market, it’s paramount that insurers don’t simply buy off the shelf year after year. Solutions must get better with age – not depreciate the second they reach production. This is especially important in AI solutions, a field that is improving at a rapid pace.

“Continuous learning in conversational AI means an entire ecosystem of learning,” said Replicant CTO and co-founder Benjamin Gleitzman at our ITC demo. “A solution that automatically improves its ability to understand customers with every interaction, but also has the agility to be regularly improved as a technology to stay ahead of the innovation curve.” 

Security is non-negotiable

As the world becomes increasingly connected, people will face a growing host of threats from a range of sources,” Chris Krebs, former director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, said during his talk Tuesday. “As connectivity increases, so will threat actors — state actors, criminals and everyone in between.” 

It is non-negotiable that insurers, their customers, and their solutions have full confidence that services are secure and their information protected. This not only means operating all procedures under PCI, SOC 2, and HIPAA compliance, but partnering with solution providers that have redundancies and fail-safes to protect against infiltrations.  

Want Replicant’s full ITC demo experience? Book a virtual walkthrough today.

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