COVID-19 has accelerated shifts in customers' lives. All the while, the Dutch insurance industry has been hurtling towards a perfect storm of converging market threats. While the immediate operational impact of COVID-19 appears to be relatively limited for Dutch insurers, we believe it is a critical time for insurers to leverage the momentum of this perfect storm and redefine who they want to be for their customers in this moment when customers are looking towards them for protection and guidance.
The measures following the COVID-19 outbreak have accelerated digitalization in The Netherlands, as people have started working, communicating and socializing from home.
Insurance firms have shown they can adapt to crisis
Dutch insurers were quick to manage crises and risks within their organization, focusing first on their employees' wellbeing, followed by securing continuity of operations through remote work. Overall, insurers have transitioned to continue their operations remotely with relative ease compared to other sectors in The Netherlands – a great achievement, from which the foundations have been built over the last years.
Leverage momentum to transform
Now, a year into the COVID-19 outbreak, we argue it is time to start broadening the focus away from your employees and operations, and towards your customers and their changing behaviors and needs in this new reality. In this blog, we hope to challenge you to think about the new reality of insurance and stimulate inspiration on how you can step up in your customers' lives in times of need.
3 Opportunities to define who you would like to be
Insurance – at its very core – is about protection. In times of uncertainty, much like in this COVID-19 pandemic, customers are looking to their insurer for just that – protection. As insurers prepare themselves for Recovery and policyholders look towards their insurers for guidance, we believe that now is the moment to define who you want to be for your customers.
In the process of redefining your role in your customers' lives, we observe three interconnected opportunities where insurers can increasingly add relevance:
- Digitalization – be present
- Prevention – be proactive
- Solidarity – be trusted
1: Digitalization. Be present
The COVID-19 measures in The Netherlands ensured that Dutch consumers acclimated to the new reality of interacting with their financial service providers through digital means. During moments of crisis, we see an influx of customer communication with their insurers. And whether it is applying for a new policy, asking questions or submitting a claim, customers expect a seamless, digital customer experience moving into the Recovery phase.
Lemonade is a digital-first insurer who uses digital technology and algorithmic artificial intelligence to connect to their customers through chatbots instead of brokers and applications instead of paper. This speeds up the previously slow claims processing, and allows for claims to be made and approved in a matter of minutes.