Insurance Industry Going Digital and E-Signatures Can Help
The insurance industry is standing at a crossroads in which it needs to adapt to the increasingly digital nature of doing business. Consumers increasingly expect to do everything through the Internet, whether that is through a traditional online portal or a mobile application, and economic realities are pushing insurers to turn to digital methodologies to ensure they maintain revenues in a changing operational climate. The result is a situation in which tools like electronic signature software are becoming more valuable across the entire sector.
According to an April 2014 report from Forrester Research, Inc., Trends 2014: North American Digital Insurance (access requires subscription), a variety of forces are driving digital insurance agendas, and insurance teams must innovate faster and smarter in order to stay relevant.
Looking at the forces pushing digital innovation
Forrester found that "business growth, changing demographics, shifting power bases enabled by all things digital, online fiascos that impeded health insurance signups, and adaptations in response to new weather realities are shaping digital insurance business strategies in 2014."
Insurance Networking explained that new weather situations are pushing insurers to adjust their digital strategies. Furthermore, business growth, problematic online transitions in the health care sector and changing demographics in the industry are all coming together to contribute to a new reality in which insurers need to embrace digital technologies.
Moving outside of insurance for guidance
The study found that the consumer marketplace is beginning to dictate activities in a variety of industries, including insurance. Widespread mobile device use and other digital trends in the consumer world are impacting a variety of business sectors, leaving organizations to play catch up as consumer expectations change and people demand better ways to interact with companies. This consumer-centric environment is finding its way into the insurance industry and many insurers find themselves needing to look to other sectors to identify consumer-centric digital best practices and apply those functions to their own operations.
It's time for digital acceleration
This year is a key transition period in insurance. Forrester explained in the previously mentioned report that "to stay relevant, digital insurance teams must innovate faster and smarter; infuse digital into traditional distribution; build capabilities to drive loyalty among health plan members as well as small businesses; and create compelling arguments for personalized, usage-based insurance offerings." The move to embrace digital functionality isn't just about revisiting process architectures and considering how people interact with the insurer, it is also about developing more flexible, personalized care plans that are easier to manage and fine tune because of digital tools. Moving forward, health insurers in particular are facing incredible pressure to improve loyalty through solutions like personal, usage-based plans.
E-signatures as an innovation catalyst
Security and user authentication is a major roadblock for insurers trying to embrace digital technologies, and e-signature solutions could be the key catalyst that unlocks advanced solutions. An e-signature platform can help insurers establish clear, effective processes for policy signing and other agreements. The end result is a situation in which many paper-based processes that are time consuming, onerous and expensive are completely eliminating. This creates an easy pathway for users to interact with insurers and frees time and money to be devoted to other projects.
An e-signature solution that is backed by digital signatures provides a secure, encrypted method for agreements and contracts, helping insurers to make a transition to digital tools without risk.