National Insurance Awareness Day 2018 - Appian Blog

National Insurance Awareness Day 2018

I’ve spent more than 25 years working in the insurance industry, but had never heard of National Insurance Awareness Day until last year. From what I have read, Insurance Awareness Day celebrates the history and necessity of insurance, and encourages people to understand the important role it can play in their lives.

I was actually excited to see that there was a day dedicated to insurance, since I am pretty serious about helping insurers learn how to best use technology to help their customers.

Insurance, Defined

The purpose of insurance is to indemnify – in other words, pay compensation in the event of a loss by a specific peril – like fire, for example. Ultimately, insurance is a way of managing risks. This is true whether we are purchasing insurance for our personal needs – automobile, homeowners, life, or health – or for a business need – commercial property, casualty, or workers compensation.

When you buy insurance, you transfer the cost of a potential loss to the insurance company in exchange for a fee, known as the premium. Insurance companies invest the funds securely, so it can grow, and pay out when there’s a claim.

From Insurance to Technology

My career began working in an insurance agency, starting with personal lines and later moving to complex commercial lines. At that time, the majority of processes were manual. Applications were filled out by hand, rating was done with a calculator, and claims were reported over the phone. Almost all of the correspondence was via mail, and all of the documentation was handwritten and put in a paper file.

About 10 years into my career, I had an opportunity to go work for an insurance technology company, and put my industry knowledge to use in a completely different way. I’ve been lucky enough to see how technology has changed insurance – and to be a part of that change.

Insurance and Technology

Insurance technology has grown in many ways over the past 15 years. I can see how far insurers have come with respect to using technology, but there is still much more they can do. One exciting trend is how many young people are entering the industry and challenging old ways of doing things. New InsurTechs are starting up all the time, and none of that would be possible without emerging technologies.

As long as I’ve been involved with insurance, I’ve heard the expression “make it easier to do business with us” from insurance companies. Because for a company to be successful, they have to be responsive to their customers at every touchpoint. In insurance, those touchpoints are referred to as the customer moments of truth. And the bottom line is that embracing new technologies is how insurers can take the best care of their customers.

Be the Change

One of the many reasons that I enjoy my role here at Appian is that it gives me the opportunity to be  part of the change that is taking place in insurance. Digital platforms enable  insurers to innovate faster than ever before. Technology has completely changed how insurance companies do business – and things are only going to keep changing. But, the one thing that hasn’t changed is the emphasis on customer service, and using the right technology is the best way to ensure that only gets better.

I also like collaborating with my colleagues who are as serious about the industry as I am.  I recently had a conversation with Jake Sloan, Appian’s Industry Leader for Insurance in North America, about how much of the hype in InsurTech has been a call to action for traditional insurers, and he remarked that “We are seeing carriers move from technology proof of concepts and experimentation to implementation, especially as it relates to creating a 360 degree view of the customer, because now more than ever consumers demand more from their relationship with an insurer and they want it immediately.”

Additionally, I’m fortunate enough to have a network of people all over the world to talk insurance with, including Jen Overhulse, a writer and media professional who works with many insurance technology companies . She and I were chatting the other day about some recent insurance conferences, and she said, “There are plenty of innovative ideas floating around the industry these days, but the InsurTech initiatives that will be the most effective are those not looking at existing distribution channels as an easy mark or trying to upset the status quo for the sake of pure disruption. New divisions, internal attempts to fail fast, and innovation labs aside, the InsurTech startups who make a leap of faith with no corporate safety net underneath them are the best bets. Sometimes it’s not about reinventing the wheel, but about fearlessly applying new ways of thinking to existing processes and products.”

Working at a company like Appian – with a low-code, digital platform that can make a difference in how insurers work – has me looking at the industry with fresh eyes. I am motivated to think about new ways to solve old challenges everyday, but especially today.

A  great example of an established company that’s doing new things is Aviva. Take a look at this video and learn how they transformed their call center operations with Appian.

Happy Insurance Awareness Day!

Eileen Potter

Industry Marketing, Insurance

 

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