The Potential of Open Insurance

All industries are feeling the effects of the pandemic – some more than others. And while the highest priority for insurers is to keep their employees safe and give them the flexibility to take care of their families, these organizations are a significant part of the global financial structure, and they need to keep operating.

For the insurance industry, there are impacts to the business bottom-line – claims, for example – and on how business is getting done. Some processes are still working fine with a completely distributed workforce, but in other cases, silos have become more evident, and companies are not ready and/or able to keep up with customer demands. It’s become more evident than ever that insurers need to be agile, and open to new technologies. Insurers need to digitize processes, and they need to do it fast. The current state of the world is putting more pressure on these needs.

The short-term: make rapid, impactful changes to empower your workforce

Although it might seem counterintuitive, you can use this pressure as a catalyst to make operational improvements. The key here is understanding how you can leverage the technology assets that you have, and make incremental changes that will improve critical processes, one at a time. Right now, the most important changes to consider are the ones that can have a meaningful impact on your employees, agents and customers.

For example, multiple, siloed systems and data make working remotely even more challenging. A low-code application platform enables you to unify all of your data in a single view, without having to migrate it. Consider how much easier it would be if your agents and underwriters could seamlessly collaborate on a piece of business, with all of the data in one dashboard.

The long view: new capabilities, new opportunities, and a new operating model

Individuals and businesses still need insurance, and insurers still need to sell. But to do that, they need to be able to pivot to other sales channels, develop new products, and find new ways to make face-to-face connections, develop relationships and build trust with their customers.

An important consideration for insurers is to prepare for when the outbreak ends, while also considering that there will be waves of heightened crisis levels and calmer periods in the future. Part of this preparation should involve evaluating how quickly and effectively their response was, which will enable them to better adapt and prepare for the future.

Incumbents opening up – the pace of change in insurance

I recently co-authored an executive perspective with Rob Galbraith, the insurance thought leader who wrote “The End of Insurance as We Know It”. We delved into how the expanding technology capabilities that exist today hold so much opportunity for insurers, and how the next decade will hold more change in the insurance industry than the past three decades combined.

These were important considerations for insurers before the current situation reached this point, and so much of what is discussed is even more relevant now.

If you’re interested in learning more about open insurance, you can download the executive perspective here.

“We live in a world of accelerating change. The best way to adapt in these turbulent times is to find partners like Appian you can trust to increase your organization’s agility and ability to quickly adapt to whatever the world brings next.”

Rob Galbraith

See you – virtually – at AppianWorld

And speaking of change, we’ve taken our annual customer conference online this year. AppianWorld 2020 will be May 12-13 and will teach you how to turn great ideas into business impact – faster than you ever thought possible. It is always a great experience to network with my industry peers and discuss the issues impacting our shared industry, and I’m looking forward to being able to do this in a virtual environment. The conference is free, so don’t miss this opportunity – register today!

Gijsbert Cox
Industry Leader, Insurance