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Insurance and the Digital Transformation

Brett Goldberg | January 22, 2016

Property Casualty 360 wrote an interesting piece this month about the insurance industry’s performance in its efforts to achieve “a digital transformation.” The piece explained that improving the customer experience is the top driver behind a migration to digital solutions. The article also mentions a recently commissioned Accenture/Forrester Report that confirmed many insurance executives see a critical link between digital solutions and stronger customer interactions.

Our founders started Spex under that same lens: creating a better overall customer engagement. A catastrophic homeowners claim, one of the most difficult events a person can experience, requires healthy doses of love and support. Most of us feel better during stressful circumstances when we’re provided trustworthy, transparent and professional communication and documentation. That’s particularly true for more complex subjects such as medical diagnosis or damage to building materials inside our home.

We reviewed a JP Morgan/BCG Report in late 2014 that highlighted the same trend: the insurance industry lags behind many others when it comes to customer engagement. That report cited over 60% of P&C customers as “less than satisfied” with their service providers during claims-related events. Insurance companies advertise continuous brand images of TLC but the industry is failing to achieve those values during times of need.

In today’s claims environment, policyholders are typically provided a formal estimate in conjunction with a carrier’s check. Unfortunately, that estimate offers little, if any information, about the actual details of the damage. It’s a line-item price report of the required repairs, not an information guide to actually describe the loss.

We don’t think that’s the best approach - for insurers, their service providers or their customers. Spex makes detailed scope notes informative to virtually any homeowner. We’re replacing traditional forms and graph paper with a digital platform that transmits digital scope notes to an ultimate Spex Report, which can be easily shared and reviewed with administrators, contractors and homeowners.

One of our newer customers, a restoration contractor, uses the Spex Report as a sales tool: to help a wife, who may be home during a routine roof inspection, share the inspection documentation with her husband. That Spex customer is differentiating itself with digital documentation in the eyes of its prospective customers, strengthening its credibility and sense of trust.

The 2014 JP Morgan report suggested that today’s online insurance experience is perceived by consumers as the third worst amongst all business segments, only slightly better than telecom, cable and real estate. However, what insurance lacks in current digital adoption can be overcome by a high degree of overall consumer trust in insurance service providers.

Homeowners are generally inclined to engage with those providers, even letting them enter into their properties to perform lengthy inspections. It’s now imperative for those providers to seize the opportunity to better communicate the information being obtained from property inspections. Spex is one step in that digital direction.

Brett Goldberg
CEO of Spex