UI and UX designers are often faced with questions like “Why do I have to double-click that to edit it?” and “These fields are next to each other on the MRC, so why are they on different screens in the UI?”
These questions commonly come directly from the technicians who have to use the screens to enter data. Each additional click or screen travelled through accumulates and over the course of the day it might be hundreds of extra actions they need to perform. This is frustrating to the end-user and inefficient to their employer.
Increasingly however, concerns like this are becoming obsolete. In every sector of the insurance industry, whether personal lines or specialty, risks become digitised earlier in the process. The era of connectivity and smart devices is accelerating this trend.
The market is already a long way towards straight through processing. Messages already drive a high volume of risk and claims processing. Digitalisation of the risk is the key to expanding this automation. “Single point of entry” / “no rekeying” are much used phrases, but in some classes of business even these concepts are becoming old fashioned – data is generated, and is digital from the get go.
Supply chain information, digital asset registers, wearables, smart sensors, connected devices: there are many ways in which information about risks is digital now before even reaching the Insurance chain. Allowing clients to harvest this digital bounty and transform it into quotes, policies, claims, reinsurance and retrocessions with the minimum of human intervention is the key goal for the next wave of insurance software.
This requires flexible, open architecture that can consume data in multiple formats and smart algorithms that know what to do with it. “Robots” in insurance won’t mean white-socked androids broking claims around the square mile, but the interaction of APIs with the transaction processing algorithms that turn my smart watch data into a life insurance quote in the blink of an eye.
While for some time there will certainly need to be allowance for manual input or modification, demonstrating your software by showing a screen and saying “this is how you enter a risk” will be as quaint as demonstrating a new smartphone by showing “this is how you make a call”. The real value of software will be illustrating the variety of ways the system can consume data and create records.
The other real key value added by insurance software is in the output. It won’t be enough for management information to be extensive and automated (though they will have to be both) they need to be smart.
Imagine a system that can monitor news/weather reports, and when a hurricane is predicted to make landfall in a particular area, triggers an Exposure report and delivers it to the appropriate member(s) of staff. That will certainly add more value than saving a couple of clicks on a screen nobody uses much any more…