Gamification and innovation in insurance

August 21, 2017 Kevin Gaut

In all aspects of life, people don’t buy products or services, they buy the customer experiences these deliver. In the case of insurance, experiences have traditionally focused on meeting the legal requirements for cover and a desire for financial protection.

Gamification in insurance

Yet as consumers’ lifestyles are changing, so are their expectations of their insurance experience. Not only do they want on-demand products based on individual risk, but the very idea of an annual rather than usage-based product seems old fashioned. Insurers are also looking for more interactions more often, the idea being the more they know about their customers, the better able they are to ensure customers are insured correctly.

All of these needs can be met through gamification. By applying game elements and techniques to solving real world business problems, such as accurately quantifying possessions for a home insurance policy, insurers can find better ways of repeatedly engaging with consumers. This includes helping customers choose the right products and understand those products better, providing fun ways to capture more accurate risk data, and improving the buy and claims processes.

Gamification is not new to the insurance industry, with telematics apps having been used for a number of years to identify and reward safer drivers. Events such as the Gamification in Insurance Hackathon take this one step further, finding different ways that AI, augmented reality (AR) and in-depth scanning can be applied to the sector.

SSP is keen to support other organisations and the ideas that come out of this type of event. I was particularly impressed by the innovative uses of technology outside the traditional quote and buy process, such as the apps from iMagic and Covernance that provided engaging ways for quantifying home contents.

AR is going to be one of the main technologies driving future customer engagement, and iMagic used this to particularly good effect in its Harry Potter-based game. The app enabled customers to virtually fly around their house creating a list of their household contents and get valuations from sites like eBay. Whilst on their journey, they could identify potential hazards, such as overloaded plug sockets, so minimising the risk for both themselves and their insurer.

KIP, the team which took first place, showed similar inventiveness in how risk data is collected. By incorporating external data from trusted sources, insurers have enough insight to complete parts of the question set themselves, streamlining the number of points customers have to respond to, so simplifying their journey.

In KIP’s case, they gave customers the option to prefill the application form with data from Amazon or to complete it themselves. Since Amazon has information such as the customer’s name, address and date of birth, it is likely they will choose that option.

A further benefit is that Amazon provides access to the individual’s buying history. The app could use their purchases to drive insurance recommendations, such as reminding customers to insure the flat screen television they recently bought.

Onboarding customers in this way provides insurers with a truer picture of each individual risk. While Facebook provides an insight into what the individual wants their friends to see and LinkedIn what they want their colleagues to see, what a person buys is the true them. After all, if an individual buys ready-made pizzas every night, then it doesn’t matter how many gym selfies they post.

Another great example of using gamification to influence customer behaviour and drive regular interaction was the financial wellness app from Twenty One Days. The app used a digital habitual piggy bank to enable customers to save a little towards a saving goal each day for 21 days — the length of time it takes to form a habit.

This shows the ability of gamification to change consumer behaviour in areas outside the traditional telematics space.

As technologies such as the Internet of Things continue to transform the world of insurance, the potential applications for using gamification to drive engagement will only continue to grow. At SSP, we are looking at using gamification for some insurance needs and are committed to supporting innovative ideas within this space.

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