The connected home is just one example of how insurers can tap into technology to deliver better outcomes for customers: not just covering risk but also helping prevent it in the first place.

Among the technology trends identified by Accenture as in its Technology Vision 2017 report is called Design for Humans. Just as the customer experience should be as frictionless and intuitive as possible, so should technology. Technology shouldn’t be something that we need to figure out. It should simply work—and when it does, it can be leveraged to help insurers and customers achieve better outcomes.

From processing claims to preventing risks

For claims leaders, becoming more customer-centric means a shift from processing claims to preventing risks in the first place. Insurers have opportunities to help customers prevent risks before they occur, especially as the connected home becomes equipped with the Internet of Things. Smart thermostats, security systems and appliances can provide early notice of impending repairs or failures, and notify both customer and insurer before small concerns escalate into severe ones.

Already, insurers across the globe are incorporating connected home technologies to offer more personalized premiums and risk coaching services that extend beyond the traditional insurance value chain. It’s not just personal lines, either. In commercial lines, connected sensors and intelligent automation could help customers schedule preventative maintenance of industrial equipment and facilities—helping to reduce insurance claims for damaged equipment or business interruption.

And what’s next? As natural language processing becomes more advanced, it isn’t hard to see something like Amazon’s Alexa used as a channel to communicate more frequently with customers—offering tips for risk prevention or home maintenance, as a first-notice-of-loss (FNOL) tool or even a sales channel. Accenture uses a three-part playbook to help insurers develop capabilities for a digital economy. View this video to learn more about how to drive next-generation claims outcomes.

79 percent of insurers agree that organizations transform from provider to partner by understanding customers’ objectives and designing tools to meet those objectives.

Design for humans: Action items

In the short term, these shifts are about reducing claims losses and strengthening the customer relationship. In the long term, it can help the claims function become a more strategic part of the business and become a crucial player in the continual effort to engage customers and foster loyalty.

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