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By Chris Gill, Director of Risk & Insurance at Over- C

Over the past 18 months the need for greater digitalisation has become obvious. As an industry, the insurance sector is one that has traditionally been slow on the uptake of modern technologies, but in recent times it has started to make serious moves to modernise its approach.

Businesses encounter a variety of problems which can lead to large insurance pay-outs on a daily basis. In retail for example, slips, trips and falls are constantly offering potential threats to customers and workers alike. As these risks are most likely to occur in areas of high footfall such as shopping centres and supermarkets, the retail industry has traditionally been the worst hit. So how can organisations in these industries utilise the benefits of digitalisation to mitigate these risks, reduce the burden of high insurance costs and keep staff and customers safe? 

The Digitalisation of Insurance

Digitalisation systems are helping to aid the protection of customers and custodians of the business, whilst providing real-time solutions to potential risks posed in the workplace. This helps deal with the costly effects of insurance pay-outs. 

Businesses payment of insurance premiums currently constitutes one of the largest costs to businesses, next to the wages of staff and cost of rent. The digitalisation of the insurance process has led to a simpler claims processes, proactive and personalised services and seamless digital processes. 

Preventable overhead costs of expensive insurance premiums are an excessive burden for your company no matter how big or small the organisation may be. Expense is not the only detrimental impact insurance may have on your business. The timely nature of constantly revising an organisation’s insurance plan can be combatted through real-time comprehensive data insights, saving your organisation valuable time and money

On average healthcare insurance costs rise by 18% each year. For small organisations and entrepreneurs, the ability to mitigate the risk can help save substantial sums of money spent on insurance premiums. The 2020 Gartner COVID-19 Customer Experience Survey shows that since the pandemic there is a marked increase, from 11% prepandemic to 19% post pandemic, for consumers using only technology or mostly using technology for interacting with insurance companies for claims.

Internet of Things (IoT) solutions are ensuring a mitigation of risks, a reduction in hazards and an alleviation of the pressure on businesses of large insurance claims. In-depth, real-time data insights are allowing business to adequately assess potential risks and assure insurance products provided by the policyholders are rightly priced, based on past and current data utilised by IoT systems. The ability of sensors, reports and alerts providing continuous information to businesses and their insurance providers. The continuous flow of data informs businesses of risks and can prevent costly incidents from occurring. 

Platforms offered by IoT providers enables both businesses and insurers to identify, record and diminish risk in the workplace. The automated data collection systems work alongside AI-based responses leading to quicker resolutions to potential risk and provide vigorous defence claims. The machine-learning of the IoT systems determines that the systems are aware of past incidents of risk and from these past experiences will learn to recommend the best antidote to the problem. 

Risk Identification

Through quicker identification, automated responses to risks and overall better reporting, the number of incidents and severity of incidents can be reduced significantly. IoT systems administer a timestamp of potential incidents evidencing exactly what happened. Speeding up the claims process, whilst preventing the manufacture of fraudulent or exaggerated claims. IoT systems extensively examine the sensors, automated reports and can highlight the exaggerated or fabricated claim. 

The integrated digital platforms offered by IoT service providers empower businesses with full transparency and confidence in the management and operations in high-risk, high-footfall, high-output business facilities. Advanced insights allow businesses to explore the data collected by IoT systems in greater detail than ever before. The ability to choose to look at individual user or group activity over customisable time periods depending on your business’s bespoke needs. 

All of this also enables insights into task performance by frontline workers, incident reports and smart sensor data which alerts workers when there is a risk. The ability to better identify risks empowers frontline workers to solve issues much more efficiently.

Insurance Partners

Through the creation of a new partnership between insurance companies and policy holders there is an opportunity for an era of co-operation between both. Resulting in reduced operational costs, less risk for the customer and provide a perception of better service for all involved. For example, according to Forbes, IoT could help insurers cut the cost of the claims process by 30% whilst also lowering the premiums for consumers. 

As an ‘end-to-end’ digital solution, IoT technology eliminates the time consuming nature of paper-based processes. The ability for businesses’ compliance officers to immediately be able to access historical records of incidents eliminates the risk of wasted time and overhanging legal costs, which have been reported to increase corresponding to the time it takes to resolve the claim. 

A report by the Boston Consulting Group in 2020 highlighted the importance of proactive and pre-emptive IoT services offering businesses a reduction in potential risk and the customer an effortless claim journey. The smoother running of this customer experience is reflected in the NPS scores of insurers and businesses who assure they use IoT structures. 

The motivational impact that IoT solutions play in the workforce is an impact which cannot be underestimated. Through consistent guidance on what areas the workforce should be targeting to avoid risk and awareness of potential red flags to the workers, enabling operational leaders to rapidly redeploy resources accordingly. 

Insurance Transparency

IoT solutions allow for complete transparency across frontline roles including security, maintenance, cleaning, and hospitality. This means businesses can concentrate on offering an exemplary service without worrying about potential hazards occurring. 

As we begin to see a light at the end of the tunnel of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is the perfect time to embrace the benefits of the digitalisation of insurance. Utilising a digital platform for real-time decision-making offers businesses operational transparency, better cost management, a reduction in time and cost of claims, improved customer experience and the ability to instantly identify, rectify and respond to hazards. This clarity and insight that IoT solutions offer to operational business leaders for current and future insurance claims is a game changer. From lowering business insurance costs and providing customers with an enhanced, safer experience, the digital transformation of insurance is here to stay.

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