Magazine article Risk Management

Nothing but Net?

Magazine article Risk Management

Nothing but Net?

Article excerpt

The insurance industry has played its part in Internet expansion, but the progress (slowed partly out of fear of alienating agents and brokers) will soon speed up as insurers realize how much they lose by lagging behind.

According to a Meridien Research survey, the industry could realize a 98 percent cost reduction in policy administration--customer changes to policy information such as addresses, beneficiaries and premium modes--by transferring it to the Web. The estimated price tag of such transactions conducted through an agency is nineteen dollars each, or through a call center, eight dollars, but over the Internet, just forty-five cents! And this savings is coupled with improved customer satisfaction. Next year, 20 percent of the world's top property/casualty insurers are expected to provide the ability to review, and perhaps even modify, accounts online.

And there is more to come. "Phase one was to get comparative ratings out and allow consumers to get in and do some shopping," Bill Woahn of InsureQuote said, as part of a technology expert panel at the Accord Technology Conference '99. "In phase two, consumers can come in, do some shopping, select a carrier and do a purchase request. And at this point they want to buy online. So phase three will be actually creating policies online."

Following this outline, more creative subsidiaries and underwriters will likely soon be introducing to their sites the ability to get quotes and applications, gain approval, view statements, perform policy administration transactions and initiate and track claims, particularly for simpler p/c items such as vehicle and home/renters coverage, according to the Meridien study. …

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