Consumers expect digital insurance after the coronavirus outbreak

Tracy Li
Consumers' expectations for digital insurance have increased significantly since the pandemic, making digital transformation of the industry become more urgent, a new study said.
Tracy Li

Consumers' expectations for digital insurance have increased significantly since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, making digital transformation of the industry become more urgent, a new study said.

The virus and social distancing measures put in place have spurred people's strong need for seeking protections by taking out an insurance plan. And this in turn is now forcing insurance companies to optimize their online services to better meet consumers' needs, ZhongAn Online P&C Insurance said.

During the epidemic period, there was explosive growth in demand for online virus-related and health management consultations. Data shows that the epidemic prevention and control topics on some Internet medical platforms registered 1.8 billion views.

Across the industry around the globe, payout pressure on business interruption insurance and event cancellation insurance has jumped, while health insurance has got a boost.

In February, China saw an accumulated personal insurance premiums grow by only 2 percent year on year, while the accumulative premium income of health insurance soared by 22 percent compared with a year ago.

More and more insurers have been pursuing digitalization in recent years, and the input on that effort is increasing. 

According to a recent survey by Celent, 67 percent of chief information officers of large insurance companies said that they had begun to adjust and increase their budget for IT segment after the outbreak.

Interestingly, the outbreak has accelerated carriers’ investment in digitalization. Self-service portal, real-time response interactive system, mobile applications for policy service and claim settlement and world-class call center technologies became the focus of competition among insurance companies during the epidemic, ZhongAn Online noted.

Also, applications like virtual inspection, independent claim, artificial intelligence-based damage determination and virtual dispute settlement court are also highly valued by overseas industry players.

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