Modern technologies allow better management of risks, premiums, policies, and other things related to the insurance sphere. Today, insurance and innovation can be found together. With high-tech software solutions in place, agents, brokers, and customers are able to manage various insurance processes conveniently. In this article, you will learn a lot of interesting things about insurance software houses.
Firstly, you will learn what a software house is and what types of software houses are there. Secondly, you will know what insurtech solutions these organizations provide. Thirdly, you will be able to go into specifics of insurance products.
What Is a Software House?
Wikipedia defines a software house as a company produces various types of software and distributes it to customers and/or end users. According to size, products, industry focus, these companies are divided into the following categories:
- Big players producing commercial prepackaged software that is easy to buy and implement instantly.
- Companies developing bespoke software which can be fully customized according to customer’s needs and requirements.
- Companies creating software as a service (SaaS) that allow customers to use this product through the Internet.
- Application service providers developing computer-based services like insurance CRM software system, ERP, CMS, and other enterprise-level systems.
- Components developers creating separate and specific functionalities, modules, components, options for systems.
Depending upon what product you need, you should define and contact a certain company. Simply put, you should decide between off-the-shelf software and custom-designed products. There are a lot of checklists over the Internet to define what you really need. Some of those lists are quite complicated and long. Basing on our experience, most of our customers prefer answering short and clear questions. Thus, below is the simplest checklist for non-technical people.
- Define your budget for software product development/implementation.
- How many and what features do you need?
- Do you need support and maintenance?
- Do you want to get upgrades regularly?
- Do you want to access your software through the Internet?
- What level of data security do you need?
- How many people will use the software?
- Do you need a scalable product?
- Is your industry specific?
- Will you need to make any changes in the software in the future?
No matter what kind of checklists you’ve got, they help software houses determine what you actually need. For example, if you want to scale up your project in the future and need to make some changes, a bespoke product is the right fit for you. If you want to buy and implement a CRM system immediately, then a prepackaged product will work best.
Software houses may provide different solutions for a variety of horizontal and vertical markets. Thus, insurtech solutions are typically divided into those providing life and non-life (general) insurance management capabilities.
General Insurance Software Solutions
Called casualty and property insurance in the USA, and non-life in Europe, this type of insurance policy offers payments which depend on some financial loss. The UK insurance software houses, for example, provide solutions for managing both commercial and personal lines. Commercial products are focused on small companies mainly. These products comprise different liabilities - public, product, employers, etc. Personal products include vehicle, house, pet, and other types of insurance.
Health Insurance Software
Health insurance is also considered to belong to general products. However, it deserves special attention. This type of insurance products covers the risks of people having medical expenses.
Life Insurance Software
This type of insurance policy involves paying off money upon the death of the insured individual. These contracts are divided into two groups - protection and investment.
What do all these types have in common? The software that is aimed to manage all these policies provides almost the same functions. To better understand what these features are, let’s divide them into features for brokers/agents/underwriters and insured people.
Features for Insurers
- Product definition - To remain competitive in the insurance market, agencies should regularly develop new products and present these products to the target audience. Defining a product and providing as much information as possible is crucial for any agency. With this feature in place, insurers are able to increase the pace of the underwriting process.
- Customer relationship management - A centralized place for communication between customers and insurance providers facilitates close collaboration. Insurers are able to increase the number of loyal customers when they see the problems which people face, get timely feedback, and can react to different complaints quickly.
- Risks management - Agencies can assess the likelihood of events that may happen in the clients’ world. Thanks to this feature, users can manage a variety of risks. It also allows providers to respond quickly to market demands and innovate.
- Workflow management - Effective monitoring of all the operational processes simplifies the work of insurers. Automation of routine and manual work helps reduce costs and free time for more important activities.
- Back office administration - Having this functionality in a system means that insurers are able to provide their partners and underwriters with proper documentation and support.
- Integration with third-party apps - Often, insurers need to integrate their systems with third-party applications like accounting or assets management software. This feature allows for the smooth incorporation of all the options and apps required by agencies.
- Reporting - Reporting capabilities are crucial for any industry because modern business strives to make data-driven decisions. Dashboards, tables, and other visual aids are the best means to present and analyze information in a simple way.
- Predictive analytics - Predictive analytics is used for many processes in the insurance sphere like underwriting, claims management, marketing, pricing, and others. Analytics helps predict trends, future behavior by analyzing big data and getting valuable insights.
Features for Insured People
- Premium calculator - With this tool in a system, both clients and managers can calculate premiums according to certain criteria like province/state, sex, date of birth, sum insured, etc. Such calculators are able to provide the number of premiums for a month, quarter, half a year, and year.
- Payments - Payment solutions are important for both providers and customers. This feature is a safe and secure way to process premium payments. It also allows to set up automatic payment plans, store client’s payment information, enables people to pay online or by phone, etc.
- Benefits management - The feature which allows employees and employers/brokers to manage insurance benefits in one centralized place. Systems like Benefitnet, for example, administer claims, manage policies, manage flexible insurance benefits, and so on.
- Claims management - With user-friendly claims management tool, users are able to register claim notifications, determine which party is responsible for damage, calculating the amount of the claim, paying for the claim, etc.
- Policy management - In terms of policy management, clients are able to use CRM capabilities to interact effectively with insurance providers and brokers on policy issues.
- Customer service - Probably, it’s one of the most important features for clients. Having the possibility to initiate claims 24/7, send inquiries about different issues, communicate with managers through multiple channels are the best ways to timely monitor all the problems customers face.
How to Develop Custom Software Used by Insurance Companies?
As you can see, there’s plenty of features providing better user experience and useful functionalities for users. Keep in mind, that off-the-shelf products provide only core functions whereas custom-designed systems are able to offer additional features according to end users’ needs. Below is the information which will be valuable for businessmen who decided to modernize their legacy software or build new insurtech systems. In this short guide, we gathered best practices of software development for the given sector.
Step 1 - Focus on usability and improved the user experience.
According to the latest trends in design, simple forms and logic are better than sophisticated functionalities. Make navigation straightforward. Make layouts clear. It will improve the level of user satisfaction.
Step 2 - Empower users with multi-channel communication.
Having several channels for interaction between customers and insurance brokers can expand the audience and potential client base. Modern society can’t imagine their life without mobile phones or social networks. It’s obvious that it’s important to take into account this tendency and provide people with as many channels as possible.
Step 3 - Consider security issues.
Companies dealing with lots of sensitive data must care about security issues. For example, health insurance software companies provide their customers with the latest technologies to ensure the highest level of security. As we know, health insurance providers handle personal and financial data that’s why they deeply concern about safety issues.
Step 4 - Drive value from your data.
With modern technologies in mind, use your data at its full potential. Assessing risks, calculating pricing, detecting fraud - these are only a few benefits artificial intelligence and predictive analytics have. If you want to create a robust insurtech system from scratch, consult professionals on how you can use modern technology most effectively.
Step 5 - Invest in high-quality customer support.
We’ve already mentioned how important it is to offer several channels for customers to communicate with agents and brokers. You should also remember about dozens of issues clients can have while using the software. Cloud solutions work best in these cases as they are accessible from anywhere and at any time. Customer support representatives can get feedback and respond to any inquiries instantly.
Like any other business or industry, insurance needs professionalism and extensive expertise in technology and software development. Either way, whatever you decide, to hire in-house developers or collaborate with software houses, just know, you should be very careful when choosing a vendor.
In order to ensure the right choice of the vendor, we offer you to read our articles which can help you check and choose the most reliable provider:
These tips and tricks can definitely help customers detect unfair communication and cheating. However, if you have any additional questions or doubts, feel free to ask our experts.
The other things you should take into consideration are the types of software houses, the types of insurtech products, and the initial requirements to the software systems. All these factors affect the whole software development life cycle and the total cost of the end product.