How BPO Services Improve the Insurance Quoting Process
Every area of the insurance industry has its own challenges, but the quoting process spans them all. Whether your company sells term life insurance, auto insurance, P&C insurance, health insurance or any other product, customers need pricing quotes before they make a purchase. A current priority across the industry is to streamline the application and insurance quoting process.
Insurance BPO services take a big-picture view, noticing the trends and demands shaping the quoting process. As such, a BPO provider can handle the heavy lifting of insurance quoting with expertise and integrity. Get up-to-date on all things your company should be thinking about with regard to providing quotes to customers and how BPO could help.
Online Insurance Quoting
Based on the ubiquity of television ads saying so, one might assume that all insurance customers seek quotes online. Web-based quoting has become more common but is still far from the only method.
That being said, offering quotes on your website or via a mobile app is important to stay competitive. Obtaining quotes online allows a prospective customer to quickly gather information and compare providers. The auto insurance market gets most of the credit for driving consumer demand for online quoting. In a 2018 study, 40 percent of auto insurance consumers said the service they most want to be able to access online is a quote.
They’re shopping around, too. According to JD Power and Associates, insurance shoppers compare an average of three rates when shopping. Their comparisons influence their behavior, too. The same study said that the rate at which customers switch auto insurance companies increased from 31% to 35% from 2018 to 2019. So, not only should a customer be able to get a quote from you online, they had better like what they find!
Customers Seeking Quotes Through an Insurance Agent
As recently as 2015, the Insurance Information Institute found that more people use an agent than call for a quote or shop on the internet. They actually reported an increase over their previous year’s survey in the number of respondents who prefer to shop through an agent.
In these cases, the agents may still expect an online quoting process. Whether an individual and business owner fills out their own application or an agent does it for them, you need to provide a positive experience.
And, as you might expect, older age correlates with the desire for a more personal interaction. In order to make every prospective customer feel a sense of trust in your insurance company, make customer service a part of every interaction. The quoting process provides your first opportunity to make an impression on someone. Making that impression positive for all kinds of shoppers requires a multichannel approach.
A Multichannel Approach to Insurance Quoting
Many individuals still prefer to speak to a person when making this important purchasing decision, even after they get their quote online. A 2015 Comscore study showed that, even though 71 percent of customers request a quote online, only 35 percent complete the purchase online. A multichannel approach to the customer experience helps ensure a smooth handoff from one stage of the buying journey to the next. The takeaway is not to assume that all customers want to get quotes in the same way.
Customer Expectations in the Insurance Quoting Process
A quote is more than just a number. A prospective customer wants to see the bottom line, yes, but they also need to clearly understand their coverage, deductibles, liabilities, premiums, and exclusions. In addition, some shoppers also expect to see quotes from multiple insurers side-by-side, in one place.
In this on-demand world, customers expect information quickly. Forms with fewer fields, requesting information that people have readily available, expedite the experience. Making these quote requests mobile friendly helps serve the needs of more customers. BPO services can help enable a more customer-friendly process.
Balancing Insurer Needs With Customer Needs
Many insurance companies have focused on how to make the quoting process easier for them, rather than how to make it easier for the customer. The truth is, addressing both points of view is a win-win.
It’s in your company’s interest to provide great customer service and cultivate trust. Customers may struggle to understand that insurance rates change constantly. If they don’t completely understand the process, they may mistrust the company providing the quote or have trouble making an apples-to-apples comparison among companies.
One point to consider is how much information you truly need from an applicant to generate an insurance quote. Naturally, some forms of insurance, like homeowners or life insurance, necessitate greater detail than, say, auto insurance.
Homeowners insurance, in particular, seems slower to evolve, perhaps due to the wide range of factors that affect pricing, from natural disaster risk to smart home devices. A small study by Insurance Innovation Reporter in 2019 reviewed homeowners insurance applications, finding that the number of data fields ranged from 15 to more than 60! The time to get an initial quote ranged from 2 minutes to 20 minutes.
Of course, you need to provide accurate quotes. However, if your process takes the customer more than five to ten minutes to complete, it may be time to revisit it.
How BPO Makes a Difference in the Insurance Quoting Process
Preparing insurance quotes is a large portion of many insurance professionals’ jobs. This time-consuming process can eat away at the time they could be spending on core business activities.
Outsourcing the quoting process to a qualified BPO provider enables more standardized processes and great efficiency. It frees up important resources and enables your team to focus on other things. Perhaps more importantly, it can help you stay competitive in this fast-changing industry.
Explore QBIS, Patra’s insurance automation tool rooted in delivering quality customer experience, providing you and your customers technology to quote, service and renew policies with speed and efficiency. Rely on a partner with the expertise and the resources to meet all your insurance business process outsourcing requirements, including a smooth, customer-friendly quoting process.