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Insurance mobile apps for business and homes make organizing easy

Mobile apps for business

Mobile apps for business and home inventory will make your spring cleaning easier than ever before.

Spring is in the air, and with the new season comes spring cleaning. Luckily, insurance companies are making this process easy and fun for their customers by providing new mobile apps for business and home inventory that offer creative solutions for those warm-weather cleaning and organizing activities.

Facing a potential home or business move? State Farm has an app that helps keep track of everything that has been packed, giving users a virtual packing list for every room in their home or office and helping them stay on top of recommended tasks. Liberty Mutual has built a mobile app that assists in creating an extensive home inventory, which can be useful in processing property insurance claims in the case of theft.

American Family Insurance has a similar app that stores the documentation of belongings on the cloud so users can access the information from any device with an Internet connection. Allstate’s inventory mobile app helps estimate items’ value, which can be extremely handy as customers categorize electronics and other valuable items purchased months or even years before. Even non-customers can take advantage of these helpful mobile apps.

Partnering with a content delivery network can keep customer information secure

Of course, with all of this sensitive information being collected and categorized, customers may be concerned about the security of these mobile apps for business and home inventory. Not only is an archive of treasured belongings stored in the cloud via these applications, but the value of these items and their exact location within the home or business is stored as well. If security were compromised on any of these apps, valuable possessions could become vulnerable to theft. In the wrong hands, these inventories make customers ideal targets for break-ins and burglaries.

Partnering with a content delivery network (CDN) that offers protected delivery through a secure socket layer certificate as well as an md5-shared secret system to generate protected links will ensure that clients have proper validation before accessing private information. Industry-leading CDNs also offer an HTTP rules engine and referrer blocking, which allows you to deny access to HTTP requests that do not originate from your website. This is especially important, since visitors originating from uncertain destinations could be attempting to gain unauthorized access to the site and data.

With these additional security measures in place, there is no reason customers won’t want to take advantage of these new mobile apps from insurance companies. As the industry evolves and moves into the digital era, more creative apps are expected to make spring cleaning easier and perhaps even enjoyable.

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Mobile apps allow users to process accident claims with insurance companies

mobile apps

Mobile apps are making it easier than ever before for customers to submit accident claims to their insurance companies.

A growing number of insurance companies are allowing customers to use their smartphones to process accident claims in an effort to compete in an increasingly digitized customer service world. Many car insurance companies are developing mobile apps to make it easier for their customers to record accident details and take pictures to assist in the claim process on their mobile devices.

How mobile apps help in accident reporting

By using a mobile phone with an app preloaded with the customer’s car insurance information, an individual can log all the details of an accident in real time. Some applications even offer assistance by calling 911, taxis, or towing companies, and verifying the location of the incident.

Removing the stress from the accident reporting process with this customer service technology is highly appealing to customers, and these apps are easy to build and integrate into current systems. Customers can more thoroughly document an accident immediately, giving insurance companies all the information they need to process a claim, making the process easier for all involved.

Top mobile apps for car insurance customers

According to Tech Cocktail, GEICO’s app is one of the most user-friendly interfaces currently on the market. Not only does it report accidents, but customers can access digital proof of insurance, communicate with voice assistance, and manage their policy on their mobile device. Esurance has a similar app through which customers can make payments, update contact information, and change their coverage options.

Even smaller companies are getting in on mobile app development. For example, My Everett News reports that McClain Insurance recently unveiled an app that provides its local customers with the ability to integrate insurance information from multiple carriers, allowing them to access all their insurance information in one convenient application.

Mobile apps present opportunities and challenges

Getting in an accident is a scary experience, so companies must ensure speed and reliability so these apps are an asset, not an added stressor. Customers would likely be frustrated if they complete all the reporting steps — taking pictures, recording the location and other driver’s information — only to have their phone freeze as they submit their claim. There is no way to know whether the data was retained, let alone submitted.

As insurance companies venture into the world of mobile applications, the risk of losing a customer due to a bad experience rises along with the benefits of providing a worthwhile digital solution. Add in the higher levels of stress customers are experiencing during an accident, and there could be major retention issues. Insurance companies can benefit from partnering with a reliable, industry-leading content delivery network (CDN) to reduce lag time or downtime when their customers need it most.

Photo credit: morguefile

Insurance technologies and innovations improve agency workflows

Insurance office building

The insurance industry thrives on the smart use of technology. From the pioneers in the ’90s that first leveraged the Web for advertising new policies and managing existing customers to today’s innovators that use automation to make processing easier at the agency level, insurance technologies differentiate top firms from the also-rans. Leveraging Web-based interfaces and automation to improve agency workflows, Motorists Insurance of Columbus, Ohio is standing out in the industry for its innovative practices.

Implementing a state-of-the-art system for policyholder data management

At the core of the Motorists system is a carrier solution that pushes a host of policyholder data — billing, policy details, claims, and more — on a nightly basis to the relevant agency that handles that policy. The system uses an XML data standard in the insurance industry that is seamlessly interfaced with the policy management applications the agency already uses. Agents are able to easily access this data from an in-house, Web-based portal offered by Motorists.

What used to be a manual process that involved each agent downloading the relevant data now has been replaced by an automated system developed by a Motorists partner, IVANS Insurance Solutions. This automated process saves valuable time for the agents and improves overall operational efficiency. The company rolled out the new system to a few agencies for a trial period and was met with great success.

Currently, 90 Motorists agencies are using the system, and the insurance company is looking at having agencies who handle its commercial lines start using automation. This is an example of the promise that insurance technologies focused on improving efficiency offer to agencies.

Taking advantage of a content delivery network for additional efficiency

Insurance companies already using Web-based systems for policy management gain additional efficiencies by using the Web acceleration technologies offered by an industry-leading content delivery network (CDN). Transmission control protocol anycast routing allows policyholder data to be downloaded faster than ever before, while Gzip compression actually minimizes the amount of data that needs be transferred in the first place.

Smart insurance companies looking for the most improvement from their technology investments need to research partnering with an industry-leading CDN to ensure their agencies operate as efficiently as possible. In a competitive industry, any advantage gained is good for the bottom line.

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Survey: Insurance companies falling behind in digital strategy

Digital strategy

Insurance companies underutilize mobile in their digital strategy, with only 47 percent providing information about their company or products and 23 percent enabling customers to submit and process claims online or via a mobile device.

Most insurance companies are not embracing digital technology, the EY Global Insurance Digital Survey 2013 finds. Of the more than 100 insurance companies surveyed on digital strategy and readiness, 79 percent say that they are “still learning to use digital capabilities” and do not see themselves as leaders in the digital world. A large portion of the industry is in danger of losing out to newer companies that are adopting a robust technological approach to engage their customers.

If the insurance industry wants to meet consumer expectations — which include engaging customers on social media and content delivery via mobile applications — top companies need to invest in a digital strategy. Nearly 70 percent of companies surveyed spend less than 10 percent of the business and IT development budget on digital. Building a long-term business case for investment in digital implementation is the first step toward progressing into the technological landscape.

According to EY, the second step is to build an infrastructure for analytics. Segmentation, customer data, and predictive modeling were the skill sets businesses reported wanting to improve upon the most. To make the most of a digital investment, companies need to utilize analytics to take advantage of every opportunity provided by these new technologies. For example, a content delivery network (CDN) with performance reporting and user demographic information could be leveraged to tailor product recommendations to consumer preferences.

The ultimate goal is to improve communications with customers and personalize the experience so insurance companies can attract new, digitally savvy consumers while retaining their current base. Customer satisfaction rises with quality and frequency of contact, but nearly two-thirds of customers claim they receive one or fewer annual contacts from their insurer.

Digital technology is a cost-effective way to keep in contact with a customer base, increasing touchpoints, and cross-selling and up-selling opportunities. By providing superior content delivery and customized, on-demand communication such as live, 24/7 online help desks, insurance providers could increase satisfaction rates and decrease the chances that customers will switch to another provider.

Any insurance provider looking to invest in a long-term digital strategy will have to be careful to deliver the best possible digital experience upon its implementation. A lackluster site with lagging download speeds, unreachable content, and broken mobile applications will hurt rather than help customer retention. Partnering with a high-performance CDN with on-demand, instantly scalable bandwidth is one way to ensure the digital customer experience runs smoothly both upon delivery and in the future.

Photo credit: morgueFile

Improve landing page deployment with a CDN

One of the biggest challenges insurance companies face today is dealing with the fact that the industry is regulated at a state level, rather than a federal level. Varying regulation means that geographic targeting is a crucial feature for any insurance company’s marketing campaign. In the past, targeted landing page deployment meant that insurance companies had to lease servers across multiple data centers, often for an astronomical fee. However, thanks to modern content delivery network (CDN) systems, it is possible for insurance companies of all sizes to effectively target their landing pages without breaking the bank.

What is a CDN?

A CDN is a network of servers scattered across the globe designed to boost your website’s speed by serving content to visitors based on their location. For example, if your company’s data center is located in Texas, content may load slowly for a visitor located in New York. A CDN will speed up this process by having the content load from a server close to New York. Similarly, a user in California would receive their content from a server located on the West Coast.

Cost advantages of CDN systems

One of the biggest advantages CDN systems have over traditional servers is that they typically offer a pay-as-you-go model, without contracts or long-term commitments. This is ideal for landing page deployment systems because you can purchase resources as needed and scale the system on the fly. Additionally, since CDN systems are designed to complement your main server—meaning they only serve core scripts and multimedia content—using multiple CDN servers nationally or globally is not likely to break the bank. These features provide cost savings that enable companies of all sizes to utilize targeted landing page deployment—an essential feature when every state has its own set of insurance regulations.

CDN integration 

Although implementing a CDN system might seem like a difficult task, in reality, most reputable content delivery network vendors have dedicated experts ready to assist you with integration into your website. The CDN vendor will be able to work with you to assess your needs and ensure that the system is configured properly, so your company won’t need to waste valuable time focusing on technical matters. From integration onward, the vendor will handle all maintenance, allowing you to increase revenue while keeping overhead low.

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