Insurance companies have put together some of the more engaging mobile apps in the financial space. But then, really, they have little choice. Unlike banks, insurance carriers (not including health) don’t have the luxury of a locked-in audience checking their account multiple times each week (note 1).
Unless you are in the middle of a claim, how often are you going to pull up your provider’s mobile app? (If you even remember you downloaded it). Maybe when the bill is due, if you are in the minority not on automatic payment. Maybe every few years when you switch out a vehicle or decide to tweak your coverage. But on average, it’s just not going to be top of mind (or phone).
Yet, insurance companies have a big incentive to get you to use it:
Process improvements, cost savings and a better customer experience when filing a claim
Smartphone users can do much of the claims process, including online monitoring, right from within their app (see USAA inset). They can even use the smartphone to snap pictures and shoot video right at the accident site. This could have a dramatic impact on claims management and fraud protection. Smartphone apps can also be used to track driver performance to improve underwriting and fine-tune prices.
So, insurance companies go over the top to make the app memorable and engaging. The examples below provide a glimpse of the breadth of insurance company mobile services.
- GEICO has eight apps. Besides the usual functionality is its main app, users may choose from three different skins (see #1 below). Either the famous gecko lizard, or the newer baby pig, or the standard corporate logo.
- State Farm has four apps including MoveTools for planning and scheduling a household move (#2 below).
- Allstate has eight apps ranging from typical policy holder stuff, to apps that track your home inventory (#3 below), driving performance (#4) and motorcycle trips (#5).
1. GEICO lets chooser change the app "skin" (26 April 2013)
Note: The default app uses the famous lizard in the background. But I changed it to the pig which is now shown on the main screen.
2. State Farm MoveTools helps plan a household move (iPad)
3. Allstate’s Digital Locker for tracking home inventory
4. Allstate’s Drivewise app syncs with special hardware to track driving performance
5. Allstate’s GoodRide is designed for motorcycle enthusiasts
1. This is one of the reasons why we believe banks have a huge opportunity in all types of insurance. See our full report here (Dec 2011, subscription)