Property and Casualty Online Insurance: Latin America Review
Insurers offer a variety of distribution channels for buying insurance. Agents, brokers, retailers, banks and a myriad of nontraditional distribution channels are being employed by insurers.
Each insurance channel uses at least one other channel to reach customers, such as a front office, call center, branch, mobile app, website, social media, or field staff. For example, the use of online chat, avatars, and concierge services makes the online shopping experience much easier, even when advice is required as part of the sales process.
In the report, Property and Casualty Online Insurance, Celent discusses online sales channels of 169 Latin American insurers, their availability, the breadth of their offering per country, and their lines of business.
Buying insurance online should be as easy as a click. This experience is common in online retailers, such as Amazon and aggregators like the ones found in the travel industry (Kayak, Travelocity, Expedia, Despegar.com, and most recently Hipmunk). Even airline websites provide such an excellent online experience that many of them have decided to move to mobile, through apps or mobile-ready websites.
The majority of insurers have set up their websites as part of their digital strategy, but the level of automation varies. A handful of websites allow customers to have a whole digital experience without human intervention. Very few of them require some type of assistance to complete the sale or the transaction. More than half of them are just informational.
“The very basic level of automation is through informational web portals that display any type of electronic form, but do not provide an online quote capability,” says Luis Chipana, an analyst with Celent’s Insurance practice and coauthor of the report. “As we move up in the level of automation, it gets a little bit more complex. Insurers need to integrate core systems, rating engines, billing, and document management/production.”
“In today’s digital economy the online channel is a must have for insurers looking to attract prospects eager to buy on the internet,” says Juan Mazzini, a senior analyst with Celent’s Insurance practice and coauthor of the report. “Whether this turns into a direct sale or into the first step of an intermediated sale will depend on the insurer’s business model.”