In fact, insurers in Canada have been doing just this since last summer. For example, Aviva Canada configured the Amazon Echo to answer common insurance questions and provide customers with quotes. Manulife likewise added a skill to Echo that tells customers how much coverage they have left to spend on their health benefits.
Meanwhile, Kanetix.ca and Insurance Hotline.com are using Google Assistant to help drivers compare auto insurance quotes, and RateSupermarket.ca has a Google Assistant action that can point homebuyers to the best mortgage rate in any province.
It’s something of a brilliant idea. Using the same approach, insurers here in America could program the same home assistants to tell users about their own services in response to common questions. Lo gave a few examples: "Alexa, what is accident benefits coverage?" or "Hey Google, ask Kanetix.ca for a car insurance quote." In essence you’re turning smart speakers into onsite customer service reps.
Perhaps you're wondering how you would achieve this goal. The answer is not hard to find. Tom Hudson, Technical Director at thirteen23, a strategic design consultancy and product incubator, provided a tutorial at Smashing Magazine last May, in which he lays out the steps of the process for teaching home assistants new skills and actions. For Echo, one would use a "barebones web form" that Amazon provides for that purpose. For a Google assistant, one would use its API.AI platform.
But just how popular are smart speakers? Considering where they are in consumer adoption, is there an ROI case to be made for adding skills and actions to these devices?
Here again, the answer is yes, there is. According to a report by Canalys, smart speakers are the fastest-growing consumer tech on the market, with shipments predicted to surpass 50 million this year.
"The adoption, sales and marketing of both Amazon and Google smart speaker assistants is clearly making this device a must-have in the home," Lo said. "Insurance providers cannot ignore this opportunity to develop smarter, more convenient ways to serve their customers."
In fact, because the devices are so popular, Amazon and Google have been facing off in a price-point duel, bringing their smallest smart speakers – the Echo Dot and the Mini, respectively – down to a starting cost as low as $39.99.
The policy administration piece
Of course, to provide quotes to customers in their homes, an agile policy administration system with direct-to-consumer sales capability is a must. We can help with that. Request a demo to learn more.
The FedNat Insured Web is a great tool for our insureds!
They like having a centralized location to view policy info, make payments, upload policy documents, and elect to become paperless to receive a discount.
The insureds also can file a First Notice of Loss for a claim and access exiting claim info. Silvervine recently enhanced the site which allows insureds to upload policy documents directly to their policy. The uploaded docs go directly into our workflows and save a lot of manual effort on our part.
From my visits with agents, the agents appreciate the app for the amount of time saved on having to download and attach photos directly to the policy.
The app can also reduce the amount of staff required for a busy office to fulfill underwriting requests for photos.
When training agents they are amazed at how quickly the photos attach directly to the policy. After taking photos using the app and before they make it back to their desk, the photo is already attached to the policy. They also like the ability to attach additional photos for pre-existing damage.
Customer Service is seeing an improvement with retention as the text message definitely triggers phone calls from insureds to make payments.
The insureds love the fact that we notify them on their phones because they state that sometimes they don’t receive their mail for various reasons.
The insureds are paying more attention to the texts then to their actual mail. We try to set all of our customers up on that option if we notice that they are not currently enrolled, as it builds great customer relations as well as retention.
As a company we have adopted the use of Policy Scan for all our policies, and our agents have adopted the use of the app as well.
Not only is it easy to use, there is also no more worrying about losing photos, having to store photos or photos being attached to the wrong policy.
With Policy Scan we have increased efficiency in our workflow and reduced our exposure on the risk.
Silvervine’s core administration solutions easily handles multiple carriers within multiple states, including accounting, payment processing, immediate policy issuance and endorsements.
What started out writing one product, one line in one state has now grown into mulitple products, multiple lines and writing in multiple states. We have over $95 million in annualized premium in-force and we expect to grow by 20% during the next year all serviced by Silvervine.
Silvervine was our insurance software system of choice when we started the company in 2006. Silvervine enabled us to begin business within a few months of licensing the company. Today, we are one of the top 20 homeowner’s writers in Texas and SIlvervine’s solutions have been an integral part of our success.