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Our Golden Opportunity
Debbie Coull-Cicchini—Executive VP, Ontario, Western & Atlantic Canada, Intact Insurance
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W e know Canadians are among
the most digitally engaged
, a trend that’s steadily on the rise due to Covid-19. The pandemic has nudged even the most reluctant people towards digital tools, and these new habits are sticking. In fact, digital adoption rates are
expected to hit almost 80%
by 2024.  Digital tools don’t replace the experience, expertise and care that are foundational to a people business; they augment it. The more we know about consumers allows brokers and insurers alike to discover the—sometimes hidden— value to better serve customers, maintain a competitive edge and differentiate in a rapidly evolving marketplace. 

As we see digital behaviours becoming commonplace across most consumer segments, we need to ask ourselves: is the insurance industry keeping pace?
A recent study by McKinsey
in the US suggests otherwise with digital adoption rates sitting at 35%, almost 40 points behind banking. Our industry has a golden opportunity: working together, we can smartly integrate digital at the right customer touchpoints to strengthen customer relationships, broker brand and reputation, while preparing our businesses for the future.  At Intact, we’ve seen the benefit of our digital investment in the claims experience. With digital tools, customers can report claims online, use video as part of the estimation and repair planning process and receive electronic settlement payments. Customers using these tools have seen a 15% reduction in the time it took to resolve their claim and reported a nine-point increase in satisfaction scores. While we continue to see an increase in our adoption rates (almost 40% since the beginning of March), our experience in claims reinforces that going digital is not an either/or scenario.
Fort McMurray flooded this spring, for example, causing $522M in insured damages and displacing almost 13,000 people. We encouraged customers to use our digital tools to report their claim, upload photos for appraisal or meet with an adjuster via video and receive their settlements digitally. But we were still needed on the ground. We used the information from our digital touchpoints to have more effective conversations with customers and better prioritize where adjusters were needed, meeting the needs of customers and keeping employees safe. Our experience in claims is just one example of how digital tools, when strategically deployed, can help our industry offer a customer-driven experience, backed by technology and led by people. We need to embrace digital tools to support key touchpoints in the customer experience:
  • Policy Management: Online access to policy documents, keeping insurance top of mind and enabling more frequent touchpoints with brokers.
  • Product Offering: Telematics, machine learning and artificial intelligence offer products (e.g. auto insurance) customized to each individual, strengthening the broker-customer relationship through tailored, expert advice and education.
  • Product Development: Using data to inform product development and evolution to meet emerging customer needs. 
  • Claims: Online reporting and settlements to move customers through the claims process more efficiently than before. 
  • Value-Added Information: Sharing additional data with customers to keep them safe, including distracted driving scores and weather alerts.
While the pandemic has thrown the importance of digital tools into the spotlight, the digital wave has been building for years, growing bigger and stronger with each consumer technological evolution and advancement. Our industry has taken the initial steps to integrate digital into the customer experience with telematics and digital document delivery. To seize this opportunity industry-wide, we’ll need speed, agility and a commitment to keep pace with where customers are today and look ahead to where consumers want to be tomorrow.
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