IFF Conference Review: Innovation and insurance

The UK Financial Services Experience Awards

Wednesday 8 July saw the inaugural UK Financial Services Experience Awards ceremony take place in London. Financial Service providers from across the industry battled it out to show the judges how they were seeking to improve experience for their customers.

It was a fantastically hosted event and judging at these awards really showed me how, as a sector often treated with suspicion (and quite rightly in some instances) the Financial Service industry is really looking to put customers’ experience back at the heart of what they do.

This is not an easy task, particularly for insurance providers where trust is low and engagement with providers is often seen to be a ‘necessary evil’.  Having had the opportunity to judge five papers in the insurance category – it was clear to see how technological innovation is really changing the way in which insurance is sold and delivered to consumers. Advances in technology now mean customers can expect to see pop up web-chat when at the point of purchasing online and some providers are even beginning to offer customers the option of streaming video of damage directly to their claims adjusters.

What I found most interesting is that the eventual winner of the category – Direct Line Group in partnership with True & Good – demonstrated that real innovation does not always have to be technological in nature. They deservedly won the insurance award for their fresh approach using simpler language which was more in keeping with their brand. In turn, this improved customer experience and is also likely to lead to better outcomes for customers.

All forms of innovation designed to improve customer experience within the insurance industry (and more widely within the Financial Services sector) should be welcomed. Having witnessed the rate of change first hand, over the next few years I would expect that the ‘benchmark’ of what counts as a good customer experience from an insurance provider to be raised much higher.

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