In 2016 the number of people accessing the internet using a mobile device such as a smart phone or tablet surpassed those using a PC or laptop. That number will continue to climb since millennials tend to rely on their mobile devices for connection, shopping, information, and service needs. This raises the question as to how well insurance companies will respond by providing a meaningful app experience for millennials and clients in other age groups.
I sat down and reviewed what the major insurance carriers provide in the apps available on iTunes and was pleasantly surprised by many and had a couple of moments where I had to wonder what the companies were thinking concerning their app offering. To be fair, I have not used any of these apps. I’ve simply reviewed what they purport to offer and not how well or poorly they operate.
I Don’t Get It: Under the what were they thinking category is Safeco and State Auto’s apps. The one for State Auto must be for employees as it only provides information on when and where company meetings occur. I can’t imagine policy holders caring about that, but who knows?! Safeco has a nice home inventory app but that’s it. You can’t view policies, make payments, access an ID card or anything else. While I love the idea of a home inventory, there needs to be much, much more.
Merely OK: One carrier, Encompass, has a roadside assistance app. I think this is very useful as it gives the policy holder the ability to communicate what type of assistance is needed such as fuel, keys locked in car, send a tow truck, or which tire is flat and needs changing. However, that’s the only app they have and it does nothing else.
The Good: The insurance apps which qualify as good, they provide a solid set of information for a policy holder including the ability to view policy documents and coverage summaries, access to car insurance ID cards, and payment management such as making or scheduling payments, and change method of payment. Some even provide the ability to open an accident claim. The insurance carriers in this category include Travelers, Farmers, Nationwide, and MetLife. They all have provide solid functionality but there’s plenty of room for added functionality.
The Best: The very best insurance apps provide the same information as those in the good category and then add to it to make them stand out. The additional functionality includes the ability to submit photos with your accident claim, locate a repair shop, exchange insurance information with the other party, view claim status, and even communicate with your claim adjuster directly. In addition to accident claims, several companies allowed the policy holder to make a property claim on their home, condo, or renter’s insurance policies.
A few went on to provide some nice functionality including location advice for parking, gas stations, ATM, or auto service provider, and even discounts. A couple of insurance apps even enable policy holders to make coverage changes such as replacing an older car with a new one and adding or removing drivers. The companies with agents even give the ability to contact their agent. Insurance companies in the best category include Allstate, State Farm, Progressive, Geico, and Liberty Mutual even though not every app from each carrier included all the mentioned functionality.
What app functionality do you want to see? Share your suggestions, questions, and experiences with me on my Facebook, Google +, and LinkedIn pages. I’d love to hear from you!