Mobile Technology Gaining with Insurers: Survey

While much of the attention around use of mobile devices in insurance has centered on consumer apps offered by large personal lines insurers, other property/casualty insurers and life/annuity insurers are rolling out mobile capabilities for their policyholders and agents as well, according to a report from research and advisory firm Novarica.

The report, “Mobile in Insurance Beyond Personal Lines: Current Trends and Expectations,” is based on a recent survey of more than 75 insurer chief information officers (CIOs) who are members of the Novarica Insurance Technology Research Council.

More than 30 percent of insurers already provide some agent or policyholder capabilities via mobile, driven by massive adoption of tablets , says the Novarica report.

Also, more than 60 percent of insurers will add new mobile capabilities for policyholders and agents in 2013, according to Novarica.

“As the use of smartphones and especially tablets displaces the use of desktops and laptops in more areas of personal and professional life, support for these platforms is becoming critical to insurers’ abilities to communicate electronically across the value chain,” said Matthew Josefowicz, partner at Novarica and co-author of the study.

The researchers said it is important for insurer CIOs to set business expectations about the immediate value of mobile investments carefully.

“Mobile is about positioning for the future, and significant measurable short-term ROI is in short supply. But given the rate of change in tablet adoption, insurers cannot afford to be left behind. Avoiding mobile today is like avoiding web browsers in the late ’90s,” said Chad Hersh, partner at Novarica.