Insurance Portals: Today and Tomorrow

Marina Astapchik
IT Trends Research Specialist
June 19, 2012

Stiffening competition, market volatility and heightening customer service expectations are some of the challenges facing the insurance industry today. In order to achieve growth in this environment, insurance companies enhance their services by providing more targeted offers, increasing response times and automating data exchange.

Information is the lifeblood of the insurance industry. With a growing number of consumers switching to online services and taking control of their insurance-buying decisions, web presence is becoming a crucial success factor. This is fueled by the accelerating awareness that online transactions are getting more secure.

To integrate people, procedures and a wide array of information sources, many insurance companies are turning today to the flexibility and capabilities of portals.
An insurance portal is a role-based environment where content, business applications and workflow management system are assembled in a unified way. Portals help insurance carriers administer customer histories, product details, sales activities, corporate data and other relevant information.

Modern insurance portals give an excellent opportunity for agents, brokers, suppliers, partners, employees and customers gain easy access to appropriate resources and collaborate in a smarter way. Various portal applications, or portlets, facilitate execution of end-to-end processes.

Some insurance portals work with multiple insurance providers and offer individuals the ability to get and compare insurance quotes and plans based on personal circumstances (postal zip code, age, gender, marital status, etc.). This option boosts the interest in web insurance portals.

What are the key business values of insurance portals? The following items are worth mentioning:

  • Streamlined information flow across business units and processes;
  • Reduced operational costs related to a high degree of process automation;
  • Customizable role-based access to information and applications;
  • Faster claims processing;
  • Higher employee productivity;
  • A clearer picture of the most demanded services and products;
  • Outreach to a larger customer pool with a possibility of moving into new market segments;
  • Increased data accuracy;
  • Enhanced collaboration between users and insurance agents;
  • Integration with customer relationship management (CRM) systems and call centers;
  • E-learning with role-specific training and guidelines;
  • Improved customer satisfaction due to self-service and time-saving applications;
  • Increased sales efficiency.

Sensing technological, economical and social pressures, insurance companies are interested in having up-to-date and reliable portal solutions. In the near future hardly any insurer will be able to do without a portal. Obviously, prosperous are going to be those insurance companies that invest in their software infrastructure to sustain robust IT agility as a critical competitive advantage.

Industries and Technology Areas

Industries: insurance

Technology Areas: software development, portal development, web portal

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