Mobile technology has taken a foothold in the insurance market, and for insurers, that means developing apps customers can use on the go.
According to a recent Ernst & Young study, 80 percent of insurance customers are willing to use digital options to engage with their providers. However, only 14 percent of customers are "very satisfied" with current outbound communications from insurers.
"As consumers embrace digital, insurers must rethink their distribution strategies and partner relationships," according to the report.
Consumers still vie for traditional contact methods — think telephone and in-person support — but digital and remote options are fast becoming a favored alternative.
The No. 1 reason consumers want insurance mobile apps
Making bill payments is the No. 1 reason customers visit their insurers' mobile app or optimized website, according to Fiserv's Insurance Mobile Bill Pay Benchmark Study. Fiserv has been tracking mobile usage among insurance customers, according to Eric Leiserson, senior research analyst at the company.
Insurance companies that are slow out of the gate on mobile technology are at a high risk of losing already skittish customers. Insurers should look for ways to invest in mobile apps and partner with smaller financial technology firms who have already developed popular apps.
"Sixty-five percent of consumers say paying bills and premiums through their smartphone improves their customer satisfaction," Leiserson says. "The ultimate conclusion is that not only is mobile increasingly at the center of consumers' insurance experience, but driving it."
Read on to find out about five insurance mobile apps that are at the forefront of mobile demand.
Americans love their mobile apps — and insurance consumers are no different. The following mobile apps help insurance customers receive tips, call for roadside assistance, inventory their insured items and more.
Liberty Mutual: Home Gallery
Consumers can create a home inventory on the Home Gallery app, where they can save images of insured items, catalog items by room and category, note purchase information and upload receipts, and export the inventory as needed. In the event of loss or theft, anyone — Liberty Mutual customer or other — can use this app on iPhone and Android devices.
2. Geico: The Mobile App
Geico's app is user-friendly and mega-useful. Users can store their digital identification cards, request roadside assistance, pay bills, access policy information and file claims. App users can also call up Lily, Geico's voice-activated concierge. The app is available on iPhone and Android devices and the Apple iPad.
3. State Farm: MoveTools
With MoveTools, State Farm customers can prep for a change of address. App users can create and update a moving checklist, receive moving tips, track which rooms have been packed, print box labels and more. And you don't have to be a State Farm customer to use it. Find this app on iPhone and Android devices.
4. USAA: The Mobile App
USAA's app — available on the iPad, iPhone, Android devices and Windows Phone — does double duty. USAA customers can access and manage insurance policies plus bank, brokerage and retirement accounts. On the bank side, customers can review account history, deposit checks, transfer funds and pay bills. They can also place investment trades. On the insurance side, customers can access auto insurance ID cards and an accident checklist, search for rental cars, and call for roadside assistance.
See also: 5 tech innovations making cars safer