UX and Insurance Industry Aug 06, 2021

Drift in the Insurance Industry and How UX Can help

Drift in the Insurance Industry and How UX Can help
UX and Insurance Industry Aug 06, 2021

From the very beginning the Insurance Industry has been an agent-centric industry, that means that it has heavily relied on human agents to handle the Sales. Recently a study has shown that these agencies have been forced to adapt an online model as it was found that more than 40% of the home and vehicle insurance in european market were bought online. This makes one thing very clear that the people are getting more and more inclined towards researching and buying online and making their own decisions. The number of online insurance purchases are growing rapidly year after year.

 

This change that Insurtech startups have brought about, made some older players adrift. Such newer startups are steadily gaining market share. The end customer now wants an easy-to-use, self-serve and jargon-free interface, where they can find product information clearly and easily. The tech savvy people, especially the millennials, want to navigate the process on their own speed and purchase on best available terms out there. 

 

Today we will look at where these insurtech startups are struggling, what does the customer expect and how UX testing can help them in creating a seamless experience.

 

What do end-users want? 

 

In order to build a superior customer experience in insurance, the end customer largely wants these three things. 

 

Easy Navigation: The website should be easy to navigate and well categorised as the insurance products can be confusing due to overlaps among offerings. It can get hard to efficiently find what one is looking for. Multiple levels of navigation might sound logical to the internal design teams however, the expectation of end users might be entirely different.

 

Understandable: Insurance industry has been traditionally overloaded with legal paraphrasing and product names have been heavily influenced by marketing. As end customers' lifestyles become busier and patience levels hitting a new low, things need to be kept simple. Be it product names, descriptions or finding support on specific topics like Claims, eligibility, etc. the information provided to the customer should be free of industry jargons, just sufficient to help them make a decision. 

 

Choice : Simple is hard and even harder to keep to a few products in view of competition. That goes against the psychology principle “Paradox of Choice” i.e. having many options to choose from, rather than making people happy and ensuring they get what they want, can cause them stress and problematic decision-making. Users need to feel in control of their purchase and decision making process, and be presented with the right options to feel that they are getting good coverage at an acceptable price. Product comparisons are a useful feature to have.

 

Advice: Companies want scale and in the age of robo advisors for most things “tech”, intelligent algorithms and chat bots have taken away the human touch from the end consumers. As the insurtech industry grows and continues to simplify the legal taxonomy, an on-demand human advice is still very appreciated and reassuring by the customers. Chatting with an expert or reaching out to Support personnel is still highly reassuring. Imagine a complex self-serve accident claim! In such situations, the end user may have undergone financial and psychological stress.

 

What problems are the Insurance business grappling with?

The Insurance Industry has a historical play-safe way of doing business that reflects in the websites of some older players. Creating abstractions to legal jargons and fineprint is not a trivial goal to achieve. The industry is undergoing huge changes and businesses need to be nimble. It means having the ability to adjust organizational structures, leadership practices and techniques to meet new market needs and fend off competition. The newer startups have used a ground up approach to build experience and digital properties that suit customer’s needs while these older businesses rely on their lineage and experience. This led them to create dated websites that do not attract today’s customer. 

 

The approach to build a business in the current context should even be more customer centric than in the past. Customers have many choices. The businesses are in COVID-19 recovery mode. Overall, the year-to-date total return of S&P’s Insurance Industry Index lagged the broader S&P 500 by 24.6% as of September 30, 2020. The demand has changed too. Deloitte global insurance consumer survey taken during the early part of the pandemic indicated a preference for greater customization. Younger buyers in particular showed interest in wider-ranging policies, for example not limiting to Car insurance. 

 

The insurance businesses should focus on building an information architecture that is user friendly and easy to navigate. The adaptability of interfaces among devices ranging from Computer to mobile phones is a must. The information being provided should be optimised to avoid information overload and the leaving of knowledge gaps is a no-no. To achieve this in shorter time frames, insurance companies would need to take help of UX testing tools that we will discuss later in this blog.

 

How can UX help? 

Creating a user centric website that is easy to navigate, understand and provides a pleasing buying experience to the customer can be achieved with the help of some UX testing tools that UXArmy’s UX toolkit provides. 

  1. Card Sorting: Creating a user-friendly information architecture is very challenging. Structuring the content in the way that users want to see and to stay clear of bias while doing so is a difficult task. The whole purpose of creating such information architecture is to help users find what they are looking for. Card Sorting is a UX research method in which you write the names of the items on index cards, shuffle the deck and ask users to arrange them into piles. This helps you understand where the customer will go to find a certain type of insurance. 
  2. Tree Testing: Tree testing is a research method for assessing findability within the website or app. In tree testing, testers work with an existing set of categories and highlight where they believe an item is most likely to be located. This is also known as reverse card sorting.Card sorting would logically take place before a tree test. In fact, tree testing is a good way to validate the results from your card sorting exercises.
  3. Usability Testing: In this tool the researchers can build a study with predefined tasks. The testers will attempt the study and will try to do the tasks. The Usability metrics like task success rate, task completion time, navigation paths will help the researchers decide how the website will perform.  They will get voice feedback and screen recording of the testers to assess the qualitative results of the study. 

Conclusion

 

The number one user experience issue with most insurance websites (particularly the larger ones) is that they mirror their actual organizational structure online, making their websites unnecessarily complex – and largely pointless for customers. Site visitors don’t care what department or branch of your company services their product and don’t want to have to navigate around looking for it; they simply want to visit, find the information pertinent to their situation, and get out - as quickly as possible after achieving their goals. The user habits are changing faster than ever and the best way to deal with this is by conducting a thorough content and UX audit of your site and constantly optimising the user experience in repeated engagement with end customers. Dispense with the jargon and speak to users with the language and terms they use. ​​The insurance industry has arguably lagged behind in regards to digitalisation, insurers now have a significant lost ground to make up for. Rushing UX Design is not the way to win. That approach may create hard to solve problems for the businesses in the medium to longer term.

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