4 Tips for creating a successful insurance mobile app

Brian Levine
Publication Date
13 April 2021

4 Tips for creating a successful insurance mobile app

4 Tips for creating a successful insurance mobile app

Mobiquity researched what makes a successful insurance mobile app using the Mobiquity Friction Report. The Friction Report is a proprietary tool that leverages artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) to analyze thousands of customer reviews on mobile apps, websites, and similar tools to help businesses see what they’re doing well and where they could use some help. These findings, plus our work helping insurance clients with their digital programs and products, have shown that the most successful insurance mobile apps factor four key considerations into their digital strategy.

Let’s dive into the four recommendations.

Four tips for creating a successful insurance mobile app

  1. Insurance mobile app development should be inclusive of the App Stores. Keep App Store quirks in mind, such as: 
    • Ratings and reviews drive customer downloads, so you should focus on the features that most influence positive reviews. For example, only a small percentage of your customers will have a claims experience in a given year, but they all need to pay a bill. If you have an app with a 5-star bill pay experience and a 1-star claims experience, prioritizing customer choice in payment types, timing, and giving them gentle reminders via notification, you’ll still have a 5 star app with a lot of reviews. But it won’t work the other way around. 
    • Even after prioritizing the most impactful features, you still need to optimize your App Store page. Most app installs come from searching the App Store, so customers have to be able to easily find your app. To enable this, be sure to have one single app for your brand or give your other apps names that make the difference between them clear. For example, if GEICO has a self service app and a driver monitoring app, ideally, you would integrate the two and make the interface clear. If you can’t, don’t simply call them “GEICO” and “GEICO Drive.” If you have car insurance, they both seem appropriate. Beyond the confusion that multiple apps bring, your customers really don’t want to fill up their phone with multiple apps from every company with which they engage. They expect you to service them in a single app and, typically, a single app is the most they’d consider installing. In addition, consider using titles, subtitles, meta content, descriptions, and icons. These are important in driving your downloads.

  2. Optimize for infrequent use. With this in mind, here are a few key principles:
    • You're not Instagram. No one is using an insurance app every day. At most, customers will open it once a month to pay a bill or look at a policy, but it’s often even less frequent if they have autopay or a different payment schedule. 
    • Don’t lock them out. Another roadblock that we’ve seen is when insurance companies worry too much about security and de-authenticate (log people out) after a few minutes. Because of this, the customers need to log in again every time they open the app, but they often forget their passwords and get frustrated resetting them every month. Even worse, they may have an acute need (a claim or car purchase), so they need immediate access but can’t login. Insurance companies should consider implementing biometric login at a minimum, but even that might deauthenticate after an update. Consider passwordless login options, 1-time access codes to the cell phone number for an acute need, lengthening authentication timeouts and making key actions like filing a claim achievable, without requiring logging in again. 
    • Make yourself useful. Lastly, because people aren’t opening the app often, they may forget about the key features and miss a bill, policy change, or other critical step. Let them know a bill is due or overdue via notifications, with the option to approve a payment in the notification itself. You can also consider alerting them that a payment is coming out of autopay in case they need to make sure the funds are in the account associated with the app. In addition, claims cause a lot of anxiety, leading people to burden the chat or phone lines for updates. Use notifications to update them regularly (at least weekly during a claim), even if the update isn’t a change. Letting the customer know that the insurer is still working on it removes some of the burden on that customer. Of course, always empower the customer to opt out of these notifications to also reduce friction should they not want to be notified this way.

  3. Customers are people, not policies. Do register/verify a customer via their phone number or email address, group bills across all products you cover for them, highlight the homes and vehicles they are covering with you, address them by name, and thank them for being your customer. Don’t register a customer by requiring they find their policy number, have them address each policy separately, and put the policy number at the top of every action.

  4. Leverage partners. There was a time when the 3rd party vendors producing photo estimation apps (where the user takes a picture of the damage) and SDKs were only achieving 1-2 stars in the app store and customers therefore wouldn’t use them. Bigger players in the space have refined these flows and offer ways to integrate their functionality directly into your own app. While it might not always be the most custom experience, it can get you started on the feature, learn from users, and allow you to build something custom in the future. Also, there are companies doing incredibly difficult things for the insurer to build themselves. Companies like Hover can use pictures to build a 3D model of a home to compare against damage in the future, setting up more self service opportunities that both give the customer more control and enable the insurer to decrease costs - a win-win.

Insurance companies that factor these considerations into their mobile app strategy are far more likely to be successful and retain customers.

Ready to take your insurance digital experience to the next level? Let’s talk.

Brian Levine

Brian Levine serves as Mobiquity's VP of Strategy & Analytics, in addition to running Mobiquity's insurance vertical in the United States. At Mobiquity, he has developed digital strategies for multiple insurers, including Amica, Arbella, Mercury, and Travelers. In addition to his work in this vertical, Brian has pioneered research products at Mobiquity that look at clients through new lenses, including developing the Mobiquity Friction Report (tm) which uses large sets of consumer sentiment data to prioritize digital development based on consumer interest. Prior to his role at Mobiquity, Brian founded a consumer research company acquired by Nielsen in 2015 and lead the development of Audible on Alexa for Amazon.

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