US Insurance Companies

Part
01
of three
Part
01

Insurance Industry Trends

Customization, digital strategies and DARQ are some of the trends affecting the insurance industry in the U.S. The following information presents details about each trend.

Customization is Key to Stay Relevant

  • Eighty percent of clients are looking for personalized options, pricing and recommendations from insurance providers. Consumers are now looking for innovative and customized packages that address their unique needs and circumstances.
  • Usage-based insurance policies, for example, dive into consumer data to charge users according to their particular needs and behaviors, putting the customer in charge of their own fees.

Why it is a trend

  • According to Deloitte, the sharing and gig economy is rising expectations for enhanced customer experience and personalization, while “blurring the boundaries of commercial and personal insurance lines as well as undermining the relevance of many standard coverages.”
  • Twenty-five percent of those operating in the sharing economy want coverage they can activate or deactivate as they need. Furthermore, consumers are looking for more control over their coverage; for instance, a recent survey discovered that 90% of life insurance buyers preferred to self-manage existing policies through digital channels.
  • Not only are customers looking for personalization, 77% are willing to provide personal data in exchange for lower premiums, quicker settlement or recommendations. Further research by Ernst and Young indicates that personalized customer experience can improve policyholder conversion by up to 20%.
  • Some companies are leveraging IoT technology to provide personalization to its clients and collect data.

Impact

  • Sixty-four percent of the times clients shift from one provider to another, it’s to seek a more relevant product, service or experience. A further 32% said they’d stop doing business with an insurer that wasn’t relevant. As reported by Accenture, insurers need to be agile and accommodate customer’s needs and circumstances as they change if they want to stay relevant.
  • The company’s research suggests that the potential revenue companies lost in the U.S. alone in 2017 to competitors, by not striving to remain relevant, was almost $1 trillion.
  • Moreover, over 75% of banking and insurance consumers stated that customized promotions encourage them to buy products and services they haven’t acquired before. Meanwhile, only 38% of decision-makers in banking and insurance say they are significantly pursuing personalization in their organizations.
  • Personalization may also impact the role of intermediaries in insurance distribution, as clients may no longer need specialized guidance on policies since products are prone to become more transparent and straightforward.
  • Customer satisfaction and retention are set to be a more critical key performance indicator (KPI) than operational efficiency.

Companies Leading the Way

  • Trōv, a global on-demand insurance agency based in San Francisco, uses an application to enable customers to insurance single items with coverage that can be activated and terminated at any time over a mobile app.
  • U.S.-based auto insurance Metromile offers pay-per-mile insurance driven by a free device that can be plugged into the customer’s car. The company charges clients based on the miles they drive, not a fixed policy.
  • Beam uses IoT technology to provide dental insurance. Clients receive a smart toothbrush that follows how well they take care of their teeth and provides personalized insurance plans based on the data collected.


Adoption of Digital Strategies

Why it is a trend

  • Not only digitization raises savings and efficiency, but 61% of customers stated they prefer to check their applications online.
  • Accenture discovered that 31% of customers would like their bank or insurer to offer new channels, such as wearable devices, while 44% would be willing to buy insurance from online providers, such as Amazon or Google.
  • Digitization redesigns the claims' customer journey by providing product simplification, a customer and intermediary self-service, an intelligent case management, front line and back-office process digitization, back-office automation, and overall improving communication.
  • Digital claims transformation generates impact across all key performance indicators, such as a 20% increase in customer satisfaction and a 25% reduction in claim expenses, while improving claims handling accuracy.

Impact

  • According to McKinsey, the digital age brings a new claim process, where companies need to go beyond traditional after-the-fact claims management to provide real value to its costumers. Insurers should strive to adopt a more agile, analytics-driven approach to claims handling and fully automate the claims handling processes for clear and straightforward cases.
  • Ninety-six percent of IT executives in the insurance industry surveyed by Accenture reported that the pace of innovation in their company has accelerated over the past three years due to emerging technologies.
  • Sixty percent are already using technology to build products or services that boost the frequency and quality of customer engagement; 35 percent are not doing so yet, but plan to.
  • Research suggests that the industry will be transformed in three or four years. KPMG noted that insurers must have a digitally focused and automated digital and customer-first business that would be “comparable to the tech giants today.”

Companies Leading the Way

  • Lemonade has managed to redefine the customer experience with an innovative, chatbot-based FNOL system that generates automated claims payouts within seconds.
  • Anthem started its digital transformation in 2017, moving from being a healthcare business using technology to consider itself a “technology company that is running a healthcare business.”


D.A.R.Q. Power and New Technologies

  • DARQ stands for distributed ledger technology, artificial intelligence, extended reality, and quantum computing. Each technology represents opportunities for insurance businesses to differentiate themselves and their products.

Why it is a trend

  • Ninety-three percent of insurance business are already experimenting with one or more DARQ technologies, as reported by Accenture. Each technology is at a different point of adoption, but the company claims that the “first wave of insurance companies using DARQ technologies to drive differentiation is already here.”

Impact

  • AI is already a vital component of the insurance business, optimizing processes and influencing strategic decisions as it automates business functions, gathers and analysis unprecedented amounts of data, and makes the benefits of analytics more widely available.
  • Extended realities in the form of AR/VR create new ways for people to experience and engage with new immersive environments and on-demand and hands-free information.
  • Extended reality helps to provide value to customers through new experiences and allows employees to collaborate from separate locations in ways not possible before. AR and VR also provide tools to improve insurance policy education and virtual driving tests.
  • By realizing the structure for new technologies, such as cryptocurrency and blockchain, Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) allows customers and companies to control their data and conduct transactions in a way not possible before.
  • With a single source of data, people can securely manage transactions and collaborate on a large scale, DLT provides enterprises control and verification of data. Insurance companies are increasingly using DLT for self-executing contracts.
  • Quantum computing is a new emerging technology that will empower researchers to resolve computational problems that were previously unthinkable. Besides advancements that could result in new drugs and products, the technology also facilitates traffic optimization, supply chain, logistics, and cybersecurity.

Companies Leading the Way

  • AXA XL is leading AI and natural language processing to help the process information, in an effort to free underwriters from a manual task. The solution automates the survey reports used for providing insurance coverage and accurate pricing.
  • Accenture debuted a blockchain-based solution that helps insurers’ customers manage surety bonds.
  • Atidot enables insurers to go digital by wading through piles of data for them. This predictive analytics platform employs machine learning, AI, and big data to give insurers more significant insights.

Research Strategy

To present some of the trends currently affecting the overall insurance industry in the U.S., the research team leveraged analysis by reputable sources such as Deloitte, McKinsey, KPMG, and Accenture to identify the trends. Each trend and company was chosen based on their reports and confirmed by other outlets.
Part
02
of three
Part
02

US Insurance Companies Competitive Landscape-Part 1

UnitedHealth Group's branding centers around its expansive reach and the company uses a wide variety of tools/platforms to reach new customers, such as podcasts and a microsite. Anthem's branding centers around its strong U.S. presence and the company uses multiple tools/platforms, such as social media and webinars, to reach new customers.

UnitedHealth Group Incorporated

1. Branding

  • A central aspect of UnitedHealth Group's branding is that it's a leading health insurance company in the U.S. The company highlights that it has one or more offices in each U.S. state.
  • In further support of its branding centered around its expansive reach, the company states that "[m]ore than 320,000 people worldwide power UnitedHealth Group with their entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to quality, including approximately 90,000 clinical professionals focused on helping people live healthier lives."
  • UnitedHealth also positions itself as "a distinctively diversified health and well-being company."
  • The company's branding also focuses on its efforts to provide greater access to healthcare.
  • Innovation and technology are focal points of UnitedHealth's branding. For example, the company states on its website that it "invests more than $3.5 billion in technology and innovation, and processes approximately 1.1 trillion transactions annually."
  • In further regard to its innovation and technology branding, UnitedHealth states that it is "committed to introducing innovative approaches, products and services that can improve personal health and promote healthier populations in local communities. Our core capabilities in clinical expertise, advanced technology and data and health information uniquely enable us to meet the evolving needs of a changing health care environment."

2. Marketing Campaigns

  • Our research identified three marketing campaigns that UnitedHealth has deployed within the past year.
  • The first marketing campaign is titled "Care Whenever You Need It." This link is to a commercial that's part of that campaign.
  • The second marketing campaign centered around the phrase "what health care can do." This link is to one of the video ads within that campaign. This link is to a TV commercial from the campaign.
  • The third marketing campaign pertained to Medicare and was titled "Take Advantage." This link is to a commercial that was part of the campaign.

3. Tools & Platforms

Anthem, Inc.

1. Branding

  • A central theme of Anthem's branding is its expansive reach. The company states that, together with its affiliates, over "78 million people" are served. Furthermore, Anthem states that 80% of people in the U.S. receive medical-care coverage "through Anthem's affiliated plans."
  • Anthem's branding also centers around the themes of simplifying healthcare and making communities and lives better. Examples of those themes are reflected in the background photos the company uses on its Facebook and Twitter accounts, which feature the phrase "Rest Easy."
  • Value, inclusiveness, and innovation are three aspects of the company's branding. Anthem states that it "aim[s] to be the most innovative, valuable and inclusive partner."

2. Marketing Campaigns

  • The most-recent marketing campaign we found for Anthem appears to have ended a little over a year ago (around September 2018). Though the campaign didn't have a title, it was about Medicare and featured the famous actress Téa Leoni in the commercials. This link is to a commercial from that campaign and this link is to a second commercial from the campaign.
  • Within the past year, we found a series of individual commercials deployed by Anthem that did not appear to be part of a broader marketing campaign. Nonetheless, we included those commercials below because they were launched by the company within the past year as marketing content.

3. Tools & Platforms

Research Strategy

The first step in our research involved reviewing each insurance company's website. We reviewed those sites in order to find information about and then analyze each company's branding. The "About" pages within those sites were particularly valuable sources for that information. However, we also looked at the sites' landing pages and the companies' social media accounts to further assess their branding. The next step of our research involved looking for marketing campaigns that the companies deployed within the past year. Our first step in looking for those campaigns was to review videos posted by the companies on YouTube because companies often publish their commercials there (which would identify the marketing campaigns they were a part of). We were able to identify some, but not all, of the marketing campaigns through YouTube.

As a second step, we checked the source iSpotTV, which publishes companies' TV commercials. We consulted that source to try to identify the commercials and thus marketing campaigns that the companies might have launched within the past year. From that source, we were able to identify a marketing campaign for Anthem that appeared to have finished just over a year ago (since the last commercial we found from that campaign aired in September 2018). We included that campaign nonetheless because it was close to the one-year time frame we were looking within. Additionally, we provided other individual commercials for the company that were published within the past year, yet didn't appear to be part of a broader marketing campaign. We also checked the companies' social media channels and looked for any articles that might have been published about recent marketing campaigns for these companies, but those sources didn't yield any relevant information per our reviews. Lastly, we identified tools and platforms that the companies use to reach new customers through the companies' websites and by individually searching for media mentions about their use of tools such as podcasts. From this research process, we were able to compile all the requested information about these insurance companies.
Part
03
of three
Part
03

US Insurance Companies Competitive Landscape-Part 2

Kaiser wants to be perceived as a total health company that has a strong commitment. State Farm presents itself as the most influential insurance company. Berkshire Hathaway brands itself as a top-rated insurance company.

Kaiser Foundation Group of Health Plans

1. Branding

  • Kaiser Permanente presents itself as a strong company to its customers by producing a consistent brand voice in every region through customer communications and targeted member engagement.
  • Its branding focuses on the effort its professional team makes to help its customers get through life together.
  • It makes the brand a total health company that is strongly committed to preventive care that empowers its members to be healthy in mind, body, and spirit.

2. Marketing Campaigns

  • Its most recent marketing campaign was "Never Miss a Beat" launched in October 2019. It was about the Kaiser integrated care team.
  • This online video intended for the American audience is titled "To Them We Say" and was also launched in October 2019.

3. Tools and platforms

  • On social media, Instagram specifically, the company asked new customers to join Kaiser and get flu shots.
  • Kaiser uses online brochures as a way to inform people on how to get the right plans, manage their online care, and get wellness support.

State Farm Group

1. Branding

  • This company brands itself as the world's most influential insurance company by building authority and demonstrating empathy.
  • State Farm uses powerful language that shows the power and expertise of all its insurance products which include auto insurance, homeowners insurance, and life insurance.
  • The advertising uses empathetic language that promotes stability and comfort with insurance providers because those are the important factors Americans need.

2. Marketing Campaigns

  • A series of marketing campaigns is titled "Color Full Lives: Season 5". This campaign started in October 2019. This is the link to one of the videos within that campaign.
  • State Farm's most recent campaign in the past year is titled "Act of Good". This ongoing campaign is a challenge to do 100 acts of good before its 100th anniversary in 2022.

3. Tools and platforms

  • The company uses Instagram to make customers apply for its insurance. A message on its Instagram page made people aware of heatstroke in their car and encouraged them to apply for auto insurance.
  • Its website promotes up to 30% discount on auto insurance for new members. It provides a quote for its products so new customers can get the complete information.

Berkshire Hathaway

  • Insurance companies under Berkshire Hathaway are Berkshire Hathaway GUARD Insurance Companies, GEICO, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance, among others.

1. Branding

  • Berkshire Hathaway GUARD Insurance brands itself as a top-rated insurance company with an A+ superior rating from AM Best. The company gives flexible pricing, ease of access, and expert claims.
  • GEICO presents itself as America's favorite insurance company that offers more than car insurance. It displays its award on a virtual trophy page because it wants to be seen as an award-winning company.
  • Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance (BHSI) brands itself as a simple insurance company, so it ensures that all of its business keep their simplicity.

2. Marketing Campaigns

  • Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance (BHSI) launched a marketing campaign with the theme "Claim is our Product" in June 2019 which outlined that the insurer's claim was valuable to its customer.
  • GEICO launched a series of marketing campaigns in the past year with its icon, The Gecko. This link is to one of the commercials from the campaign.

3. Tools and platforms

  • MLMIC uses print ads, emails, sales toolkit, and a new website to attract new customers.
  • BHSI uses its website and print advertisements to attract new customers. This company wants to promote that customers' claims will exceed their expectations.
  • GEICO uses YouTube to attract new customers.
Sources
Sources

From Part 01
From Part 02
From Part 03
Quotes
  • "Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance (BHSI) today announced a new print and digital media advertising campaign around the theme CLAIMS IS OUR PRODUCT.℠"