Industry Chasing Mobile Consumers with Ads, Apps, Self-Service Options

by Chastin Reynolds


Posted on 09/19/2016 09:00 AM


by Don Jergler | Insurance Journal

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Carriers are spending big on advertising, and agencies are working to become increasingly more sophisticated and reach out to more and more people. In the world of insurance, that’s just doing business as usual....


Phillip Reynolds, CEO and founder of BriteCore, a Springfield, Mo.-based software provider for property/casualty insurers, also talked about the importance of mobile technology. Reynolds hosted a session titled “Tech Statistics That Drive Consumer Behavior.”


Mobile has developed faster than any technology in history,” he said. Mobile has seen a 71.1 percent year-over-year growth since it emerged, according to Reynolds. Other stats he threw out include: 40 percent of adults now own tablets; tablets have experienced 79 percent year-over-year growth; there are 7.5 billion active smartphones; the average smartphone user spends 4.7 hours per day on their device. View Full Article.



BriteCore Attending 2016 SMA Summit

by Chastin Reynolds


Posted on 09/18/2016 04:40 PM


September 19, 2016 | Boston | Mandarin Oriental


2016 SMA Summit

BriteCore members will be in Boston this week for the 2016 SMA Summit. The summit brings together those interested in networking and gaining insights on the Next-Gen Insurer and how to prepare for upcoming shifts in the insurance industry. If you're in the area? Let us know! We'd love to meet up with you! Contact Chastin Reynolds at chastin@britecore.com for more information.



BriteCore Completes SSAE 16 Type II Examination with No Exceptions

by Chastin Reynolds


Posted on 09/02/2016 03:58 PM


SEPT 6, Springfield, MO - Intuitive Web Solutions (IWS), creators of BriteCore, recently completed an annual SSAE 16 (SOC 1) Type II examination for the period of June 1, 2015 through May 31, 2016. During this period, BriteCore defined Control Objectives were achieved with zero exceptions found on the design and operating effectiveness of controls.

In the spring of 2016, IWS engaged Barr Assurance & Advisory, Inc. based on their technical competence and reputation in the industry. IWS initially worked with the firm to complete a GAP analysis prior to the SOC 1 examination period to determine that the defined Control Objectives and Control Activities were consistent with the needs of BriteCore clients and BriteCore clients' auditors.

Completion of the SOC 1 Type 2 examination demonstrates IWS' commitment to safeguarding client data through proper design and execution of controls. The scope of the recent examination included data security, logical access, client data backup, change management, and issue resolution management. Through IWS's SOC 1 examination, the accounting and consulting firm has tested the defined Control Activities to determine that controls are in place to secure client data.

BriteCore client Kent Johnson from Eastern Mutual comments, "This report demonstrates IWS’s commitment to policy and is important to our board of directors and regulators."

Art Meadows from Panhandle Farmers Mutual Insurance Company also shows his appreciation of the investment made by IWS in a statement he provided, "Congratulations to BriteCore on the zero exceptions for the SSAE 16 Type II examination. This is tremendous news for the clients and a great accomplishment for team BriteCore. Panhandle has been with BriteCore from the beginning, and we have the greatest respect and confidence in BriteCore and the fantastic software that it has developed into. We are proud to be a partner of such a great organization."

IWS continues to be under examination by Barr Assurance & Advisory, Inc. and periodically tests controls throughout the twelve-month examination period. If you or your auditors would like to receive a copy of IWS' SOC report, contact Chastin Reynolds at chastin@britecore.com. A bridge or gap letter may also be provided during the examination period, if needed.


2016 Technology Trends Shaping Insurance

by Chastin Reynolds


Posted on 08/03/2016 06:35 PM


Technology

Technology is moving faster than ever. In 1965, Gordon Moore predicted that computer power would double every two years. For more than fifty years, this prediction has held true as computers have shrunk from giant, room-sized calculators to handheld supercomputers in just a few decades. As technology continues to evolve, carriers must keep their eye on key trends in order to keep thriving.

Mobile Device Adoption

Mobile devices have integrated into our lives quicker than any other technology in recorded history. The use of mobile devices is growing eight times faster than internet adoption did in the 1990s and early 2000s. Sixty-eight percent of Americans now carry smartphones while 45 percent own tablets[1]. At 7.5 billion units, there are more active mobile devices on Earth than people.

Consumer attitudes toward mobile and online financial transactions have also shifted dramatically in the past decade. eCommerce mobile stats show that 62 percent of smartphone users have made online purchases using their mobile device in the last 6 months, and 80 percent of shoppers used a mobile phone to compare product reviews or pricing[2]. Additionally, Social Media Today reported that 57 percent of smartphone users will not recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site[3]. As evidence shows, a polished mobile experience is no longer a feature that's nice to have – it's a critical business requirement.

Mobile devices offer an opportunity to meet unique demands on the go. A “mobile moment” is an event where a customer utilizes a mobile device to immediately get what they want in context. Research shows that mobile moments can create a significant degree of customer loyalty. Carriers must position themselves with mobile apps and mobile websites to deliver ready access to information and services.

Frictionless User Experiences

Consumers want interactions to feel quick and effortless. Users have grown to expect quick page loads and easy-to-use interfaces. Seventy-five percent of people cited the aesthetic design as the factor in judging the credibility of a business’ website or app. Eighty-eight percent of online consumers are less likely to return to a website after a bad experience with it[4]. Since design and interactions are meaningful to customers, interfaces must be constructed with user needs in mind. Sites or applications should work and look as the user expects. The layout and interactions must be polished, easy to understand, and functional. Through wireframing, prototyping, researching, and testing, you can create an interface that suits your customers. Ensure your sites and apps are user-friendly by following six principles of usability:

  1. Simple — don’t make the user think!
  2. Minimal — use only what you need and nothing more
  3. Clean — add margins, white space, and appealing, clear typography
  4. Focused — make primary actions large and easy to find
  5. Familiar — use and recycle familiar patterns to maintain consistency across the website
  6. Responsive — offer feedback for every action the user completes

API Economy

Another way to create frictionless user experiences is by incorporating Application Program Interfaces (APIs). An API provides a simple way for computers to communicate with each other programmatically. This means two services connected to the internet can communicate in the background without the need for user interaction. APIs are emerging and maturing at an incredible pace. In 2013, there were 5,000 public APIs, which grew to 10,000 APIs by 2015[5].

APIs allow you to connect services together to automate and bridge applications. There are tremendous opportunities for businesses that connect services via API to deliver seamless user experiences to agents, insureds, and staff with smooth, intuitive experiences. Here are examples of ways insurers can leverage APIs to bring data into a customer’s workflow without requiring the customer to manually enter or look up the data themselves:

  • location services
  • property valuation
  • payment gateways
  • credit scoring
  • tax records
  • protection class
  • VIN or DMV lookups
  • mortgagee notification
  • file storage
  • Telecommunications
  • screen share and video
  • help desk
  • social media

Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to clouds of devices connected to the internet. Everyday objects contain sensors and connect to the internet to access and publish information. The devices can then convert information into actions (often through the use of APIs). There are countless examples of IoT devices like August Smart Lock, Nest Thermostat, Samsung Smart TV, Amazon Dash button, or Apple Watch.

The integration of the Internet of Things offers better opportunities for carriers to measure and segment risk. Usage statistics on a smart thermostat can warn of extended vacancies or sudden temperature fluctuations. Smart water sensors can be paired with smart valves to prevent water damage due to burst lines. The IoT can be used to develop new discounts and surcharges, offer exclusions based on conditions, control losses, locate correlations in data, and even develop entirely new products and services.

Conclusion

Technology is changing and integrating into our world faster than ever before. Keeping pace with today’s technology requires companies to make pivotal shifts around customer needs and interests. Instead of fearing technology, our industry needs to aggressively focus on the opportunities afforded by new trends.

Sources

  1. Mediati, Nick. Pew survey shows 68 percent of US adults now own a smartphone. PC World. Nov 1, 2015 1:49 PM. http://www.pcworld.com/article/2999631/phones/pew-survey-shows-68-percent-of-americans-now-own-a-smartphone.html
  2. Fischer, Pat Jr. MOBILE ECOMMERCE STATS IN 2015 AND THE FUTURE. OuterBox. http://www.outerboxdesign.com/web-design-articles/mobile-ecommerce-statistics
  3. Miles, Greg. 8 Mobile Marketing Stats To Help You Plan For 2016. Social Media Today. Nov 13, 2015. http://www.socialmediatoday.com/marketing/8-mobile-marketing-stats-help-you-plan-2016
  4. Toth, Jozef. 13 Impressive Statistics on User Experience. http://blog.invisionapp.com/statistics-on-user-experience/
  5. Bartkiewicz, Drew. API Strategies for Big Data - If Data Were Oil. Presentation at CloudExpo, 2012, NYC. Published on Jun 14, 2012. http://www.slideshare.net/dbartkiewicz/api-strategies-for-big-data-if-data-were-oil