It’s been a century since the United States has experienced a pandemic on the scale of the current COVID19 outbreak, resulting in radical short term changes to the economy and people’s lifestyles But the crisis is also driving six trends in the auto insurance industry whose impact will continue long after the virus is gone.
Social distancing is accelerating direct channel sales growth. Stuck at home, more customers are transacting their insurance business directly and finding it easy. This is accelerating the already established trend towards direct sales as the baby boomers are replaced by digitally adept customers from the Millennial and Generation Z cohorts.
Cooped up customers are spending more time shopping for insurance. With many families hurting financially and having time on their hands, customers are spending more time and effort shopping for the best rate. They are using aggregators, carrier quotation websites and traditional agents to solicit record numbers of quotations.
Customers are using the knowledge they gained from shopping to manipulate rates more. Modern quotation systems make it easy for customers to run multiple rate scenarios, omitting drivers, switching addresses or transferring commercial vehicles to personal policies. Today’s extreme financial pressures and the relative anonymity of direct channels are making these types of frauds more common.
Pressure from direct channel manipulation is pushing agents to cut more corners. To stay relevent, agents need to demonstrate that they can get their customers ‘better rates’ whether justified or not. This is shrinking the difference in new business first year loss ratios between the historically unprofitable direct and more profitable agent models. We see both getting worse.
Insurance card scams are proliferating. More customers are signing up for insurance using a pay plan simply to get the insurance card and and then failing to pay the premium installments. Unless, of course, they have a claim.
Pre-existing damage claims are set to grow. Many consumers are saving money by cancelling their comprehensive and collision coverage. But the casualty events will still happen. This is resulting in even higher levels of ‘single vehicle’ claims without police reports being filed in the early weeks of new policies.
None of these challenges are new to the industry but the pandemic’s extreme isolation and financial distress are making them worse. And the intensifying shift to (largely unprofitable) direct channels means that dealing with these challenges will be more difficult and failing to do so will be more expensive.
idFusion solves these problems. The idFusion Fraud Identification, Intervention and Management platform is designed to identify and resolve these types of frauds in real time at the point of sale regardless of channel. In future posts we will describe each of these fraud challenges and our solutions for them in more detail. Learn more at www.veracityid.com