Exploring Open Insurance Platform Benefits | Zinnia

Open insurance platforms are quickly becoming valuable tools for the insurance industry to accomplish digital transformation and boost customer experiences. Through an open insurance ecosystem, insurance providers can quickly create new products, boost revenues, increase efficiencies, and connect more deeply with customers.

What is Open Insurance?

Open insurance is a new way of operating that simplifies how work gets done and personalizes a consumer’s or advisor’s process of working with a policy or annuity. An open insurance platform brings people, data and technology together to create experiences that are more inviting for consumers, more empowering for insurers, and more productive for advisors.

To participate in an open insurance ecosystem, various partners share data with each other and use data and services from a number of sources in order to create new products, generate new streams of revenue and create satisfying customer experiences. The partners involved in an open insurance platform may include insurance companies, financial services companies, insurtech companies and third-party service providers. Together, the partners can quickly accomplish what it would take significant time and resources for one insurer to accomplish alone.

Challenges Faced by the Insurance Industry and How Open Insurance Solves Them

The insurance industry is facing several daunting challenges, and traditional ways of working simply won’t work anymore. However, open insurance platforms can help the industry overcome its challenges, such as:

  • Changing consumer expectations. Today’s customers expect insurance products and annuities that are tailored specifically to their needs. While traditional business models don’t allow for high levels of personalization, open insurance makes it possible to harness artificial intelligence and other tools that can make it easy to customize products and customer journeys.
  • Technology disruption. The fast pace of technological change continues, and insurers are challenged to keep up with demands for omnichannel distribution, competition from innovative rivals, and consumer expectations for digital transformation. Open insurance platforms allow insurers to tap into new partnerships, distribution models and resources that make it easy to improve operations, design new products and services, and keep up with new technology.
  • Changing demographics. The population is aging, with more people nearing retirement and potentially interested in annuities and other insurance products. In addition, because today’s consumers are accustomed to banking, working, shopping and ordering takeout online, they want to conduct all their business this way. For example, one study showed that 40% of consumers shop online or use an app when shopping for life insurance. Creating intuitive online pathways to target the right prospects and convert them into customers through a digital process is a daunting challenge with traditional workflows, but easy to do with an open insurance platform.

Creating an Open Insurance Ecosystem

Building an open insurance platform from scratch is a difficult undertaking that requires an enterprise open source technology foundation, along with security protocols and consistent monitoring of APIs (application programming interfaces). The easiest way to benefit from an open insurance ecosystem is to connect with an established open insurance platform, such as Zinnia’s Zahara.

Open insurance platforms have become increasingly available for property and casualty insurers in recent years, but these ecosystems are much less common for the life insurance and annuity industries. Zinnia brings open insurance to the life and annuity industry.

As an open insurance platform for life insurance and annuities, Zahara establishes a single system of record that creates an immutable source of truth and fundamentally transforms the way that life and annuity policies are stored, shared and administered. It abolishes the silos that traditionally housed policy information and synchronizes information across systems, sharing it so that authenticated parties have ready access to stored information.

How Do You Benefit From an Open Insurance Platform?

Insurance companies can benefit from using open insurance platforms in a number of ways, including participating in digital transformation, building trust among consumers, and increasing revenue.

Increasing Digitization

Many insurers view digitization as a key to their futures because automation can cut costs, boost productivity and improve customer experiences. For example, automation can reduce the cost of a claims journey by as much as 30%, according to McKinsey

By adopting an open insurance model, insurers can digitize processes almost automatically. Open insurance, by definition, allows for the open exchange of insurance information through a series of application programming interfaces (APIs). By tapping into that information-sharing and technological innovation, carriers can quickly implement digitization in processes including lead-gathering, origination, distribution, pricing, trading, administration, customer service and customer engagement.

When a carrier partners with an open insurance provider like Zinnia, they have access to a wide array of digital products and processes. As a result, insurers get better data and insights about their products and customers, while consumers get an improved insurance experience.

Building Trust

More than 40% of U.S. consumers say they do not trust insurance companies at all or they trust insurance companies just a little, according to a survey. As a result of data breaches, fake news and general havoc in recent years, trust has increasingly become a top priority for consumers.

To meet consumers’ expectations, insurers need to leverage data solutions that can protect consumer information and ensure privacy. The best open insurance solutions are built with embedded security, and allow consumers to maintain control of their own data and how it can be used.

Increasing Revenue Streams

Because of its digital nature, open insurance allows for deep data collection and tracking. With that data, insurers can gain insight into customer interactions and better understand what customers value. They can also offer data-driven personalized products to upsell existing customers on additional products that will meet their needs.

For example, a digital customer engagement program may reveal that a customer is reading articles about planning for a new baby. That data can be automatically catalogued and used to recommend additional products that may be of interest, such as a child’s life insurance policy or a college savings plan.

With open insurance, carriers can also increase their revenue streams by providing customers with value-added products and services that are sourced from their open insurance partners.

Why Your Customers Would Love Your Open Insurance Environment

Insurers aren’t the only ones who benefit from open insurance platforms. Customers and potential customers also love the open insurance model. That’s because an open ecosystem allows them to conduct every step of the insurance process digitally and intuitively, from finding and purchasing the right policy, to paying premiums, making claims and tracking claim progress. In the same way customers are accustomed to online banking and online shopping, managing insurance online is intuitive and convenient.

Zinnia Open Insurance: Uniting Data, People, and Technology for a Better Experience

Rather than spending time, money and human resources to develop a proprietary open insurance platform, savvy insurers are ramping up quickly by adopting an existing platform like Zinnia’s Zahara. Without reinventing the wheel, insurers can implement the platform to access the data, tools and resources they need to quickly boost productivity, develop new products and services, and scale their businesses. 

Learn more about Zinnia’s open insurance platform for life insurance.

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