- Date: August 17, 2017
- By: Jon Anderson
Good movies, all.
Notice a theme?
A door to another universe.
Or the same universe but in a different time.
All of these movies feature a portal as a plot device.
We are fascinated with portals. I could have easily listed dozens more movies, books, and TV shows that feature some sort of portal the characters go through to find adventure. To find intrigue. Answers. Or love.
And then have to get home before the door closes.
It's no wonder that the tech world adopted the word portal. Tech portals don't necessary offer adventure or love, but they can still be valuable. Users gain access to the portal and enter to find a diverse set of tools and information.
Portals for insurance customers can offer any number of features. Which are the most important?
We suggest these three:
1. Access to Documents
For most of us the time we talk about insurance is when we need to prove we have it. Either to the police officer that just pulled us over, or to the receptionist at the doctor's office we just walked into.
When's the last time you cleaned out your glovebox? I'm guessing there are 2-3 copies of your proof of insurance in there, and odds are none of them are current.
Having access to quickly find and print out a fresh copy is a great portal feature. Many states even allow drivers to carry electronic insurance cards. All the better since your smartphone has a search engine while your glovebox does not.
2. Claims Management
The insurance business model revolves around claims. As a customer it's often stressful and hard to initiate and track a claim. Or to find records of a past claim for insurance or legal purposes.
Your portal should allow customers to see their history of claims. They should be able to track the status of a current claim. They should be able to communicate with you about that claim, and have access to all past communications about it.
And customers should be able to initiate a new claim.
3. Use the Technology
I recently had a breakdown.
My car's fuel pump quit. I was stranded alongside the road. I called my insurance provider to initiate getting my car towed.
It took a full hour to simply communicate where I was. The agent couldn't find the street name I was giving him. He didn't agree that the exit I just took off the highway existed (even after I walked back up the ramp to confirm the number).
Broke down. Blocking traffic on a busy road. Shouting into my phone. Ducking down next to my car to try and hear him on the other end.
I asked if he had an email address. I could load my Google maps app, drop a pin to my current location, and send that in an email or text message.
No go. My insurance provider "wasn't set up for that." No smartphones there, evidently.
Yea, your portal might be "mobile-friendly". It displays on a mobile device.
But is it really taking advantage of the technology?
Can users geo-locate a new claim?
Can they take a photo of their new car's VIN plate and submit that, or do you make them tap in a 17-digit string and get it right?
Think past just displaying correctly on a mobile device. Find the pain points of interacting with you, and use the technology your customers are literally holding in the palms of their hands to solve those pain points.
More Portal Thinking
Interested in learning more about portals?
Download our whitepaper: 10 Questions Every Insurance Company Must Answer Before Building a Customer Portal.
And get in touch. We'll tell you which of those portal movies is our favorite.