Last week I attended KPMG’s 20th Annual Insurance Issues Conference and one of the opening speakers was Dr. Cindy Gordon who is the Founder of Helix Commerce International Inc., a company specializing in business innovation, collaboration commerce, and social media. I was amazing listening to her speak about not only where the insurance industry might be headed but the role that technology will play in terms of dealing with customers and how companies will need to adapt to the constantly changing environment.
Speaking to a room full of several hundred industry professionals, she discussed the need for the industry to step up its game in the field of social media. She mentioned how the banks have much deeper pockets, it is a smaller risk to invest into new ideas compared to insurance companies but indicated that social media isn’t a very expensive route for companies to invest in. When she asked the room how many people used Twitter on a daily basis, only one other person besides me, raised their hand. When asked about who knows of/uses Foursquare, this time it was only me. It drove home her point of how the insurance industry is now lagging behind the times of the new wave of customers who interact, research and make decisions — all online.
Just think about it: most of us do our banking transactions online, pay our bills and transfer money between accounts all from the comforts of our own computer. In terms of getting an insurance quote whether it be life, auto or for your home, we may do some research online but ultimately when it comes do to making a final decision, we still have to pick up the phone to directly talk to someone to complete the transaction.
Overall it was a pretty good conference to learning more about Solvency II, Risk Management and M&A Deals but ultimately it was the least finance intensive session showing the greatest potential for the industry for me.