The world is growing more digital by the hour. Studies show that the demographics of people who use the Internet are shifting dramatically.
Traditionally, consumers bought home and auto insurance from brokers who worked behind desks and manned phones in brick-and-mortar offices. Twenty years ago, four of five people who bought life insurance used a broker.
That’s changing, and as a result more and more people — especially millennials — have a growing preference to use online technology, whether it’s web-based or app-based, to satisfy their insurance needs.
Launching an online insurance option
At Economical Insurance, a large Canadian insurer that has been operating for 145 years, we conducted extensive research to better understand the market. To remain competitive, Economical had to become a multi-channel business, enhancing a different strategy by offering an alternative purchase path for customers.
So in 2016 we launched Sonnet Insurance Company, a digital brand that provides online products and services with a customer-first attitude. With Sonnet, Economical disrupted the industry in Canada, going from zero ability to sell insurance online to providing customers with Canada’s first and, to date, only direct-digital business that enables customers to get a quote and buy home and auto insurance completely online.
Sonnet hosts its entire portfolio of workloads, applications and solutions on the IBM Cloud infrastructure. And, amazingly, it took just six months from inception for Sonnet to get its digital business up and running. Sonnet has become the smart, new home and auto insurance experience, done completely online.
A tailored online experience
Consumers can visit the customer friendly Sonnet site, kick the tires and get a quote. The cloud-based solution uses technology and multiple data inputs to offer each policyholder recommendations and meet each visitor’s unique needs.
Typically when consumers buy insurance in Canada, they aren’t actually insured right away. An agent must first contact the consumer and send information back. But not with Sonnet. It has the first application that allows autobinding, so when a consumer buys a policy online, it becomes active immediately, without the need to ever speak to or correspond with a broker.
From beginning to end, Sonnet provides a trusted, transparent and simple process. We use data-driven analytics and inputs from multiple sources to tailor service to each individual customer.
We anticipate steady growth among a distinct behavioral segment of the market, particularly millennials, that prefers to buy home and auto insurance online.
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