Posted by Kristen Jason on 19 Aug 2020
The case for a modern payment experience for insurance has been made long before 2020. However, current events have made it more necessary than ever before to partner with a modern fintech that allows more flexibility with payments, boosts retention, and reduces costs.
For example, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 19 states directed insurance companies to suspend cancellations for non-payment. This created even greater pressure for insurance companies to accelerate receivables for premium payments. Insurance companies can accelerate receivables just by providing a better payment experience.
COVID-19 has affected the economy with massive layoffs and a resulting decrease in spending. Federal stimulus checks and extended payments are helping homeowners pay their bills. However, when homeowners are financially stretched, the homeowner’s insurance can be an unfortunate casualty. The upcoming hurricane season is especially problematic, as this is the time that homeowners should stay on top of payments.
Of course, with layoffs, many are using COBRA, which is significantly more expensive than having insurance through an employer. During this stressful time, policyholders need visibility into their billing information with a comprehensive policyholder portal, and the ability to have payment reminders via email or SMS text. Late premium payments can lead to lapses in health insurance and higher rates for policyholders, which is especially problematic when added to higher COBRA rates.
You may think that you already offer payment flexibility with IVR and web payments. However, text and voice payments make it even easier for your policyholders to pay. Being able to pay a premium by text is amazingly simple and convenient. The ability to simply talk to Amazon’s Alexa or Google Assistant to pay your bill is also another level of convenience.
Jennifer has had to work from home for quite some time. She used to pay bills on her phone while she was on her lunch break, but now a ‘lunch break’ is no longer a concept that exists. She keeps forgetting to pay her insurance premium, but then remembered that the company is integrated with Amazon Alexa. While preparing a meal for her children, she speaks to her Alexa on her Amazon Echo and finally gets the bill paid.
It has been said that the easiest bill to pay gets paid first. Offering better payment channels like pay-by-text, payment methods like credit card payments and payment options like Guest Pay can be the difference between getting a payment on time or not.
Sam has been laid off from his job. His sister asks if there is anything she can do during this difficult time. He mentions that he needs help with his insurance premium. To ease the burden, she uses the Guest Pay option for his insurance company, allowing her to pay the bill without having to have his username, password, and access to all of his account information.
Due to this year’s events, insurance companies can also expect to see an increase in credit card payments. Those in economic hardship will often need to float their costs rather than pay for it with cash from an ACH payment. Alacriti helps insurance companies with this issue by routing payments in the least expensive way possible, saving them costly interchange fees.
The insurance industry is unique in that the opportunity to impress policyholders is primarily during the sales and onboarding process. This heightens the importance of the digital experience, making it so user-friendly bill payment solutions have a direct impact on policyholder satisfaction and retention. Lacking new and innovative ways to accept payments can negatively impact your receivables. The incentive for insurance providers to offer a better solution is more significant than ever before, and the time is now to make a positive change.
Alacriti offers the most customizable billing and payments solution, Orbipay EBPP, for insurers. The solution provides easy access to the payment channels (mobile, Facebook Messenger, intelligent assistants), payment methods (ACH, credit cards, debit cards), and payment options (one-time, recurring, autopay, payment plans, and balance reload) that today’s customer demands.
To find out how your organization can deliver a better customer experience, accelerate cash flow while reducing costs, and streamline operations call us at (908) 791-2916 or email us at email@example.com.