Insurance businesses are finally joining the trend: new insurance mobile apps are appearing more often today than a couple of years ago. In this article, we look at the process of app development for insurance company.
- Why your insurance company needs a mobile app
- How to create your own insurance app
- Types of mobile insurance apps
- General features for any type of insurance app
- Cost to develop a mobile app for an insurance company
Why your insurance company needs a mobile app
Mobile apps practically rule our lives today. Fun fact: We use our mobile phones so much that our thumbs are changing the way they work. That’s already one good reason to make an insurance mobile app — to reach new, mobile-oriented clients. But if you need some more specific reasons, here’s a list of perks an insurance app can provide.
- Make communication between a company and its clients faster, smoother, and more effective
- Automatically complete some tasks that insurance agents currently spend time on and allow clients to answer questions using live chat support
- Free up time that agents can spend on finding new clients
- Acquire new clients by advertising your app in other apps
- More opportunities to collect and process data
A well-made app lowers operational costs and increases revenue for an insurance company.
How to create your own insurance app
First of all, insurance businesses are pretty tricky when it comes to mobile applications. Basically, insurance is a business with three main actors: the insurer (or insurance company), the insured (the person buying the insurance), and providers of services covered by the insurance. For health insurance, the latter would be doctors and hospitals; for auto insurance, it would be car repair services.
Each party to this insurance circle will require its own app. Of course, you can build an insurance app for everyone where, upon registering, a user will choose a role. It’s not impossible. However, an app like that will have a couple of disadvantages:
Choosing a role is one more step in the registration process. With the global move toward simplification and acceleration, the fewer steps a user needs to make, the better.
A combo app will be about three times as big as each of its parts. It will require more space on a mobile device, more processing power, and more resources. And nobody likes heavy apps. You might need to sacrifice functionality to keep your app light.
On the other hand, with three connected but separate apps, you can add more features to each without making them bulky. So that’s our recommendation: If you make an insurance mobile app, make three instead of one. It’ll be worth the hassle.
If you can’t or don’t want to build three apps, you can actually build two — one for clients and another for your employees. By skipping a separate app for service providers, you’ll cut the cost of development. However, you’ll then be leaving the task of dealing with service providers to your agents. An app can help reduce paperwork and the number of calls.
Another option for simplification is making a web app for your employees where they can promptly react to clients’ inquiries. This option is a bit less convenient if your insurance agents work on foot a lot. For those mainly operating from the office, though, it’s a valid option.
We’d like to discuss the client app now.
Types of mobile insurance apps
People insure all kinds of things, some of them funny and even pretty weird. Like insurance against a comedy show’s spectators dying from laughter. We might or might not have rolled on the floor laughing.
So what we’re trying to say here is that mobile apps will vary depending on the niche your insurance company operates in.
- Health insurance apps
- Car insurance apps
- Life insurance apps
- Travel insurance apps
Features you’ll need to implement will heavily depend on your type of insurance business. At the same time, regardless of the part of the insurance industry your company operates in — life, health, property, or car insurance — the basic set of features in a mobile app will be similar. There will be niche-specific features, but the core features are generally the same. Let’s start with them.
General features for any type of insurance app
A profile is a screen where information about the insured object or person is displayed. If yours is a life or health insurance app, a profile will show information about the insured individual; if it’s a car insurance app, vehicle data will be displayed on the profile screen along with basic data about the owner.
Instead of (or in addition to) a printed insurance policy, a digital version should be available in the app. Clients should be able to check it whenever they need.
All policies/find a policy
Whether or not you allow clients to choose a new policy or switch from an old one without visiting your company’s physical office, it’s important to offer clients an opportunity to browse all options at a convenient time. Say, at home when they’re relaxing after a day’s work.
Clients should be able to search for policies by selected parameters, especially if your insurance company offers a wide range of options.
Finally, users will most certainly appreciate tailored recommendations — policies that suit them best according to their income, health, property, family members, etc. Depending on what customers are insuring, the necessary data will vary. But an automated selection of policies will surely be valued.
To offer a policy, a company usually needs certain information about the customer. However, if you’ve got a screen in your app that lists different policies with quotes, it will help your customers assess their options.
File a claim
This is the feature most clients download insurance apps for. It’s the reason for developing your insurance application, so to speak. Filing a claim in case an insured event occurs must be intuitive and easy. Otherwise, there’s little to no point in the app. Especially in cases like car accidents or house robberies, where everything should be dealt with quickly and efficiently.
A client should be able to enter all necessary information efficiently, preferably on a single screen. It would be a bonus if you allowed users to take photos right from the app. This feature will come in handy for car and property insurance.
Alternatively, customers can take photos with their phone’s default camera app and upload them in the app to file a claim.
By integrating a payment gateway into your mobile app, you free clients’ time. With in-app payments, there’s no need for a client to go to the bank or even open a banking app and fill in policy details; they don’t need to make another step and go to your company website to pay. This makes for a better user experience: just tap a couple of times to make a payment right after choosing an insurance policy.
To make it even better, you can allow users to set up automatic payments.
Live 24/7 support via integrated chat isn’t much of an innovation in the insurance industry. Clients can have car accidents at any time of the day. Actually, nighttime accidents are more common. Besides, some people work odd hours. Questions can pop up around the clock. If you’ve got staff to answer those questions at any time, it’s a big benefit in the eyes of clients.
It’s also possible to implement in-app calling functionality, or at least the ability to request a call from a support specialist. This feature will add points to your app’s karma.
Customers like to know how claim processing is going. Or if you’re offering any limited-time discounts. They also like to get notified about approaching payments so they don’t find themselves in an accident without any active insurance. Push notifications are probably the most efficient way to reach people today.
Artificial intelligence-powered chatbots are trending this year. The insurance industry can benefit from them just as much as any other industry, if not more. AI can improve and speed up identity verification, personalize interactions between apps and clients, facilitate claims settlement, and help prevent fraud.
The ability to upload a photo of a car post-accident or medical records can enhance claims processing, policy recommendations, and so on.
Insurer app development
For your employees, you can either make a mobile or a web app. If you have an office where insurance agents usually work, a web admin panel might be enough. Insurance apps for agents are necessary for insurers who need an intuitive way to work on a smartphone or tablet.
Features for an agent-side app are similar to those for clients:
- Agent profiles
- List of policies
- History of all claims, resolved and in-process
However, agents also need a list of all their clients, along with detailed profiles with all the data clients provide when they buy a policy. All documented behavior of clients also goes here, like all claims and how they were settled, all activities your company deems important for processing, etc.
You might need to monitor your employees, right? If you decide to make an insurence mobile app for your agents, you’ll need an admin panel for yourself with data on both agents and customers. If you make a web admin panel for employees, you can have your own admin profile with more permissions to manage agents. It will show you the data other agents can’t access.
Note: There’s a lot of sensitive data involved in buying and maintaining insurance. Hence, when you build a mobile insurance app, you need to invest in the latest security certificates and data protection.
Depending on what kind of insurance business you have, you’ll need to add features to meet your target audience’s specific needs.
A car insurance app needs:
- Geolocation for clients to easily notify the insurer where they are in case of an accident
- Integration with Google Maps (or any other mapping service you find suitable) to show the location of mechanics, gas stations, and related services
- An AI motion sensor that records driving behavior — Based on this data, your company might offer discounts to careful drivers to promote safe driving.
A health insurance app needs:
- Search for doctors and the ability to contact them
- The ability to book appointments, including an integrated calendar with notifications
- A symptom checker so patients can decide which doctor to see
- If your insurance company covers prescription drugs, a pharmacy search would be a winning feature.
Other industries will have their own necessary features, of course; you probably know the needs of your clients better than anyone. Additionally, a designated project manager in an app development company should be able to help you with research.
Cost to develop a mobile app for an insurance company
A team for developing a mobile insurance app will look like this:
- 1 project manager
- 1 UI/UX designers
- 1 Android developer
- 1 iOS developer
- 1-2 frontend developer
- 1-2 backend developer for the server side
- 1-2 quality assurance specialist
At Mind Studios, we always recommend our clients start with developing a minimum viable product (MVP). This helps them launch faster with a somewhat abridged app. An MVP is a great way to get your first users, too. And developing an MVP is, of course, cheaper than making a full app from the get-go.
If you decide to go for both iOS and Android insurance app development, the cost of an MVP will start at about $45,000 and will go up as you add features. Developing a full insurance app might begin at $70,000.
Insurance apps for agents cost approximately the same or slightly less, and web apps are generally easier and cheaper to build than mobile apps.
We can provide a more precise estimate upon request. Just leave a message on our contact us page. You can also ask us any remaining questions about how to create your own insurance app.