By Mourice Seretta
Medical underwriter AAR Insurance Kenya has revamped its digital suite with the launch of a mobile app as part of its strategy to become a branchless and paperless insurer.
The AAR Mobile App, downloadable on the Android Play Store and Apple Play Store, will enable customers, agents and service providers perform transactions on mobile on a self-service mode thus cutting the need for face-to-face interactions with company staff and agents.
The App also allows users easy access to information regarding their medical insurance cover including benefits besides helping them locate authorized healthcare providers. One can also purchase the company’s products, access MTIBA and file paperless claims using the App.
The insurer is aiming to migrate 80 percent of client transactions to its mobile and online platforms in a move that will significantly boost business efficiency and transform the customer experience.
AAR Insurance Managing Director Nixon Shigoli says the firm is strongly focused on creating value for customers through a digital-led business model.
“Our DNA is to empower our customers to take control of the things that matter most to them including health. Our digital transformation strategy is aligned with this goal. The mobile app is part of our quest to be a branchless and paperless insurance provider and create a lean and efficient business,” said Mr. Shigoli.
He added that the company is casting its net wider by targeting younger demographics who prefer a more virtual experience which has seen underwriters adopt a digital-centric business model to attract and retain an increasingly tech-savvy clientele.
Mr. Shigoli says digital insurance offers an effective platform to better understand customers and respond to their needs.
“Building optimal customer relations in the digital era means integrating transformative technologies into our operations to not only enhance convenience but also generate real-time data on evolving client needs,” explained Mr. Shigoli.
Alongside existing digital platforms, the mobile app is aimed at improving user experience, service delivery and customer convenience. Digitization will sharply reduce the company’s costs as 95 percent of paperwork shifts online while increasing employee productivity. The insurer anticipates that technology-enabled remote working coupled with the branchless, paperless model it is currently pursuing will yield significant financial savings hence more profits.
Mr. Shigoli further adds that the company’s revamped digital capabilities will positively impact its relationships with intermediaries and suppliers as a result of more efficient processes and improved customer service.
He however explained that the shift to a digital model does not mean loss of jobs as it will improve productivity across the business by cutting time and costs attributed to paperwork load and multiple processes.
“Branchless, paperless operations supported by a robust digital platform will enable us realign our operations to achieve higher levels of employee productivity through more efficient processes and optimal business-to-customer relationships.”
Widespread adoption of digital insurance has been identified as a factor in increasing underwriting coverage in the country, currently at a paltry 3 percent, compared to a mobile penetration rate of 98 percent. Moreover, a large youthful population with a high affinity for technology positions digital platforms to be a major driver of insurance uptake.
Other benefits of digital insurance include minimizing claims-related fraud and reducing cost of insurance as processes become more efficient.