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Corporate Insight Announces Annual User Experience Awards in Insurance and Annuities, Highlighting Rise of Virtual Assistants and Needs Calculators

New Monitor Awards showcase digital trends and best practices in account owner site messaging and chatbots

Corporate Insight, the leading provider of competitive intelligence and customer experience research to the financial services and insurance industries, announced the release of its 2021 Monitor Awards in annuities, property and casualty insurance, and life insurance. The annual awards program recognizes digital innovation and best practices, awarding gold, silver and bronze medals in recognition of significant advances in web and mobile user experience over the past year.

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“In 2021, the insurance and annuity industries continued to adapt to elevated pandemic-related call volumes, pushing increased innovation in virtual assistants and client messaging,” said Andrew Way, research director at Corporate Insight. “As the trend of aggregating both health and wealth-related information onto digital platforms continues to percolate in an effort to provide more accurate, personalized recommendations to customers, and as the demand for expediting underwriting processes continues to rise, we expect to see more innovations in these areas and more partnerships between insurance providers and health data firms.”

The continuing pandemic has accelerated the growth of chatbots and virtual assistants across financial services, healthcare, banking and insurance industries, with a growing need for remote workers coupled with a shortage of available employees. In just two years, Corporate Insight has tracked a 60% increase in chatbots offered by firms in the property and casualty insurance space. One of the newest virtual assistants won the gold medal this year, with Metromile’s Help Bear offering both preset options and a predictive free-text entry field that understands inquiries about several topics including claims, billing and login help. The industry-leading Help Bear typically responds with plain-text instructions, links to the policyholder site, and an option to receive help from a live representative.

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In the life insurance sector, firms are investing in improved needs calculators to accommodate growing insurance interest spurred by the pandemic. MassMutual wins the gold medal for its needs calculator that encourages users to assess their insurance requirements at multiple points throughout the site journey. The firm lets users customize inputs and assumptions, and dynamically update results to see the effects of different decisions; it then offers actionable next steps including an embedded advisor locator tool.

Online communication between annuity firms and account owners has never been more important, and this year Fidelity wins a gold medal for its easily findable message center with a range of helpful features, including pre-filled information in message forms, a dedicated chat feature, and a filterable and sortable inbox. Account owners at Fidelity can crucially see an archive of their sent messages, as well as view separate sections for general notifications and personalized messages.

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