4 min read

Digitize Faster with Less Risk: MVPs in Insurance

Digitize Faster with Less Risk: MVPs in Insurance

The heat is on! As businesses demand faster, more efficient, personalized insurance solutions, brokers face increasing pressure to adapt and integrate digital tools into their offerings. However, navigating the complexities of digital transformation can be daunting, especially for executives grappling with limited resources and the inherent risks associated with large-scale technology implementations.

This is where the concept of Minimum Viable Products (MVPs) emerges as a powerful tool for insurance brokers. An MVP is not a final product, but a simplified prototype designed to test a specific hypothesis or address a particular user’s need. MVPs are more often associated with physical products. 

However, by developing and testing MVPs, brokers can gain valuable insights, validate assumptions, and de-risk their digitalization efforts before committing significant resources to full-fledged product development.


Small Bets, Big Rewards

You might be surprised to learn that the concept of an MVP is relatively new. In 2001, the CEO of SyncDev, Frank Robinson, was looking for the simplest way to create a version of a product to gather information on. After successfully demonstrating his process, he coined the term “Minimum Viable Product." Nearly a decade later, entrepreneur Eric Ries popularized the phrase in his book "The Lean Startup." And from there, as they say, the rest is history. 

Famous examples of successful MVPs include Airbnb, which initially started as an air mattress rental service connecting travelers with spare space, and Dropbox, whose initial launch involved a simple video showcasing its file-sharing capabilities. These examples demonstrate how MVPs, when strategically implemented, can pave the way for innovative and impactful products that revolutionize their respective industries.

However, MVPs aren’t relegated to end products. The concept can be applied to processes, procedures, and experiences. The value of MVPs lies in their ability to quickly prove a thesis without unnecessarily taxing an organization's time or wallet. Before committing significant resources to solve a problem or exploit an opportunity, organizations can save up to 40% in development and implementation costs with MVPs.  


Challenges Faced by Insurance Brokers in the Digital Age

While the benefits of digital transformation are undeniable, navigating the journey can be challenging for insurance brokers. Several roadblocks hinder smooth implementation, impacting efficiency, client experience, and overall competitiveness. 

But for many businesses, including the insurance industry, knowing where to begin can be overwhelming. To help generate a few ideas of where you can start, let's delve into three common challenges faced by insurance brokers in the digital age, and explore how MVPs can offer innovative solutions to overcome these obstacles.

Inefficient Quote Generation: The traditional quote generation process, often involving manual data entry and multiple back-and-forth exchanges with carriers, can be time-consuming and prone to errors. This frustrates clients and hinders brokers' ability to serve a larger customer base.


Example MVP: Develop a simple self-service online quote portal where clients can input basic information and receive instant quotes from various carriers. This MVP can help test user demand for such a tool, gather user interface and functionalities feedback, and assess its impact on quote generation turnaround time.


Cumbersome Policy Management: Managing numerous policies across different carriers can be complex and tedious for brokers and their clients. Manual data entry, paper-based documents, and limited access to policy information online create inefficiencies and hinder transparency.


Example MVP: Create a web-based mobile app that allows clients to access their policy information, report claims, and make payments conveniently. This MVP can validate user interest in mobile access, gather feedback on desired functionalities, and help identify potential integrations with carrier systems for seamless data exchange.


Personalized Client Interactions: In today's customer-centric environment, personalized interactions are crucial for building trust and fostering loyalty. However, brokers often struggle to find the time and resources to tailor their services to individual client needs.

Example MVP: Implement an AI chatbot to answer the most basic client questions, provide policy updates, and schedule broker appointments. This MVP can help assess the effectiveness of chatbots in handling routine inquiries, freeing up brokers' time for more complex client interactions.


Benefits of Using MVPs in Each Scenario 

Having explored the challenges and potential solutions through MVPs, let's take a closer look into the tangible benefits the lean prototypes offer to insurance brokers who are actively navigating their digital transformation journey.

Improved Operational Efficiency: MVPs can demonstrate that proof-of-concept workflows can be streamlined by automating tasks and providing self-service options for clients, leading to increased productivity and cost savings for brokers.

Enhanced Customer Experience: MVPs demonstrate to customers their commitment in offering convenient and personalized digital solutions allowing brokers to improve client satisfaction, strengthen relationships, and foster loyalty.

Gaining a Competitive Edge: MVPs can prove the value of adopting innovative digital tools by quickly demonstrating how brokers can differentiate themselves from competitors, attract new clients, and solidify their position in the market.

McKinsey & Company reported in their report titled "Why insurers need to embrace a minimum viable product (MVP) approach" that insurers who adopt MVPs experience a 30% reduction in development time and a 20% increase in project success rates. Such results not only save brokers time and resources, but they increase the number of new projects that an organization can test and eventually bring into full practice.


Developing and Implementing Your First MVP 

Building a successful MVP requires careful planning and execution. Like any project, a measured and methodical approach will provide the best results. Here are some key considerations for your first MVP:


Formulate Achievable Goals: Clearly define the specific problem your MVP aims to address and set realistic goals for what you want to achieve. This step includes creating KPIs to measure success or failure. Most importantly, a go-forward metric needs to be established to trigger moving from MVP into production.

Define Your Target Audience: Identify the specific client group using your MVP and tailor its functionalities to their needs and preferences. Although MVPs may not be fully functional and operate as a light version, it is still imperative that the targeted end users become a part of the MVP as if a completed solution were ready. 

Choose Suitable Development Methods: Depending on the complexity of your MVP, various options exist, ranging from low-code development platforms to collaboration with external development teams. Look for partners with experience developing minimum viable products to avoid costly production overruns or delays. 


MVPs Eliminate the Barriers to Digital Transformation

In the ever-evolving world of insurance, embracing a data-driven and iterative approach to digital transformation is crucial for brokers to stay competitive and meet the evolving needs of their clients. Minimum Viable Products (MVPs) offer a powerful solution to test new ideas, gather valuable user insights, and make informed decisions about digital investments. 

One key component of a successful MVP is collaboration. Brokers can leverage internal resources from IT and marketing teams, while also considering partnerships with technology startups or established software vendors specializing in the insurance industry. This collaborative approach can provide access to specialized expertise and resources, accelerating the development process and increasing the chances of success.


If you’d like to learn more about how Highwing helps brokers and carriers leverage the power of technology, connect with us today. We would love to chat with you.

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