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Let’s Be Friends

Let’s Be Friends

Posted by James McCully on

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Really. I want to know everything about you, spend time with you, celebrate your successes, and commiserate over your ‘bumps in the road’.

I’ll do my best to care for you. I’ll avoid harassing you with too many questions or redundant things. I promise I won’t forget all the ways we know each other. I’ll remember that you are a big part of what makes me successful, even when you sometimes have to give me bad news.

In return, you’ll stick by me. You won’t try to take advantage of me or ‘conveniently’ forget that we’re in this together. You’ll give me the chance to change when you see something you like in someone else. We need each other, but I know you have a choice and we need to adapt to each other’s needs over time.

We’re used to relationships like this in our personal lives, but what about our business relationships? In particular, would you consider your insurance company your friend? Maybe ‘friend’ is a strong word, but insurers would be well-served to build a closer relationship with their policyholders… even if it isn’t going to help them with a move (though, now that I think of it, maybe that isn’t such a bad idea! “I need a new homeowners policy,” says the insured… “Great! Can we offer the services of one of our moving partners?” says the insurer….).

With more clarity in their customer relationships, insurers will be better able to predict our needs – when we need additional coverage, when we don’t, recognizing when we need their help before we have to call, even offering services when the opportunity arises to make our lives easier. Telematics represents one way this ‘relationship’ will be built. Going beyond simply counting off the miles (I’ve got an odometer in my car, don’t you?), telematics presents the prospect to go a lot further – offering services based on where the car is driven, at what times and how often. This information could be used in a myriad of ways to provide services, supported by a network of partners, that policyholders would value. This does beg the question about who should manage these services – perhaps it is the telematics provider who manages it all – but there is certainly an opportunity for the insurer to develop strong relationships based on the information.

The issue of privacy is looming – where does ‘value-add’ stop and ‘invasion’ start? – but there is a generation who gladly broadcast their daily lives already for less direct benefit. Would having an insurer as one of your Facebook friends be so different? They might even end up closer to you than some of those ‘friends’ on there now….


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