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Insurers and Social Media: vast potential, significant challenges

While social media presents insurers with many opportunities, the rapid adoption of social media also presents insurers with new challenges and risks.

Overview

Although it is a relatively new phenomenon, social media has become a vitally important component of human resources, marketing, customer services, and public relations. For insurers, social media can provide a continuous, interactive relationship with the customer, with multiple opportunities to listen and to engage with individuals and communities in a highly personalized dialogue.

Analysis

While social media presents insurers with many opportunities, the rapid adoption of social media—which accompanies and, to some extent, encourages radical changes in customer behavior—also presents insurers with new challenges and risks. To succeed in this environment, organizations need to move beyond the limitations of traditional marketing and customer service, shifting to a mode of continuous relationship-building with the customer.

Recommendations

Social media has the power to reshape the insurance industry, creating new points of differentiation and opening up new opportunities for leadership. Accenture believes the insurers that will be most successful in employing social media will be those that view these initiatives as part of a comprehensive approach, rather than as a series of one-off programs.

To do so, however, many insurers will need to re-examine their current IT infrastructure—particularly legacy policy administration systems—to make sure that the capabilities are in place to support such initiatives at scale.