Personal Cloud Helps Insurers Bolster Customer Relationships


A personal cloud lets insurers better engage their customers by offering services that protect their prized and valuable digital assets.

When people consider their most valuable possessions, usually high-ticket items such as homes, watches, jewelry, and automobiles spring to mind. But in the event of impending disaster with only a few seconds to spare, there’s a strong chance that saving phones and computers would be the priority. This is because we assign huge significance to the digital content saved on personal electronics. Our family and friends photo archive, vacation videos, resumes and receipts, phone numbers, and addresses are simply irreplaceable. As the number and variety of a consumer’s digital assets continue to rise, there is an increased need for a reliable, easy-to-use way to safely backup and secure their data. This is an area where insurers have an opportunity to reimagine the traditional premium insurance bundle by integrating a personal cloud solution. Insurers already protect their customers’ tangible electronics – their mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and desktop computers – so why not protect what’s saved on those devices as well?

The fact is that consumers simply want peace of mind that their most treasured digital content remains accessible and secure, no matter what happens to the physical hardware where it resides. Expanding the insurer’s role by also providing a means to safeguard digital data via access to a personal cloud creates a solid foundation to build a true end-to-end customer relationship, as well as an opportunity to cultivate brand loyalty, achieve increased customer satisfaction and even launch a new revenue stream.

See also: AI will Save the Insurance Industry

Shifting marketplace paradigms – the time is right

Changes to the internet platform provider landscape have left many consumers uncertain about what to do with their personal digital data now that the availability of the once-ubiquitous freemium cloud offering looks set to diminish. In June, for example, Google Photos introduced usage limits on its freemium subscription model. Nobody would be surprised to see other over-the-top (OTT) personal cloud platforms follow Google’s lead. As consumers witness and experience these changing dynamics, many will be forced to reconsider their existing cloud provider as they seek out a new place to protect and store their data. There’s no reason why insurers can’t fill that need and claim their share of the personal cloud pie.

Another market change that bodes well for personal cloud is the arrival of 5G. This latest generation of wireless technology has the potential to change the way consumers interact with the data they have stored in a personal cloud as well as generate new and creative ways to interact with it. High speeds and low latency make backing up content almost instantaneous. Searching for and viewing content directly from personal cloud accounts is seamless and buffer-free. Even massive files associated with HD and 4K videos are fast to upload to and watch from the cloud with little-to-no delay. The consumer value derived from a feature-rich personal cloud that exploits the faster speeds delivered by 5G likely is something for which customers are even willing to pay a premium. Depending upon how an insurer integrates personal cloud into its plans, it very well could serve as a new revenue generator.

Making the right personal cloud choice

Insurers have two primary options when it comes to setting up a personal cloud. One is building their own custom cloud solution. Keep in mind, though, that a build like this from the ground up – we’re talking hardware infrastructure and software – would be both complex and expensive. And don’t forget the additional personnel costs for the build and for ongoing management. Both require very specific and very costly skill sets that an existing insurance company would unlikely have in-house.

An alternative option is to leverage a white-label Software as a Service (SaaS) personal cloud platform. This route not only eliminates the cost of building and maintaining new cloud infrastructure but also gets a solution up and running in weeks rather than months. A SaaS platform also delivers the ability to scale as well as quickly add additional features easily.

Creating more value for everyone

Insurance companies clearly have a lot to offer customers looking for a dependable partner they can trust to protect their valuable and irreplaceable digital content in addition to their electronic devices. The integration of a personal cloud into insurance bundles – whether a plan is limited to mobile device protection or incorporates some combination of home and auto coverage – gives customers a simple to manage, all-in-one insurance plan.

Insurers win as well. Adding personal cloud to their bundles gives them an opportunity to strengthen their customer relationships and grow their bottom line. Improved engagement throughout the full-service lifecycle has the potential to reduce churn and increase renewals. And depending upon how personal cloud is offered, it even could serve as a new line of revenue.

Insurance providers are already known as the trusted guardians of physical possessions, so adding digital data protection to the list is simply the logical evolution of their current role. The time has come to create even more value by embracing the important role they play and providing their customers with a simple-to-manage all-in-one insurance plan. The foundation for a successful insurer personal cloud offering already is already in place. Now is the time to complete the package.

Chris Hill

About Chris Hill

Chris Hill is Executive Vice President of Sales and Product at Synchronoss with global responsibility for all sales and business development. He also serves as the company’s Chief Product Officer directing strategic product vision and portfolio investments. Prior to joining Synchronoss, Chris was the president of an applied enterprise virtual and augmented reality software and solutions company. He also spent 16 years with AT&T, where he last served as the Senior Vice President of Advanced Solutions, a new business unit he founded and grew to over $1 billion in annual revenue during his tenure. Chris is a graduate of the University of Virginia with a BA in economics, and he completed the General Management Program at Harvard Business School.

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