Eircode: How we Expect Irish Postal Codes to Change the Insurance Market
In November 2016 we began the roll out of Eircode across our personal lines products – commencing with Boat Insurance and concluding with Private Car Insurance in May 2017. The long overdue introduction of a postcode system is very much welcomed by Allianz.
It is estimated that more than 35% of Irish properties share their address with at least one other property, primarily in rural areas. Eircode was specifically designed to overcome the Irish problem of non-unique addresses. In a nutshell we now know where our customers are located. As you can imagine, for a business like ours that helps make a difference.
Like lots of businesses Allianz is optimistic that Eircode will help to reduce the volume of returned post. Eircode will allow us to deliver documentation to our customer’s address first time all of the time. Eircode will also deliver other specific benefits for insurance companies and for their customers namely:
A More Streamlined Customer Experience
At Allianz we are currently changing our systems to record Eircode information. Instead of having to enter your full address details, you will be able to simply enter your Eircode and validate your address location. It will be that easy.
A More Efficient Service
With Eircode we will spend less time validating address information. Currently it isn’t always possible for us to quote a price or confirm the level of available cover immediately. That is particularly true in the case of many rural addresses. Eircode will help us to overcome that challenge. An Eircode will allow us to determine exactly where a property is located; and we will then be in a position to quote a price and confirm the level of available cover without the need for further human intervention. That will mean a much improved and prompter service for our customers.
A Reduction in Cross-Subsidies
Area is a key determinant of price for many types of insurance products. The risk of certain losses occurring (e.g. subsidence, flood, theft) differs by area. If an insurance company doesn’t know exactly where an address is, it follows that the price cannot accurately reflect the level of risk involved. Since Eircode pinpoints precise locations, it will give insurance companies can then charge premiums that better reflect the actual risk profile. This means that, as Eircode usage increases, rates charged will more accurately reflect the level of risk associated with an area. There will be less unintended cross-subsidies whereby lower risk locations essentially cross-subsidise higher risk ones.
New Services for Clients
Advancements in technology are helping us to improve the quality of our interactions with customers all the time. During the storms (last year) we were able to identify customers located in areas we knew had been affected by flooding. Our Claims colleagues contacted some customers in those areas to enquire whether their properties had been flooded, and to establish if we could offer assistance. Customers were extremely appreciative of our proactive engagement, those who hadn’t been affected as well as those whose properties had sustained damage. Eircode will allow us to enhance our customer engagement for the benefit of all existing policyholders and potential new ones.
Better Customer Profiling
The use of postcodes will provide us with a more complete view of all policies that a customer or household places with us, regardless of the channel through which a policy was purchased. That will, in turn, afford us the opportunity to enhance the service we offer to our customers.
Eircode will clearly provide insurance companies with more accurate data in relation to the policies that they underwrite.
Essentially Eircode gives insurance companies better quality information, allowing us to make better informed decisions and thereby ensuring a more sustainable future. The introduction of Eircode is an important development for the insurance industry. Eircode will help us, at Allianz Ireland, to operate our business better so that we can continue to be there for our customers when they need us most.
At Allianz Ireland, we are excited with the initial steps we have taken with Eircode and look forward to maximising its potential; so that we can offer our customers more efficient, accurate and value adding services.
About the author:Head of Customer - Retail
Date:July 19th, 2017