Assistance services: video assistance as a lever to reduce the carbon footprint
The fight against global warming and the reduction of the carbon footprint while maintaining an economic balance have become a key issue for many companies. The insurance industry is not left behind and industry players are increasingly relying on assistance companies to successfully transition to a sustainable insurance model. Their relationship with policyholders, their good image and their role as a network leader with numerous partners allow assistance companies to implement strategies and solutions on several levels. Among the actions that are carried out by the assistance companies, we find in particular the implementation of services allowing to reduce travel. Video assistance can be very interesting in this context since, whether in the context of car, home or travel assistance contracts, it can contribute to achieving the objectives of travel reduction.
Assistance companies: key partners of insurance companies
One of the reasons why assistance companies differ from insurance companies is that their services are provided in real time, at the client’s request (a way to get home, to continue a trip, to repair a vehicle, to be repatriated, etc.). Instead, insurance companies will intervene to compensate for a loss several days after the event. The assistance companies provide services in the fields of housing, health, travel and automobile and most of them provide their services through insurance contracts.
Assistance has experienced exceptional growth over the past 10 years throughout the world. In France, just before the health crisis, assistance companies’ revenues had been growing by about 7.5% each year since 2015, while the insurance market has not been as dynamic due to the cap on penetration rates in certain markets and the competitive environment. An important part of the assistance companies is a subsidiary of an insurer and thanks to their dynamism, they have become a differentiating asset in the relationship with the policyholders and a innovation lab in terms of services.
To improve the relationship with their customers and increase their retention rate, insurance companies are increasingly focusing on improving the services and experience they deliver. Assistance companies play a very important role in this process, notably because they have a very good image with the clients, but also because their role goes beyond the management of claims or assistance in emergency situations. They have a real dimension of support and advice to the customers.
The environmental impact of assistance companies
Among today’s societal challenges, global warming and sustainable environmental management have become important issues for insurers for two reasons. On the one hand, the frequency of climatic events jeopardizes the insurance model in the medium term. And on the other hand, insurers are facing consumers’ expectations: 90% of them expect brands to commit to responsible and sustainable consumption.
Given the privileged relationship of assistance companies with policyholders, they have an important role to play in the transition to a sustainable insurance model.
Assistance companies play the role of leader of an ecosystem of partners to deliver their services (IMA is at the head of an ecosystem of 55,000 service providers worldwide, Allianz Partners has 400,000). By acting with their partners and policyholders, assistance companies have the capacity to contribute to the evolution of the insurance model towards a more sustainable model.
Most players are committed to this through a CSR strategy. AXA Partners, for example, has integrated the carbon footprint into the management of its activities and has identified areas for improvement in recent years. In 2020, the company conducted an audit that established a total emission of 37,415 tCO2 in 2020 (for its activities and those of its partners involved in assistance cases) and a 9% decrease in average emissions per assistance case between 2019 and 2020.
The various assistance companies have integrated numerous actions into their strategy in order to contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gases both in their own activities and those of their partners, as well as in the activities and daily life of the insured:
- Progressive renovation of vehicle fleets in favor of electric and hybrid vehicles
- Creation of services for policyholders to encourage more responsible mobility
- In the automobile branch, encouraging the use of reused parts from the circular economy following an incident.
- Advice and support on rights and tax incentives for energy renovation in the context of home insurance
- Development of telehealth
- Densification of the partners’ network and optimization of the management rules for assistance files in order to reduce the number of kilometers traveled
- Development of video assistance to avoid unnecessary travel
Video assistance to reduce the carbon impact of the assistance business
Video assistance can have multiple applications in the context of assistance services. The ability to connect the customer with an assistance officer, on video and with a single click, is a major asset.
In the event of a call for assistance, if the situation is suitable, the assistance manager can send an invitation by email or SMS to the customer to initiate a video call. The customer does not need to download or install any application. A simple click triggers a video call during which the assistance representative will be able to discuss face to face with the customer, to understand what the problem is and to direct the customer to the right service provider. This simple use case can be applied to different types of assistance interventions. Here are some examples:
This kind of assistance service is included in most home insurance contracts. It provides access to assistance and advice in the event of a claim or to guide policyholders in their daily lives. If, for example, an insured person has a problem at home, the assistance service can be called upon for help. The video allows the advisor to see the problem and to have the necessary elements to guide the customer in a troubleshooting or repair of a small problem or, in case of a more complicated problem, to refer to the appropriate provider.
This kind of assistance service makes it possible to limit travel and to optimize the ones that will be necessary in any case, by orienting the customer towards the most suitable service provider to solve the problem thanks to the diagnosis made remotely.
Car breakdowns are situations that generate a lot of stress for drivers: breakdown service, return home, logistics… This is why car insurances offer assistance guarantees for vehicle assistance and personal assistance.
Again, in the event of a breakdown on a vehicle, video assistance can come to the client’s rescue. In this kind of situation, the customer may find it difficult to express and describe the problem faced. Video-assistance can quickly eliminate “false breakdowns”, accompany the customer to solve a small breakdown or prepare the best possible repair by a service provider thanks to a better qualification from the moment the customer calls.
According to the SNSA (French National Union of Assistance Companies), the automobile sector represents a little more than half of the activity of the assistance sector in France with 6.4 million cases handled in 2020. Many of these cases generate travel. The use of video assistance can help reduce such travel, as well as reassure the customer and reduce the vehicle’s downtime.
Travel insurance includes assistance guarantees that allow customers to travel with peace of mind. One of the main concerns of travelers, especially when traveling abroad, is getting sick while traveling. The language barrier, the cost of access to health services in some countries, the difficulty of accessing a doctor, the fear of not being treated properly, are all reasons that can ruin a trip. In this case, video assistance can take the form of a remote consultation service accessible with a single click..
This service allows to consult 24 hours a day with a doctor who speaks the same language, to obtain a prescription (if the legislation of the country allows it) and if necessary to be directed towards a trustworthy health care institution.
Thanks to this type of service, travelers can avoid searching for a doctor, especially when they have little knowledge of the health care organization in the country where they are.
The video assistance solutions provided by Apizee are the perfect answer to these use cases in the context of assistance policies. We can help you define and achieve your goals of reducing travel with video assistance, simplifying customer interactions to the maximum extent possible, and providing an exceptional experience for your customers when they request assistance. Feel free to contact us to learn more or to get a demo.