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Salesforce expands financial services cloud to insurance

Posted On: Sep. 24, 2019 7:26 PM CST

Rob Seaman, left, and Rand Harbert

LAS VEGAS — Inc. is expanding its financial services cloud with a set of tools aimed at the insurance industry, company executives told a crowd at the InsureTech Connect technology conference in Las Vegas on Tuesday.  

Features for insurance professionals include a productivity console for agents that will show a “policyholder 360” including all sales, claims and outstanding policy information, according to Rob Seaman, senior vice president of industry product in San Francisco for Salesforce.  

There will also be out-of-the box processes for common insurance operations such as generating first notice of loss, said Mr. Seaman. The financial services cloud is an extension of the Salesforce platform, he said.

Insurance policyholders will get features such as the ability to file auto claims through a mobile application, along with accident pictures.  

Such images would then be analyzed by Salesforce’s artificial intelligence capability, “Einstein Vision,” according to Eran Agrios, San Francisco-based head of global go to market, financial services cloud, for Salesforce.

The move is in response to customers’ needs to transform their back office systems and operations, Ms. Agrios said, something in which they have been investing over the past few years, she said.  

Such a “digital transformation” was the goal of State Farm Insurance Co. when the insurers came to Salesforce some years ago, said Rand Harbert, executive vice president and chief agency, sales and marketing officer for State Farm in Bloomington, Illinois. 

“We absolutely needed to do that,” Mr. Harbert said of the digital transformation, adding: “It wasn’t really a choice. We had to do it.”  

The changes did not come easily, he said.  

“It was hard for us. As digital started happening, we just weren’t prepared for that,” Mr. Harbert said.  

State Farm wanted “a single way to look at customers” and made the decision to use Salesforce as “our system of engagement” on both the sales and service sides, he said.  

State Farm has some 83 million policies and services 39,000 claims a day, according to Mr. Harbert, but the insurer wanted more than scale and looked to technology to enable that goal.  

“I think there was a time in our industry, if you were big and established, that was an absolute advantage,” Mr. Harbart said. “We really want to play more like a startup going forward.”