Two people using mobile devices, two people using laptops, and two people using tablets to access a company portal

In 2018, this insurance company made the decision to replace their outdated and hard-to-use customer portal application. This old portal provided a value-add service that complemented the company’s insurance offerings. It was developed as an in-house, browser-based application to provide customers with access to their account and policy information. However, the portal was not mobile-enabled and was not feature-rich, as its main purpose was to provide customers with an online method to view and pay invoices. Looking to the future, the company desired a new, mobile-enabled portal application and associated Android and Apple-based mobile apps that would provide self-service access to insurance-related information and the ability to perform insurance transactions.

Fishbowl Solutions brought mobile application design and development expertise to this customer and worked closely with the customer’s application development team. Fishbowl recommended the appropriate mobile/web technologies and chose a Hybrid approach for this project. Fishbowl utilized Apache Cordova as the mobile application development framework as it enabled them to create the ideal user experience while also leveraging the native capabilities on the Apple- and Android-based devices. Additional device-specific capabilities the customer requested included:

  • Biometric sign-in
  • Push notifications
  • File uploads (pictures) from mobile devices

By using the hybrid approach, Fishbowl was able to use the same complete code base on both the mobile app and the portal/website application. This approach and the Apache framework allowed Fishbowl to build 46 reusable components which helped to create consistency throughout the app. ReactJS and Redux were chosen as the user interface (UI) design and development tools. These JavaScript libraries were chosen to provide flexibility and scalability needed to process the multiple data requests and subsequent page loads that can occur on a portal or mobile app. Together, these technologies provide a secure and intuitive portal that adjusts to the user’s device – desktop, tablet, or smartphone. These technologies also made it easier to develop downloadable Apple iOS and Android apps.

Today, the company’s policy holders, which total more than 30,000, can use the mobile-enabled portal/mobile app for insurance policy administration. The portal/mobile app provides a one-stop location for customers to perform the following:

  • View and pay invoices
  • Manage allowed (covered) drivers
  • Manage covered vehicles
  • Report claims
  • Download proofs of insurance for insured vehicles and properties
  • Access training and other resources
  • Manage user account properties (contact information, etc.)

The training section of the portal/mobile app contains videos and documents that customers of the company can use for safety and risk-avoidance training. Additionally, posters with safety reminders and accident avoidance/response procedures can be downloaded and printed to be posted at customer locations. Fishbowl Solutions and the insurance company leveraged Liferay as the headless content management system (headless CMS), which syncs some of this content from the Oracle WebCenter content management system and serves it up to the user’s desktop or mobile interface. The Microsoft Azure API Management and Azure B2C solutions are used to service additional data, such as invoice information, from the company’s on premise business applications.

Admins for each of the company’s customers can be designated so they can assign specific roles and access levels for the individual users of the site. Users at the customer’s sites must first register to use the portal with user authentication provided by Microsoft Azure B2C. Once registered, personalized, account-based information becomes available to them on the portal or mobile app. Users can email others within their company and request they register as well.

The company’s goal with the new portal and mobile app is to have their customers use it as the first place to go for resources to support the insurance needs of their business. This self-service solution will greatly decrease the amount of customer support requests or questions the company receives, which in turn will increase customer satisfaction. The company’s mobile app is available publicly from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.