Insurance Customer Onboarding 101 – definition, examples, guidelines

Insurance is one of the most complicated processes I’ve encountered in my adult life.

When my parents’ insurance no longer covered me, I went out on a journey to get myself proper health insurance and let me tell you.

I was one confused mess.

The funny thing is, it is a given that insurance policies are complex, but it really doesn’t have to be so complicated.

With a proper insurance client onboarding process, that is.

So today, let’s look at:

Let’s get started with:

What Is Insurance Customer Onboarding?

Customer onboarding for insurance services is a complex process that can take different shapes for different types of insurance agencies and can also vary according to the insurance service the potential customer is applying for. Though the onboarding experience for insurance customers has been becoming more and more digitalized, there are still many insurance carriers that keep it fully face-to-face or semi-digital.

Still, a regular insurance customer onboarding looks like this:

1-Customer gets quote for insurance products 🧑‍💻

A potential customer checks out the website for the insurance company and checks out the insurance products and policies they offer. Usually, pricing is through an application form, or talking to a sales rep might be necessary. This customer interaction with an insurance agent or sales rep is an important part of the customer journey and marks the start of the entire process of onboarding.

2- The insurance carrier checks customer documentation 📄

After receiving the application form or talking to the potential client, the insurance company starts a personal information verification process where they go through the customer’s eligibility for the desired product and the best option according to customer demands. Then the actual sales process takes place.

3- Welcome call/email 📩

After the sales process is done, users are welcomed with a call or email, depending on the company and the service received. At this stage, creating a personalized experience is important as it might highly affect customer loyalty in the later stages of the entire onboarding process. This stage can also take place via a virtual meeting or face-to-face, but it is best to keep it on the phone or, better, digitalized.

4- Registration to client portal/app 📱

This stage might take place before the welcome call and right after the verification process, but it is also common practice to use the welcome call to onboard customers to the client portal or the app. In any case, it is better to automate this process than to have an agent hand-hold customers in a white-glove manner, as what seems to be an exclusive service might come off as irritating, even in the insurance industry.

5- Check-up call/email ✉️

After the setup is done and the customer is has gone through an initial onboarding, it is a good practice to give users a chance to ask questions about their insurance coverage, the digital tools they might need to use, or whether they are having any problems with insurance transactions. This makes sure to create stronger relationships and loyal customers.

6- Renewal call ☎️

A renewal call ideally takes place about a month or two months before the policy of a customer ends, and the very first renewal call carries great importance as it might guarantee more renewals and higher retention in the future. It also makes sure to create a more effective onboarding process overall and gives you a competitive edge against your competitors.

Though not quite traditional or perfect, a traditional insurance onboarding process proceeds as such.

But it is in your hands to make it better.

First, let’s talk about what makes an effective customer onboarding process for insurance services is crucial:

Why it is crucial for insurance services to onboard customers the right way

Everyone needs insurance.

And not just for healthcare; from car and house insurance to life insurance and other types of insurance, there are many necessary decisions for everyone.

And when it is a necessary process for everyone, you can only want to make it more clear and more engaging for everyone.

Here are three reasons why onboarding customers properly to insurance services is a must:

1- The process is too complex

As I’ve emphasized a couple of times already, starting out with insurance services isn’t the most easily performed task.

That’s just how the insurance business is.

The process requires back and forths with the customers, there is a verification and processing time, a digital onboarding experience might not be offered or might be necessary, and still it might also be a manual process, and in the end, there is tons of paperwork both for the customer and the insurance agents.

A seamless onboarding experience might not be possible for all businesses, but trying can surely create a difference. 

2- Higher engagement = higher retention rates

Talking about creating a difference, a smooth onboarding process and a better customer experience can easily result in higher engagement rates for your customers which equals higher retention as customers who receive higher value tend to stick around longer.

Creating a smooth onboarding experience might not be the easiest task, but it sure has its perks, and it’s not limited to retention.

Higher retention, thanks to higher engagement, can also mean higher customer acquisition rates since better-retained customers can spread word of mouth about your business.

And WoM is proved to be one of the best marketing techniques, so it’s up to you to trigger it.

3- Too many competitors

The insurance industry is one of the biggest industries in the US.

Healthcare and medical insurance alone is worth $1.043.6B and is the fourth biggest industry in the US, while life insurance & annuities is the sixth biggest with $946.9B.

So, if your customers aren’t content with your services, there is plenty of fish in the sea.

The good news is, onboarding journeys are the starting point of an excellent experience in insurance services.

Let’s take a look at some examples who especially nail the digital experience.

Top 3 Digital Insurance Onboarding Examples

Giving an example for an entire insurance onboarding is hard, but we can always check out the digital customer journeys.

Here are my top 3 favorites:

1- GetSafe

GetSafe is an innovative product where customers can access all important documents and information on policies via their app.

Obviously, their app should complement their use case.

Take a look at how sleek their pre-signup onboarding element is:

getsafe insurance services onboarding

Good animations and short copy go a long way in making customers feel confident in using a product, and when it is complex work-life insurance, such onboarding elements can’t be appreciated enough.

After signing up, they also make use of empty states to onboard users to the parts of the app where they have not made much progress with:

insurance services onboarding getsafe empty state

Again, keeping the onboarding contextual and providing information instead of leaving the states empty is a great practice; cool visuals help complement this.

2- Carinsurance.com

Carinsurance.com has a long process for getting a quote, but with a progress bar and fun visuals, they make it feel like a breeze: 

insurance services onboarding carinsurance com

Their mobile app is also pretty cool with its pre-sign-up onboarding.

It only has three steps, short copy, fun illustrations, and it sure does the job of calling to action:

insurance services onboarding carinsurance com mobile app

Especially for financial and business-related solutions, an explainer UX element is important, whether it is in modal form, a full-screen element, or a slide-out.

3- Lemonade

Lemonade’s pre-signup onboarding is the cutest experience: it has the shortest copy possible, it has a cute animation featuring a customer walking their dog, and the CTAs are loud and clear:

insurance services onboarding lemonade mobile app

 While it is not much of an onboarding process in terms of in-app experience, being clear about use cases is also important since many customers (if they are anything like me) can get confused.

 But enough looking at examples.

The question is: how can YOU create the perfect onboarding process for YOUR insurance solution?

Let’s take a look:

3 Best Practices to Create the Perfect Onboarding Process for Insurance Services

1- Map out existing onboarding – smooth out the edges

If you are an established insurance company, there is no way you don’t have an onboarding process of your own.

I’m guessing you might be offering a traditional manual process with sales reps and insurance agents making phone calls or you might have even started out with a digital experience.

Either way, there is always opportunities to smooth out your onboarding process more and more.

Application process too long? Shorten it.

Access to documentation takes too much effort? Make them available online.

Phone calls don’t solve problems? Script it out properly. 

There are so many things that can be taken out or added to an onboarding process to elevate the process for insurance agents and for customers.

2- Invest in digitalizing manual processes

A traditional or even semi-digitalized onboarding experience has room for more digitalization.

And an automated, digitalized onboarding process is your best friend.

Because the truth is, customers don’t necessarily enjoy talking to reps or agents; 68% of your customers would rather solve their problems themselves. 

So, just how are you going to get digital overnight?

Get insurance on your onboarding: UserGuiding 📑

Remember how I said I had to go on a long journey to get insurance?

The funniest thing was when I went to the hospital without realizing I didn’t have it.

And I thought I had it because I had made an application – I thought that was all I had to do.

I was a sheltered 18-year-old, don’t bully me. But all this time, I thought, couldn’t they be just a little clearer with the directions?

I say you don’t risk losing customers like me because there are a lot of naive teens out there straight out of coverage.

Take a shot with UserGuiding, instead.

insurance services onboarding userguiding
A short look at how you can create an onboarding flow with UserGuiding in under 5 minutes:

UserGuiding is a no-code platform for onboarding users and customers to your product and it can help you create an automated, digitalized onboarding process in a matter of minutes with:

✅ Interactive guides, walkthroughs, product tours,

✅ Tooltips, hotspots, in-app messages,

✅ User onboarding checklists,

✅ Resource centers,

✅ NPS surveys, and more

All powered with analytics, user segmentation and targeting, and customization.

👉 Check out UserGuiding’s free trial 👈

3- Personalize customer experiences

Whether it is an email or a phone call, or even the copy on your website, personalized experiences are one of the best strategies against customer churn.

But even without considering the possibility of churn, it can go a long way in showing just how much you care about your users, even if it is just calling them by their name or segmenting them to direct them to specific solutions they need.

4- Make self-service available

Most insurance services firms have a customer portal of their own, but not all have a self-service portal.

And let me tell you, it is crucial.

Whatever your business’ size might be, there will always be times when your customer support agents might not be available. And even before customers refer to them, let’s not forget how customers prefer self-service.

So, whether it is through your customer portal or website, it is important to make self-service, and preferably also, the details and documentation of your customers’ accounts available digitally is a good solution.

5- Look for ways to optimize and update – always

You’ve done it all, and you think you’re done?

No way.

A good onboarding process is never perfect. It needs constant maintenance, updating, and optimization.

But don’t worry; as long as you check your onboarding flow in a frequent manner, you are set to offer your customers a great onboarding experience.

To Wrap Up…

I’m saying this one last time: insurance onboarding is one complex job.

But with the right approach, you can make even the most complex process understandable for everyone in your target audience.

And if you add the right tools to that (maybe this one?) there is nothing stopping you from creating the best onboarding out there for your insurance business.

Best of luck!


Frequently Asked Questions


What is touchless onboarding?

Touchless onboarding is a way of onboarding customers and users without the need for contact with a sales rep or support agent. A touchless onboarding flow often features automated onboarding elements like product tours and onboarding checklists.


Why should insurance services use touchless onboarding?

Insurance services and starting out with an insurance service provider might be a long and cumbersome process with calls back and forth and lots of documentation, even the need for face-to-face meetings. With touchless onboarding, customers and insurance agents can save time and money in the process.


What is the best way to onboard customers to insurance platforms?

If it is touchless onboarding that is needed, an onboarding tool like UserGuiding might help with different onboarding UX patterns like interactive guides and tours, hotspots, in-app messages, and onboarding checklists. Onboarding tools like Userguiding are also powered with analytics and user segmentation for higher engagement with users and customers.


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Serra Alban

When I realized I won’t be the next Tarantino I found myself as a creative content writer at UserGuiding. I’ve been obsessed with UX design, customer success, and digital adoption ever since. If you could stare at good UX for hours like me don’t hesitate to hit me up on LinkedIn. I might end up dropping too much movie trivia but hey, old habits die hard.