Insurance companies are notorious for falling behind the times on technology, but those starting to get involved with digital and mobile investments now will soon see the kinds of results they’ve been looking for.

By now, you’ve probably seen a few ads from companies like GEICO, State Farm, and eSurance about their easy-to-use mobile services — apps that let you pay bills, get quotes, and make claims from anywhere.

Given all this lip service, plus the obvious convenience that comes with filing insurance claims on the go, you’d think these insurers had been at the digital game for years now. Recent statistics, however, tell a different story.

Changing the Digital Game

Until now, digital had essentially been a priority for big players in the insurance market in name only. And it’s only in the past year or so that insurance companies across the board have dropped an unfocused drive towards general IT innovation and instead embraced mobile and digital technology investments.

To that end, 59% of insurance executives claim they will make digital insurance startup acquisitions within the next three years, according to Business Record. This major shift in priorities represents a firm understanding of the need to adapt to the new players in the field, startups that have practically built their entire businesses on eCommerce and mobile strategies.

It All Comes Back to Mobile

According to Fierce Health Payer, insurances companies are expected to invest $47 million in digital within the next three years. But in order to make this money stretch, insurance companies must focus on the proper methods of gaining traction — designing a mobile strategy that is consumer-centric while smartly promoting the right digital initiatives will in turn increase sales.

Insurance is not known for being a particularly fun or interesting industry — perhaps that’s why insurance companies have been slow to make the switch to digital. But these companies should know better than anyone about the potential risks involved in letting tech startups grow without adjusting their own business models.

And after building a structure for the analytical review of these innovative efforts, executives will be able to quantify the return on their investments, making it easy to pit those risks against the considerable rewards that digital will furnish.

The insurance companies that follow industry leader advice on going digital and embrace the practices of the future will be the ones that retain clients for good. You can make as many appealing ads promising digital convenience as you want, but to be a leader in your space, it takes more than just space on the airwaves.