Day 2 of the Insurance Innovators Summit in London began by posing a massive question – why is the industry, which is perfect for digitalisation and disruption, not disrupted? Dr David Stachon, Chief Operating Officer at wefox, suggested it is due to a lack of collaboration.
“Insurance companies don’t work together. It’s not in our DNA, which is why we create customer experiences that are not good,” Stachon commented.
Stachon cited the Amazon model as something that insurance firms can draw inspiration from, with a platform where you bring various distributors and solution providers together with different types of customer distribution in the same place.
“Insurance is about a marketplace and bringing together different parts that foster the perfect customer experience.”
“Insurance is about a marketplace and bringing together different parts that foster the perfect customer experience,” he added.
This integrated and collaborative approach to delivering the best customer experience is seen in other industries, and delegates got a flavour of that from Kevin Mountford, Co-Founder at UK-based savings platform Raisin. He acknowledged the challenges that marketplaces in any area of finance face – being able to respond proactively to the customer’s changing needs.
“If you look at an ecosystem of any sector or any business, it’s got to be agile enough to understand how things need to change,” Mountfield noted.
That point about agility was echoed by other experts on Day 2. On the Leaders’ Forum panel, Stephen Kennedy, Director of Solutions at eGain, noted that this ability will be critical to the future of insurance firms.
“Insurers need to understand where their customers are, and how the customers try to access their environment,” Kennedy outlined. “When we want to retain customers, we need to make sure that we make their lives easy and that it is simple to engage with us. That’s going to be the big differentiator.”
For some, this will mean moving into new markets. Tarun Kohli, Managing Director and Head Group Delivery Services at Swiss Re described the new risk and data services platform his firm recently launched.
“We are now venturing into risk insights and solutions, and trying to get the corporates – from sustainability managers to supply chain managers – to take control of their risk,” Kohli enthused. “That’s the future.”
Harnessing data to benefit customers
Vulnerable customers also came up in the Leaders’ Forum, and Clemens Dietrich, Head of ACM B2B2C at Allianz Partners, highlighted how technology could play a vital role in helping here.
“Those that are vulnerable from a financial perspective can be identified by tools like AI and at the point of sale,” Dietrich remarked. “It’s all about the context of the product design, to ensure the level of insurance needs and avoid over or under insuring.”
The fact that insurance companies have access to vast swathes of data, not just from customers but of all sorts of markets and trends, provides an opportunity to help customers proactively. Predict and prevent was mentioned as a hot topic on Day 1, and the point was underlined this afternoon.
“Predict and prevent measures are a huge opportunity for insurance companies to engage more with customers,” highlighted Jannicke Schumann-Olsen, Head of Commercial Business Development at Tryg.
Overall, the Insurance Innovators Summit demonstrated that, while the industry faces its fair share of challenges, there are plenty of opportunities and reasons for optimism, as Bhav Buhecha, Head of Client Relations UK & Europe at Clearspeed shared with us.
“What an outstanding two days here at IIS. It’s been an honour to share ideas and hear stories of innovation taking place in insurance. If there is one thing that is clear, it’s that the insurance industry is in the midst of evolution!”