09 Oct Robin Kiera, one of the known faces of insurtech, discussing startups, incumbents and the future of the insurance industry
Talk about innovation is everywhere these days - people urge us to innovate whenever there is a chance. However, we have to realize that we cannot innovate on our own – only through collaboration and teamwork can we move forward as it is at the heart of innovation.
Improving people's lives through innovation
It may be true that today we live in digital world as much as in the real one, but we still need our biological bodies to survive – and those bodies need maintenance. The problem with maintaining healthy body is that people are usually reactive, not proactive. “Generally, people are not well informed about wellness approaches. Most of the benefits from a healthy lifestyle are undervalued. But once people are provided with incentives, they are willing to adopt a healthier lifestyle.”, says Marco Giovannini of Generali Vitality.
Shared Value Insurance is a new trend that aims to improve people's lives through improving insurance products (and by extension, business). New technologies, and especially the rise of so called “wearables” are truly empowering this innovative approach. By wearing a smart device effectively all the time, people's activity and lifestyle can be tracked and recorded. There are many apps that help people live healthy… but what about the incentives Marco Giovannini talked about? That's where life insurers step in with apps of their own. Generali Vitality is a solution that takes these lifestyle data, evaluates it and then rewards clients if they are living healthy lives – and therefore live longer, which is something life insurers want as badly as their clients.
Hand-tailoring insurance with data
In the case of shared value insurance, you first need to have the contract, and only after that does the personal data come in. However, if you do it the other way around, you have the possibility to hand-tailor insurance to anybody. Today, each person generates an insane amount of data each year – data that can be utilized. In case a person wants life insurance these days, they have to fill out countless forms and questionnaires so the insurer knows what type of client he has in front of him. In the future, the insurer could theoretically use an already existing pool of data about the client providing him with the needed information instantly, and more precisely. The only hurdle is the need of new analytics system, as the amount of data is just too high to be processed by regular means. “Data analytics is changing dramatically with new technology and massively increasing amounts of accessible data.” (Thomas Braune, Munich Re)
However, it is well worth it – the knowledge gained from big data will enable insurers to give the benefits beforehand in the form of a contract that is made for that one particular client. While this approach may not be so shiny and rewarding people may sound more enticing, people will soon realize that the unique insurance contract is a reward on its own.
The world is digital
There is no denying that digital is slowly becoming more real than the world we actually live in – and this has a strong impact on insurance as well. If you don't bring digital strategy into your mix, “you will not survive as a life insurance company as more than 50% of the active working force is now from the digital generation.” (Peter Ohnemus, Dacadoo). As we face technological progress in the field of virtual and augmented reality, there is a strong possibility that in years to come, the digital presence of customers will increase to completely new heights – and yours will need to increase too.
But of course, digital is not just something you have to do because you must – it brings tools and opportunities for you as well. The digital world is in a constant state of flux and going digital enables you to keep up with the flow. “It enables us not only to adapt rapidly to a continuously changing environment but also to be proactive, anticipate changes and sustain our advantages.” (Jean Elia, SOGELIFE). By now you should see the opportunity of embracing digital technologies as a key focus - because through innovation, insurance companies can not only retain their customers, but improve their lives while improving sales and business.
These are just some of the innovations that are moving the insurance industry forward. Join the 5th Annual Life Insurance Forum, 5 – 6 April 2017 in Amsterdam, Netherlands to meet with the pioneers in the industry and learn more about innovations, new technologies, their place in the world of insurance and how you can be part of the future.