The insurance industry as we know it is changing. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, insurance carriers understand that they have to either innovate or fall behind. In this post, we will take a look at what that innovation looks like in practice and what industry leaders are learning about the art of innovating sustainably and at scale.

Radical innovation in distribution

There is a major trend towards innovation in distribution. An analysis in Accenture’s Digital Innovation Payback Report confirms that the sales and distribution category is attracting the highest levels of insurtech and venture capital investment from seed funding to late-stage investment. This comes in the wake of COVID-19, as insurance carriers have raced to reimagine how they distribute personal lines insurance products and services.

The Zelros platform, for example, offers insurers and bancassurers a more efficient, fluid, and personalized way to distribute personal lines products and services, through partners or direct digital channels.

Christophe Bourguignat, co-founder and CEO of Zelros says, “Insurers are becoming more and more familiar with data and AI. Following conversations with our customers and partners, we see a switch: the question is no more ‘shall I use this kind of technology – which is now obvious – but ‘for what purpose, and what measurable outcome’. The core machine learning engine itself of the platform remains important, but what becomes even more crucial when using the solution in production at scale are the monitoring and performance measurements features of the platform.”

To take its decisions, the Zelros platform connects to all insurers and partners’ data and comes also with a pre-configured insurance data catalog to enrich recommendations even further. Bourguignat adds, “When the platform is set up for an insurer, its data is onboarded, and we can measure its completeness. The most data-centric insurers achieve today completeness of up to 60 percent, while the less mature are more at 5 percent. This is a great indicator to help our customers improve their performance over time in their digital journey.”

Innovation creates a positive perception

Digital Innovation can lead to positive financial outcomes, but it’s also important not to underestimate the value of a strong innovation story in shaping the perceptions of analysts, investors, and customers. In the case of Neosurance, the company uses digital tools to re-interpret the relationship between the insurance and insured person, bringing their partners one step closer to their customers.

Diego Caputo, Head of Business and Product for Neosurance says, “Our Open Insurance platform as a service along with our diverse expertise in insurance regulations, UX/UI design, global DNA and network, represents a truly enabling element to accelerate go-to-market and business growth strategies of our insurance partners. In other words, we bring companies one step closer to customers, by reaching out to them in the last mile through the most effective channel and user interface, with the right product and the right tone of voice.” The B2B2C model gives all parties in the value chain a win-win solution.

Of course, digital innovation’s positive impact on streamlining distribution and other insurance processes can also be a structural way of reducing the insurer’s costs.

Allianz Insurance has seen success with the Allianz Claims Hub, a digital platform for brokers and motor fleet customers to report Motor Fleet claims and track all types of motor claims. AXA XL Risk Consulting has developed the Risk Scanning offer, which combines the industrial expertise of our risk engineers with our data modeling capacity and claims experience while Generali Italia has launched the DASy voice assistant to simplify customer and user relationships. There is no doubt – leading insurers are applying innovative digital tools to transform the value they deliver for their clients and are seeing the results. Not only that, but customers are beginning to demand it. This begs the question: is digital innovation at the frontline of your strategy?

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