9 things I learned at the Efma Insurance Summit

Efma feature

18 July 2019

Yuri Stepanov, General Manager at Mapfre, shares his key learnings from Efma’s Insurance Summit, which took place this June in the heart of Vienna.


1. Disruption has two main causes

Disruption in the insurance industry is mainly caused by two factors: i) technological progress, which is faster than ever before; and ii) changing customer behavior, especially among the new generation.

2. New technologies bring new risks

Technological progress requires new products to be developed in order to deal with new emerging risks. This triggers the need to improve incumbent insurers’ internal processes. Shifts in customer behavior require new ways of managing relationships: from the first contact, to selling insurance, to claims handling.

3. Go beyond just selling a product

One of the key challenges for traditional insurers is to switch from simply selling a product to accompanying society as it develops, and advising and preventing risk, instead of merely reimbursing the cost of damage incurred.

4. Partnerships are the future

As technologies become more complex, partnerships will become indispensable for insurers, both to obtain necessary data to underwrite risk, and for product distribution. Embedding insurance into products and services will become increasingly important.

5. Balance tradition and innovation

Incumbent insurers are trying to strike a balance between traditional activities and innovative approaches. Some are focusing on internal development – tools to increase efficiency, reduce costs and offer more competitive pricing. Others are more focused on investment and collaboration with startups. There’s also a third category – those that have already completely rebuilt their processes using new technologies and have started to yield impressive results.

6. Blockchain and AI hold great potential

Key technologies like blockchain and AI can help incumbent insurers become more efficient. AI is also a proven solution for underwriting claims handling activities.

7. Six key areas of innovation

Insurers predominantly mention the following areas of innovation: i) Mobility; ii) Connected living and IoT; iii) Health; iv) Enhanced enterprise; v) SME; vi) Platforms.

8. Blurred lines between reinsurers and insurers

Reinsurance companies have been building their own programs with clients. The difference between insurers and reinsurers is likely to blur, as both take on a similar capital-intensive role.

9. Let’s learn from the banking industry

The banking industry is ahead of the insurance industry in terms of disruption, and as such provides useful examples and lessons. Open banking systems allowing banks to be present on other platforms, as well as the increasing role of mobile applications, are considered to be the key to success.

*views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Mapfre.

Keywords : API/Open banking , Insurance Products & Services , Business strategy/Model

Geography : International