Transforming insurance through innovation 15 November 2017

Large traditional insurers and dynamic start-ups alike are turning to artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), digital platforms, blockchain and other emerging technologies to create powerful new client value propositions and business models that increase efficiency and transform the customer experience.

This is borne out by the submissions to the 2017 Efma–Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards. The wide variety of entries show that, to an increasing degree, new technology is being used to offer customers personalized on-demand services that are woven into the fabric of their everyday lives.

Established carriers are exploring the potential to reinvent themselves for a new breed of customer who wants more convenient and relevant products and services, and responds favorably to products that are bundled with other related offerings.

At the same time, new insurtech firms are drawing from the success of digital platforms like Uber and Amazon to offer experiences and products that reimagine the purpose and provision of insurance.

The response to these new offerings seems to confirm that whether customers prefer to deal with reputable incumbents or brash new start-ups, they want something different. If their insurance is commoditized they want it to be simple, cheap and easy to buy. Alternatively, they expect a personalized ‘living service’ that adapts to their changing circumstances and preferences. They are happy to interact with technology rather than people where this is appropriate and beneficial. And they appreciate the inclusion of risk compensation and protection services within portfolios of related lifestyle offerings rather than as stand-alone products.

For example, a young couple relocating to a new city might welcome a service that helps them find a home, secure a mortgage, insure the property and its contents, make the move, and subscribe to and activate the full range of home services.

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