Tag Archives: ecosystem

What to Learn From the Segway’s Failure

The original Segway, whose demise was announced last week to a chorus of chuckles about mall cops and I-told-you-so’s about the nerd factor, may be the most beautiful piece of design I’ve ever seen. Only the iPhone rivals the Segway, in my mind, in terms of how well the designs anticipated how people would use the devices and in terms of the wow factor when they debuted.

Yet the Segway flopped. Is there then any hope for the rest of us, who lack the design skills that Dean Kamen brought to the Segway?

There is, because he misunderstood or ignored an issue that is key to innovation success: the ecosystem. If you figure out how to plug into and help develop the right ecosystem, you can succeed where even the talented Dean Kamen and his magical Segway failed.

I became acquainted with the Segway shortly after its debut in late 2001. The consulting firm where I was a partner at the time was putting on an innovation-related event and had gathered enough C-suite executives at major companies that Segway sent its president to do a presentation in early 2002. He was slick: He had us set up a ramp so he could bomb down the center aisle on a Segway and up onto the stage. He did the whole talk on the device, darting to some spot on the stage, drifting back to the center and generally showing how the Segway seemed to respond to his thoughts. Just to show off, he’d occasionally do a 360.

He brought a few of the devices with him so the 70 or so of us could take turns experimenting with them in the desert near the resort in Arizona where we were holding the conference. All I had to do was start to think about heading somewhere, and the Segway would do the rest because it sensed my balance shift. Whenever I’d worry about going too fast, the device would sense my hesitation, and I’d slow down. The Segway didn’t have brakes, a throttle or a steering wheel, but it felt like an extension of my body.

I’ll always remember Dan Bricklin, who invented the electronic spreadsheet and who was a fellow with the consulting firm, repeatedly asking people to try to run him over. They couldn’t. They’d build up a head of steam, but then the user would worry as he or she got close to Dan, and the Segway would pull up.

Kamen had already developed a widely used insulin pump and other medical devices, plus a wheelchair that could climb stairs and raise the user to eye height; the Segway was to be his crowning achievement. Steve Jobs said the Segway could be bigger than the personal computer. Venture capitalist John Doerr, who put up funding, said the Segway could be bigger than the internet.

Nope.

The company hoped to sell 100,000 Segways in its first 13 months but sold only 140,000 over the nearly two-decade lifetime of the product. Shutting down production next month only means laying off 21 people.

The key problem was that Kamen and his supporters convinced themselves that cities would be redesigned to adapt to the Segway — a colossally bold claim that, alas, turned out not to come true. In fact, as usual, the Segway needed to be doing the adapting, and it just wasn’t very well set up to fit into the existing ecosystem.

I happen to think that cities need some redesigning — they’re far too car-centric — and the pandemic has provided such a shock to the system that it could accelerate change, but so many trillions of dollars are invested in the current setup that rethinking will take many years, even decades. In the meantime, the Segway was going to have to either fit on the street or on the sidewalk, and it did neither well.

The sidewalk would work, in theory, but only in light traffic. In New York City, you don’t gain much advantage from a device that goes 10 mph or 15 mph if you’re dodging pedestrians who are walking at 3 mph to 4 mph (and who are telling you what you can do with your Segway, in that charming way that New Yorkers have). You also, of course, have to deal with the elements for much of the year, while you’d be protected from them if you’re in a car or taking the subway. Even under the best of circumstances, Segway riders were told to wear helmets, knee guards and elbow guards — fine if you’re a kid but not so great for professionals who aren’t willing to live with permanent hat hair.

Streets are a nonstarter. Someone on a Segway would be moving much slower than the rest of traffic and without the protection that tons of metal provide for those in vehicles. Even in a modified bike lane, the bikes and Segways could wind up going at very different speeds and getting tangled up.

There conceivably was a strategy to be had by working from the edges in. Perhaps if Kamen had seeded smaller cities, as Lime, Bird and other scooter companies are now doing (while facing their own troubles), and let popularity build in ways that would attract bigger markets. Perhaps if Segway had gone after discrete markets in controlled environments, such as warehouse workers, tourists in areas without cars and — dare I say it? — mall cops, then built from there rather than expecting cities to completely redo themselves from the get-go.

The good news is that insurers can learn from the Segway mistakes and, based on the thought leadership I see in the industry, are, in fact, beginning to pay serious attention to the demands of and opportunities in ecosystems.

There are three basic ways to do that: 1) join someone else’s ecosystem; 2) invite others into yours; 3) or participate in and foster an ecosystem that has many parts but not a clear leader.

Joining someone else’s would be, for instance, selling microinsurance through a shipping company that would offer the opportunity to bundle your coverage into the cost of carrying cargo. There would seem to be loads of such opportunities to bundle insurance distribution into car and home sales and all sorts of services supplied to businesses.

Having someone join your ecosystem would, likewise, be straightforward. You sell auto insurance, and you invite a roadside assistance provider to bundle its services into yours. You sell home insurance, and you offer security or maintenance providers the opportunity to plug into your relationship with the client.

Participating in or fostering an ecosystem without a clear leader (just yet) is less straightforward. At the moment, I’d say insurers are mostly consumers of information in these ecosystems — pulling in publicly available data to save people time when filling out forms, gathering the full history of construction work on a building, etc. — but, within the bounds of regulations, will become suppliers of information and relationships to others.

If the world of technology is any guide — and it generally is, because all industries are becoming technology industries — participating in ecosystems and forming them will become easier. That’s because business processes will increasingly be connected via software, which means that every action and decision has to be super-well defined (via an API, for application programming interface). Once processes become like software modules, they snap together at least as easily as the apps on your smartphone.

So, competition will increasingly be based on ecosystems rather than on your native competitive advantage. Perhaps your underwriting, combined with someone else’s distribution system (even from outside insurance) and a third-party claims system will compete against some other ecosystem.

The change to full-on ecosystem warfare is probably a ways off, but the change will be profound. Think back to MS-DOS, for any of you unfortunate enough to use it. It wasn’t close to the best operating system, but it had assembled the best ecosystem based on the software that ran on it and on customer relationships, so it beat IBM’s OS/2, all the flavors of Unix and even the Mac — until Jobs assembled an even better ecosystem via the iPhone.

We’ll never be as inventive as Dean Kamen, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be more successful than the Segway was, if we learn the right lessons about ecosystems.

Stay safe.

Paul

P.S. Here are the six articles I’d like to highlight from the past week:

5 Transformations for a Post-Pandemic World

COVID-19 may be the much-needed impetus for change for insurance organizations operating based on decades-old procedures and tactics.

Insurers Can Lead on Addressing Inequality

Apprenticeships can attract talent from among the underserved, and an industry initiative now makes the opportunity widely available.

Ready for Era of Real-Time Payments?

Consumers and service providers increasingly expect the same frictionless payment experiences they have in other sectors of the market.

Ransomware Grows More Pernicious

The emergence of the Maze variant creates a new threat, that stolen information will be released to the public on the internet.

5 Trends Changing Auto Insurance

Will insurers continue to provide traditional insurance in traditional ways until forced down a dead-end path, or will they embrace new trends?

Time to Streamline Group Benefits Quotes

Current, AI-based technology can cut response time for group benefits quotes by as much as 92%.

Industry Demands an Open Ecosystem

Can you imagine a world where the open ecosystem dream is a reality? A world where our collective insurance platforms talk to each other? A world where the industry moves faster and better by working together? Oasis and Simplitium, along with a host of others, including SpatialKey, are on this path. While the dream feels idealistic, it is possible. Making data more portable between platforms—interoperability—is not something novel. It’s just fundamental and increasingly vital for long-term survival whether you’re a re/insurer, broker, MGA or solutions provider. We all have a stake in this conversation, and a responsibility to move our industry forward.

Industry demand for an open ecosystem is overwhelming. We increasingly depend on ecosystems, and we need greater interoperability to overcome inefficiencies and redundancies. Matthew Jones of Simplitium provides three key stepping stones we must embrace for greater interoperability:

  1. Avoid a monolithic “one system does all” approach
  2. Minimize the number of catastrophe risk modeling platforms, while maximizing choice in models across multiple vendors
  3. Design systems so that the possibility of change is embedded

Leading organizations are already heading down this path. Lloyd’s recently announced that after losing £1 billion in 2018 it’s looking to drive efficiencies, and one way is through “an ecosystem of products and services that all market participants have access to.” One size does not fit all—and a monolithic approach has proven unsuccessful time after time. Rapid innovation in risk management requires systems that are flexible, scalable, designed for change—and built in close collaboration with those who serve the industry.

See also: The Insurance Lead Ecosystem  

Interoperability drives efficiency

Across our industry, we need to find ways to drive efficiency gains by making data more portable between core systems. If premium is scarce, then finding ways to eliminate waste in the system is not just how you save money, but rather how you make it.

Consider this: How much time do analysts spend keying information into different systems of record? Or, underwriters for that matter. Now, think about how much that costs your business. According to McKinsey, underwriters spend 30% to 40% of their time on administrative tasks like rekeying data or manually executing analyses. It’s inefficient and redundant and increases the risk of error, yet it’s a standard in our industry across every insurance workflow. This creates a massive amount of waste.

Now, imagine if analysts could pass exposure data seamlessly from system to system —with just the push of a button. We work with clients to perform these types of integrations all the time at SpatialKey. Core systems must talk to each other so that insurers can reap efficiency gains while leveraging the best that each chosen provider has to offer. Modern technologies and well-designed solution architectures allow us to integrate disparate value-driving systems easily—and the only thing in our way is us!

The market is advocating cooperation for the greater good. There will be more commercial opportunity and innovation generated through “coopetition” than by trying to knock each other out of the market. Solutions providers must find ways to differentiate that aren’t in opposition to the industry they serve.

Interoperability is “perfectly possible”

You may think it’s not possible—that the type of interoperability I’m advocating for requires too much change. To quote Dickie Whitaker of Oasis: “Don’t think it’s impossible, because it is perfectly possible.” He goes on to say at a climate change conference last year: “What’s important in solving these big problems is not to be beholden to our existing culture. Our existing view. Our existing experience. We’ve got to look to others that may be able to reframe the problem in a way that actually gives us insight into solving [it].”

So, if you’re not leveraging or supporting creative partnerships and ecosystems, perhaps it’s time to consider that they present a “perfectly possible” path to interoperability.

See also: Building Ecosystems Requires Guts  

Let’s make the open ecosystem dream a reality

We’re in an era where your solutions are only as powerful as your connections. Interoperability is the name of the new game. We must make systems do a better job of talking to each other. Doing so is a step change for the industry. And, while an open ecosystem may appear to be a dream, it’s already well on its way to reality. Like we’re seeing with Lloyd’s and elsewhere, purposeful change happens when the status quo is no longer sustainable.

It’s time to reach out to your partners and tell them what you need to be successful. Discuss your requirements for interoperability. Drive change that inspires innovation. Edward de Bono, an authority on creative and “lateral” thinking, said, “The system will always be defended by those countless people who have enough intellect to defend but not quite enough to innovate.”

Will you defend the status quo or innovate the future? The choice is yours.

How to Extend Reach of Auto Insurance

Loyal customers are becoming harder to find for auto insurers. As many drivers compare policies based on price, insurers have a difficult time differentiating themselves in an increasingly commoditized marketplace. And, once they buy, customers aren’t afraid to churn based on a single subpar experience or a lower price elsewhere.

At the same time, heavy losses and tepid new customer acquisition growth are putting financial pressure on insurers. Combined ratios for private auto insurance spiked to 105.9 in 2017, according to S&P Global, driven in part by a string of claims from recent natural disasters. New driver behaviors and the use of mobile technology (both ride-sharing and distracted driving) are also causing uncertainty for auto insurers.

In the face of this uncertainty, maintaining customer satisfaction and increasing customer lifetime value are key factors for strong long-term financial performance. Satisfied policyholders stay with their insurers longer, reducing churn and the costs associated with finding new customers. In addition, happy customers tend to buy more products and spread the word to their own network, building brand equity and referral traffic.

See also: The Evolution in Self-Driving Vehicles

To drive this level of loyalty, insurers first need to determine how to be more relevant to their customers throughout the auto-ownership lifecycle. Just half of customers have been in touch with their P&C insurer in the last year, according to a Bain survey of 172,000 policyholders worldwide. The same survey found that policyholders who had spoken with their insurer in the last year reported a Net Promoter Score (NPS) 15 points higher than those who hadn’t.

Enter the ‘Ecosystem’

To forge closer customer relationships, insurers are beginning to look beyond their underwritten suite of products. By creating an “ecosystem” of related services that meet customer wants and needs, carriers can become more relevant to their customers and tap into new ways to boost satisfaction and loyalty.

When customers receive these types of ecosystem services, Bain found, their satisfaction levels spike. Auto insurers that offered three or more so-called ecosystem services received an average NPS a full 40 points higher than those with no ancillary offerings. These services can include everything from vehicle sensors that provide maintenance alerts to financing advice. For auto policyholders, breakdown services top the wish list.

While the market is still nascent, interest in the ecosystem model is growing. Fewer than 10% of insurers currently offer three or more ecosystem services, but more than 80% of insurers in major markets say they’re interested in adding these services. To differentiate themselves and their offerings, forward-thinking carriers need to move quickly.

Driving loyalty with breakdown services

As the top pick for policyholders when it comes to ecosystem services, vehicle repair plans help drivers manage the hassles of breakdowns. Drivers typically pay a monthly cost for the plan, which pays for covered repairs and simplifies the entire repair experience – finding a trustworthy mechanic, arranging a tow truck, providing a loaner of your choice and sending periodic notifications of the status of the repair.

For auto insurers looking to expand their ecosystems, the benefits are clear. Vehicle repair plans meet a stated customer demand for breakdown services, helping to boost loyalty and differentiate from the competitive peer group.

Choosing a vehicle service plan partner

As auto insurers consider bringing vehicle repair plans into their product ecosystem, many are facing the “build-or-buy” question. For insurers eager to gain first-mover advantage under this model, partnering with a solution provider can help them get to market quickly without investing significant time or resources.

To ensure a flawless customer experience, however, insurers must choose wisely. Delivering on the promise of the ecosystem means making sure that each component added will delight customers. Here are four key considerations for insurers as they review potential partners:

A digital experience. More than half of insurance customers now research pricing or connect with providers online, reflecting a growing desire to interact through these channels. A digital vehicle repair plan solution can help insurers meet customer expectations for a convenient, personalized shopping experience. Online shopping allows policyholders to browse for coverage anytime, while emerging features like real-time pricing based on individual vehicle data connect customers with the best coverage and value instantly.

See also: 8 Things to Know About Insurance  

Transparent, high-quality coverage. Insurers should consider the types of plans available through providers, from bumper-to-bumper to basic powertrain, and if they can customize coverage levels and pricing based on customer driving habits and budget. In addition, partners should make it simple for buyers to understand exactly what’s covered and how much it will cost. A detailed, part-by-part overview helps drivers shop with confidence, enhancing customer satisfaction and avoiding any surprises when claims happen.

All-in-one solutions. As insurers juggle countless tech priorities, many don’t have the time to pull all the components together for a vehicle service plan product offering. A partner that offers the full stack, from plan options and financing to a shopping portal and customer service agents, can help speed time to market and reduce disruptions along the way.

Robust reporting. The more insurers learn about their policyholders, the better they can serve them, supporting continuing relationships and retention. By offering features like a customer portal that shows buyer activity and purchase trends, insurers can make data-driven decisions about pricing, product offerings and marketing activities.

In a time of industry transition, insurers that prioritize customer experience will lead the way into the future. By expanding their reach to include new services that matter most to their customers, insurers can protect policyholders in more aspects of their lives while strengthening their customer economics.

Insurtech Ecosystem Emerging in Asia

Building on T.J. Geelen’s blog post about the thriving fintech ecosystems in Asia, I’d like to share with you some insights relating to the emerging insurtech ecosystem in the region. Although insurtech in Asia is in its infancy, since 2015 we’ve seen a surge of interest. By the way, I’m a big believer that Asia has a real potential to power the next wave of global insurance innovation.

Four flavors of insurtech

First, let’s revisit the definition of insurtech to make sure we are all on the same page. Essentially, there will be three major camps of insurtech: one that enhances existing insurance structures, another one that aims to disrupt by providing alternative digital risk transfer mechanisms and the third type coming from existing insurance firms attempting to defend their existing market positions. The first and third types broadly can be broken into the following sub-types:

  • Product sales/distribution (aggregators, online portals, apps)
  • Risk management (IoT, healthtech, blockchain)
  • Fraud detection/prevention (big data, machine learning)
  • Claims management (big data, machine learning, vendor network management solutions)
  • Service management (chatbots)
  • Investment management (portfolio optimization, asset/liability matching)

The second type attempts to drive an end-to-end structural innovation, either removing part of the structure or fully digitizing it.

Why Asia for insurtech

Asia is attractive from both an insurer and an insurtech perspective due to the size of its significantly underinsured population. The region has traditionally seen a large part of the risks self-insured through family and community networks. As the region experiences rapid growth in the affluence of its population, together with an aging population, the risk exposure is becoming even more apparent, and the need for alternative risk transfer mechanisms, including insurance, increases. Insurtech, alongside traditional insurance, can help.

Further, there are near-perfect locations for the launch of a program. Singapore, for one, allows for sandboxed experimentation, regulatory support and advanced tech infrastructure. Limitations of traditional insurance distribution channels and the rapid increase of 4G mobile penetration mean that insurers are also highly interested in exploring innovative partnerships that help them connect with potential customers.

See also: Matching Game for InsurTech, Insurers

Insurtech in Asia

Asia is a very diverse region and has a mix of developed and emerging countries. So far, the major push for insurtech has come from China, India, and Singapore, while Japan, Korea and emerging Vietnam, Cambodia, Taiwan, Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Burma have lagged. (While Australia and New Zealand are geographically close and are very well integrated in the Asian region, the markets are much more ”Westernized” and hence are less applicable to this blog post.)

There’s China, and then there’s everyone else when it comes to insurtech. The first full stack (end-to-end) innovator, Zhong An, is valued at a massive $8 billion and raised $931 million. It accounts for more than a third of the global insurtech funding in 2015. It is also worth mentioning TongJuBao (peer-to-peer) insurer and FWD (Asia’s second-richest family’s insurance venture, which is re-positioning itself from traditional insurer to an agile digital insurance competitor).

India, another vibrant insurance market, has seen its insurtech innovation focus mostly on distribution. Not surprisingly, two of the major aggregators come from India: Policy Bazaar and CoverFox have seen healthy level of customer take-up as well as sources of funding. CoverFox has recently expanded its service proposition, now assisting customers with their insurance claims.

Being based in Singapore, I have a particularly detailed view of the insurtech landscape in Southeast Asia. So far, I have gathered the following mapping of Asia insurtech startups as they fit within the insurance value stack. There’s a mix of very-early-stage as well as more mature Series A and listed ventures. The list keeps growing.

Please feel free to comment and reach out if you come across any additional startups that I’ve missed out in the list below, and I’ll update it.

Area:

Distribution

Actual Losses

Operating Insurance Co.

Value:

20%

55% Losses + 5% Fraud

20%

Role:

Aggregators

Leads Generation

Customer Transactions

Improving risks

Fraud detection

Rewarding healthy

Risk assessment

Loss adjustment

Operational/Service Efficiency

Start-ups: Policy Bazaar (Aggregator)

CoverFox (Aggregator)

Health/House-front

Latize (Fraud) JustMove (Health)

Uhoo (Health IoT)

Harti (Health)

WaveCell (Comms platform)

Fixir (Finding repair garage)

MyDoc (Health claims)

Stash.ph (Health claims)

GoBear.sg (Aggregator)

Cxa (Employee benefits)

PolicyPal (Policy mgm.)

UEX (Group policies)

Zhong An (General Insurance) CH

TongJuBao (Peer to Peer Insurance) CH

DirectAsia (Direct General Insurance) SG

FWD (General / Life Insurance) HK

Singapore Life (Upcoming Life Insurance Startup) SG

 

Corporate insurtech

Singapore, with its advanced infrastructure and innovation-supportive financial services regulator (MAS), has secured a leadership position for Asia’s corporate insurance innovation as reflected by the high concentration of insurance innovation centers. Eight of 10 Asian insurance innovation centers are based in Singapore. The innovation centers are powerful corporate change catalysts and typically include elements of awareness building and cultural transformation.

Firm Innovation Center Country Focus Status
Aviva Digital Garage Singapore Digital Transformation Active
Manulife Loft Singapore Digital Transformation Active
MetLife LumenLab Singapore New business models Active
Allianz Digital Labs Singapore Digital Transformation Active
AXA Data Innovation Lab Singapore Big data Active
AIA Edge Singapore HealthTech Active
Munich Re Innovation Lab China General Insurance Launched Q1 2016
Swiss Re

India IoT, AI, Big data Planned July 2016
IAG

Singapore

Rumored 2016
NTUC

Singapore

Rumored 2016

 

In summary, Asia is a region to watch when it comes to insurtech. Whether it be the home-grown insurance innovation from China and India, corporate innovation from Singapore or innovation concepts imported from elsewhere and deployed in Asia, the region is likely to deliver a vibrant insurtech ecosystem during the course of the next two to three years. And when the dust and excitement settles down five years down the road, we’ll have a fundamentally stronger set of competitors.

Wanting to accelerate insurance innovation, we’ve created InsurtechAsia, an action-oriented community of insurance practitioners, entrepreneurs and industry stakeholders across Asia. We are aiming to attract the best minds to tackle the challenges and opportunities in insurance, connect entrepreneurs with the best enablers, validate concepts and help business scale rapidly.

See also: New Insurance Models: The View From Asia  

A dedicated and company-agnostic insurtech accelerator, such as Startupbootcamp InsurTech, which was launched in London in late 2015, would go a long way to spur further insurance innovation here in Asia. We eagerly await the day when Startupbootcamp InsurTech will come to Singapore.

Are you passionate about making a change to the insurance industry? If so, join us at www.insurtechasia.com and follow this great team of like-minded people on Twitter: @insurtechasia.

Innovation Trends in 2016

For the past few years, the innovation rate in the global insurance industry has run at peak levels, in good part because of digitization, which continues to be a pervasive influence—if not as disruptive as early projections.

Initial expectations of a departure from traditional distribution channels turned out not to be the case. Clients preferred direct, personal contact when buying insurance products. While online channels have not generated major changes—for example, in the vehicle insurance sector in Italy (5% of premiums today are generated online, compared with 1% in 2012) —telematics has had a substantial impact. It represents 15% of all insurance policies today in Italy. (These policies did not exist in 2002.)

Digital transformation is, of course, leaving its mark in four macro areas.

First, consumer expectationsA Bain survey suggests that more than three out of four consumers expect to use a digital channel for insurance interactions.

Second, product flexibility: The traditional Japanese player, Tokio Marine, for example, started offering temporary insurance policies via mobile phone, e.g., travel insurance limited to the dates of travel and personal accident coverage for people playing sports.

Third, ecosystems: They are created when the insurance value proposition depends on collaboration with partners from other sectors. For example, when Mojio sells a dongle (at, say, a supermarket) that requires connection to an open-source platform to be installed in a car, third-party suppliers are able to extract driving data from that platform and create services based on it. Onsurance, for one, offers tailor-made insurance coverage based on the data collected.

Fourth, services: Insurers today are moving away from the traditional approach of covering risks to a more comprehensive insurance plan, which includes additional services.

Connected insurance: a telematics “observatory” to promote excellence 

The fact that the Italian insurance market represents the best of international automotive telematics practices gave rise to the idea of creating an “observatory” to help generate and promote innovation in the insurance sector. Bain, AniaAiba and more than 25 other insurance groups are among its current participants.

The observatory has three main objectives: to represent the cutting edge of global innovation; to offer a strategic vision for major innovation initiatives while reinforcing the Italian excellence paradigm; and to stimulate research and debate concerning emerging insurance issues such as privacy and cyber risk.

The Observatory on Telematics Connected Insurance & Innovation, will focus not only on vehicle insurance (where Italy has the highest penetration and the most advanced approach worldwide), but on additional important insurance markets related to home, health and industrial risk, which, I am convinced, represent the next innovation wave.

Screen Shot 2016-02-16 at 12.43.58 PM

Italy is currently the best practice leader in connected insurance. Italian expertise in vehicle telematics is finding applications in other insurance areas, particularly in home insurance—where Italy is the pioneer—and in the health sector, where we recently launched our first products.

InsurTech on the rise

Another sector that has seen an increased number of investments in 2016 is InsurTech. Until last year, attention focused on many types of financial service start-ups. Today there is significant growth in investments in insurance start-ups: almost $2.5 billion invested in the first nine months of 2015, compared with $0.7 billion in 2014 [according to CB Insight]. Many new firms are entering the sector, bringing innovation to various areas of the insurance value chain. The challenge for traditional insurers will be to identify firms worth investing in, and also to create the means for working with those new players.

The challenge is integration

Ultimately, the main challenge for insurers will be to find ways to integrate the start-ups into their value chains. The integration of user experience and data sources will be key to delivering an efficient value proposition: It is untenable to have dozens of specialized partners with different apps in addition to the insurer’s main policy. It will be necessary to manage the expansion and fragmentation of the new insurance value chain.

To come up with an answer to this problem, start-ups are generating innovative collaborative paradigms. One example is DigitalTech International, which offers companies a white-label platform that integrates various company apps and those of third-party suppliers into a single mobile front end, even as it offers a system for consolidating diverse client ecosystems (domotics, wearables, connected cars) into a single  data repository.

Integrating and managing complex emerging ecosystems will be one of the greatest challenges in dealing with the Internet of Things (IoT) for the insurance industry.

(A version of this article first appeared on Insurance Review.)