Tag Archives: insurance 1.0

Digital Playbooks for Insurers (Part 1)

Football, in its infancy, had no plays. In the late 1870s, the visiting team would travel to the home team, where both teams would agree upon the set of rules for that game. The home team would supply officials, causing occasional controversy, and the game would be off and running.

There was no quarterback, no set of downs and very few rules regarding possession of the ball.

It wasn’t until Walter Camp, a former Yale player, introduced the concept of a quarterback and a limited time of possession, that “plays” became important. Camp wished to provide more of a strategic element to game play. This resulted in more practice, more play calling and much more interest in the game.

Play calling and playbooks have increasing value and tremendous application for insurers as we rapidly shift from Insurance 1.0 to Digital Insurance 2.0. A playbook is meant to provide strategic direction that fits with current or projected circumstances. When business strategists read the industry, the different market segments and demographic trends, they can apply their plays more effectively to capture market share. Those without playbooks and plays will find themselves scrambling from priority to priority, instead of confidently executing their strategies to earn the win.

Majesco is helping insurers build their unique digital playbooks with our strategic business platform solutions and market research-based, thought-leadership reports. In two of our recent reports, we provided both generational consumer playbooks and generational small-medium business (SMB) playbooks that give insurers valuable insights into digital capabilities enabled by technology’s potential that will energize insurance plays. In my next four blogs, we will draw on both reports to look at both Pregame Analysis and Ideal Offerings that insurers can use to target consumers and SMBs.

Consumer generational playbooks — Pregame analysis

Scouting the opposing team is the basis for creating and applying plays from the playbook to win. You’ll find an excellent scouting report of consumers (broken out by generational demographics) in Majesco’s recent thought-leadership reportThe New Insurance Customer — Digging Deeper: New Expectations, Innovations and Competition. At a high level, the report highlights the demographic trends that are pointing to a different future for insurance, which we call Digital Insurance 2.0, recognizing that customer expectations, product needs, engagement and more are vastly different than the last 30-plus years.  New experiences and technologies are becoming “the new norm” across all generations but are more intensely and rapidly changing to the next generation of insurance buyers, Gen Z and millennials.

See also: Does Your Structure Fit Your Strategy?  

Throughout time, the youngest members of society have traditionally been the early adopters of new technology. Millennials and Gen Z are the early adopters of our current, digital age. Both generations are digital natives. Millennials grew up digital in a world connected by the internet, and Gen Z was “born digital” in a world dominated by mobile. In our Changing Insurance for the Digital Age report, we highlight that the U.S. millennial market alone could exceed $7.2 trillion by 2025 and is the driving force behind increasingly personalized capabilities based on unique customer journeys involving engagement and real-time personalized product delivery. However, nearly 69% of millennials remain either actively disengaged or indifferent with their insurance carriers. Adding to this shift and momentum is the fast-emerging Gen Z market, which is poised to surpass the size of the millennial market.

Simply put, for these digital generations, the traditional products, the business models that support them and the customer experience do not align with their growing market dominance. We found that millennials and Gen Z demand much more in personalized products and experience, putting innovative products and competitors at an advantage.

The scouting report highlights new consumer behaviors and expectations

Driving that point home, Majesco conducted consumer research in 2017 to determine the acceleration in changing digital behaviors across a number of technology and business indicators — the factors that are reshaping insurance. To capture the next generation of buyers, let alone retain current customers, insurers must begin to use playbooks that are aligned to the generational consumer needs and expectations, personalizing insurance, and place their companies firmly into the realm of Digital Insurance 2.0.

We found that all generations share the top three most-performed “new” activities that we used as consumer trend indicators. There are substantial numbers of people who have now:

  • Paid for something with a company’s app (e.g. Amazon, Starbucks)
  • Paid for transportation through a ride-sharing service like Uber or Lyft
  • Used a fitness tracker like Fitbit, Garmin, etc.

The Gen Z and millennial generations are at about 45% to 60% in usage of the top three, indicating a critical mass of interest. And while Gen X and Boomers are in the 30%-40% range, given the growth in usage we expect this to continue in an upward trend, as their comfort level with digital technologies increases. Customers across all generations have come to expect the convenience of researching, buying and paying for products, services and information on demand – any time and any place – via any device (phone, tablet, wearables) … and that includes insurance.

The on-demand context of these behaviors, based on location, time and activity, lend themselves well to insurance applications, as risks are influenced heavily by where a person (or thing) is, what they are doing and when and how long they are doing it. Interestingly, and counter to perceptions of older generations, there is strong on-demand interest by Gen Xers and pre-retirement Boomers … emphasizing why digital engagement needs to be personalized to be effective.

The report categorized analysis of the activities into seven key areas: gig economy, sharing economy, connected devices, payment methods, products, channels and other emerging technologies. Here are some of the highlights:

  • The 2016 Upwork and the Freelancers Union’s annual survey estimated that 55 million people, or 35% of the U.S. workforce, chose freelancing as their means of work. Our survey results confirm that participation in gig economy activities across all generations is similar to the Upwork survey. However, a smaller percentage have “side hustles” via ridesharing or renting their rooms/houses or cars.
  • Consumption of ridesharing services is a dominant behavior across all generations. Home/roomsharing services are used about half as much, yet still have a strong and growing appeal.
  • Connected device use is seeing tremendous gains. Fitness trackers are the most popular type of connected device across all generations. The nearly 33% of Gen Z and 25% of millennials using connected home devices could also rapidly help intensify these new needs and expectations.
  • Use of ApplePay and SamsungPay saw strong year-on-year growth, with more than a third of Gen Z and millennials and a quarter of Gen X now using them regularly. The increased use of digital payment capabilities is raising the bar of expectations across all generations for all types of purchases, including insurance.
  • Across all generations, 22% to 38% purchased insurance from a website, with Gen Z and millennials clearly leading the use of this channel. This suggests the increased ease and desire of the younger generation to buy online.
  • On-demand insurance was surprisingly strong, with 25% to nearly 30% purchasing it for a specific item or event, such as the kind of insurance that Trov offers. On-demand and subscription-based models are rapidly gaining acceptance in a shorter time, as compared with website purchases, which have been around for nearly 20 years.
  • Not surprisingly, Gen Z and millennials lead the older generations in their use of drones and 3D printers (or items produced by one). These are two rapidly growing technologies that present significant risk implications for the insurance industry.

What this conveys to insurers doing their own analysis is that “new” is increasingly “normal,” more quickly. Using research responses, we extrapolated valuable “plays” that insurers may pull for use in their own playbooks.

See also: Stretching the Bounds of Digital Insurance  

The game has already started…your team better join soon  

Many new business models and new products emerging in the market are focused directly on exploiting these new behaviors and expectations. These Digital Insurance 2.0 teams are intent on challenging the traditional products, services and processes of traditional Insurance 1.0 teams. And while customers and the market will ultimately determine their success, we tested five of them and learned they stand a good chance of succeeding, especially among the younger generations who are the new generation of insurance customers.

Furthermore, we decomposed these new products and new business models into 30 distinct attributes and tested them with customers to determine their interest in buying and potential to switch to them. And the interest to buy and switch is strong. Existing insurers need to seriously begin to understand, plan and develop new offerings and capabilities aligned to these … which represent Digital Insurance 2.0.

In my next blog, we’ll look at customer reactions to those business models, assess their viability for use in insurer playbooks and discuss how the 30 attributes can be used to create some Ideal Offerings for different customer segments. For a preview, be sure to readThe New Insurance Customer — Digging Deeper: New Expectations, Innovations and Competition.

Digital playbooks are already in use. Does your company have a strategy to embrace the digital age and shift to Digital Insurance 2.0 to drive growth? The time for developing and using the digital playbook is at hand.

What SMBs Want in Group Insurance

In my last blog, we established the rationale for group and voluntary benefits providers to consider new business and technology strategies. The market is changing. Market drivers should be pushing carriers to recreate themselves to meet the needs of employers and employees.

As a part of that blog, we touched on group and voluntary benefits for the small-to-medium business market. Nearly every group insurer recognizes that there is opportunity within the SMB market segment, but they need confirmation that: a) They understand what SMBs really want from group and voluntary benefit providers, and b) they grasp how they can employ technology to meet those needs.

So, in today’s blog, we will look at the answers to those issues in greater detail.

What do SMBs really want from their group insurance providers?

SMBs want insurance without huge costs. They care about premiums, and they pay attention to how much it costs to simply administer benefits. It takes time to educate employees, enroll them and handle their day-to-day benefit issues. SMBs recognize when an insurer is taking steps to remove administration hurdles and headaches, and they appreciate a streamlined, automated process that will reduce internal administration.

SMBs see innovative voluntary benefits as a differentiating employee acquisition and retention strategy. The unemployment rate is at a record low 4.1% in the U.S., plus we are seeing an increasing move of millennials starting new businesses and a shift of many into the gig economy.  This means that job seekers have options and choices. So, employers must have competitive and compelling voluntary benefits packages that meet the needs and expectations of a changing workforce.

Wearable technologies make a great addition to SMB employer offerings. Employers want health-focused, wellness incentives for healthy habits and exercise to keep costs low but also to align to changing expectations. In our new consumer research, The New Insurance Customer – Digging Deeper, we found that all generations use fitness trackers like Fitbit and that using a fitness tracker is one of the top three digitally performed activities that will have an impact on insurance. So, group and voluntary benefits providers that can integrate products with wearables or mobile tracking may get a second look.

SMBs want to have a wider selection of voluntary choices from their benefit providers. With the emergence of a new set of employee expectations and a competitive marketplace for talent, particularly for millennials and Gen Z, many companies are recognizing the value of voluntary benefits and the potential to offer options that appeal to the unique needs of different employee segments. Each segment has different needs and expectations, and a one-size-fits-all offering does not necessarily work.

See also: SMBs Need to Bulk Up Cyber Security  

Millennials and Gen Z are carrying large student debt loads, and many Baby Boomers are delaying retirement and are facing rising healthcare costs and low wage growth. In line with these issues, there are several voluntary benefit options that are expected to grow in popularity for these different generational groups among mid- to large-sized employers, according to Willis Towers Watson:

  • Long-term care – 30% now, 52% by 2018
  • Student loan repayment – 4% now, 26% by 2018
  • Pet insurance – 36% now, 60% by 2018
  • ID theft – 35% now, 70% by 2018

Self-funding is an area of interest for SMBs. SMBs that have carefully weighed the risk of self-funding, and that have a reasonably healthy employee base, stand to save a tremendous amount of money. Self-funding, however, still requires a carrier of some kind for administration purposes. Insurers that design self-funding plans into their overall offering stand to gain, because they can offer it as a “future” option for employers that may want to change or as an instant option for those that are ready today.

Group insurers can also look to the consumer market for preference and demand trends. In Majesco’s report, The Rise of the Small-Medium Business Insurance Customer, we found that, “insurers should reevaluate their digital and business strategies for small business owners and align them more closely to personal lines.” We also found that:

  • SMBs are thirsting for products that will lower their risk. SMBs are highly risk-conscious, and very in-touch with their employees, making them an excellent market for group products. The desire for lower risk also makes them likely to be open to technologies that will assist.
  • They are not unwilling to share relevant data if it gives them discounts or added protection. This will allow insurers to better control risk over smaller employee populations.
  • They are ready for easy-to-understand and easy-to-purchase solutions. The smallest businesses, those with one to nine employees, represents the largest share of the SMB market, yet they find it much harder to research, buy and service insurance. New insurers or MGA startups are capitalizing on this gap in service.
  • They are willing to break from tradition. SMBs have extremely low loyalty rates across all lines of insurance, and they are highly receptive to insurers with non-traditional offerings or value-added products.
  • They long for personalized service. This doesn’t mean that they need face-to-face service. It means that they need an organization that can customize products to fit the business need and have easy-to-use touchpoints for administration and communication.

What should group insurers seek from technology to meet the needs of the SMB market?

Here are some high priorities that group insurers should consider when they are looking at technology options:

Digital front end

In all of Majesco’s research, we have found that the most important driver for SMB buyers is ease of research, purchase and servicing. A digital front end will provide engaging, easy enrollment. It should come with claims technology and tracking that makes the process simple. It should somehow manage a process of continual engagement. It should provide service options that make it simple for SMB HR departments to administer the products, plus it should offer self-service administration options for employees to remove simple tasks from HR.

Speed to market with new products

Open enrollment happens every year, and it is on a fixed schedule. New products can’t simply be rolled out at any time. Insurers need quick methods for defining and testing new products, so they can offer and be ready when employers are putting together their benefits packages. Technology can help. Today’s cloud-based group product alternatives include pre-built rates, rules and products that can be up and running in a very short time. Group insurers can use these outside of core systems to add new products, services or whole new lines of business.

This is especially effective when considering the development of new personal property and casualty insurance as voluntary insurance. Many group insurers can’t consider these new types of offerings without first acquiring the technology to make it happen. Speed-to-market solutions are now far easier to implement and use than with traditional group systems.

Actionable data and consumer insights down to the individual consumer

Group products, and even SMBs, aren’t all governed by HIPAA-level data constraints that amalgamate individual data into company or community pools. Many types of voluntary products will yield individual data that can help employers and insurers manage risk.

Actionable data, such as social data, wearable data and behavioral data, should be gathered and analyzed. Insurers need a data framework in place that will add value to employers and employees.

An ecosystem for benefits administration

Group insurers should avoid burning their IT budgets with over-customization, or intensive integration or the maintenance costs of trying to keep obsolete technologies alive. An ideal technology solution leverages the best solutions in the market by building an ecosystem of best-of-breed solutions coupled together with a framework that will allow the ecosystem to accept plug-ins for today’s and tomorrow’s services and technologies.

The digital era shift is realigning fundamental elements of business that require major adjustments from insurers for them to survive and thrive. There are a multitude of potential futures for group, employee and voluntary benefits insurers in an increasingly volatile world. The rapid and unprecedented pace of change will drive out old business models and allow new ones to flourish with the introduction of products and the offering of new services, and much more, from both new insurtech startups and established insurers.

See also: Cyber Insurance Needs Automated Security  

At the heart of the disruption is a shift from Insurance 1.0 of the past to Digital Insurance 2.0 of the future. The gap is where innovative insurers are taking advantage of a new generation of buyers, capturing the opportunity to be the next market leaders in the digital age. The next wave of growth is expected to come from their ability to provide superior customer experience – not just in comparisons with other insurers but also in comparisons to all companies with which their customers interact.

There will be constant pressure from startups backed by venture capital, the M&A between traditionally different businesses like CVS and Aetna, the entry by big tech such as Apple, Amazon and Google into insurance and the digital transformation of existing insurers in the digital race to meet those needs and capture more share of the enormous opportunity in the market.

The time for understanding, planning and execution is now to capture these new opportunities for group, employee benefit and voluntary insurance. Those who recognize and rapidly respond to this shift will thrive in an increasingly competitive industry.

This article was written by Prateek Kumar.

Hurricane Harvey’s Lesson for Insurtechs

Just sixteen years ago, Tropical Storm Allison struck Houston, killing 23 people, dropping more than three feet of rain in some areas, flooding 73,000 homes and causing $5 billion of dollars in damage. For people whose homes were flooded in 2001, it is hard to imagine a more tangible or compelling argument for flood insurance. Surely, someone who suffered catastrophic flood damage would protect themselves with optional flood coverage, right? Yet, when Hurricane Harvey hit on August 25thHouston‘s Harris County had 25,000 fewer flood-insured properties than it did in 2012. Across Houston, the number of flood insurance policies fell from 133,000 to 119,000 – an 11 percent drop in the past five years despite a 4.5 percent increase in population.

All of this is a succinct lesson for the investors and innovators who told me at last year’s Insuretech Connect conference that they were frustrated by the lack of real product innovation. Indeed, if Insuretech 1.0 focused on new distribution strategies, such as online aggregators; and Insuretech 2.0 included new internal competitive advances, such as new approaches and tools for underwriting, claims, and risk management, including IoT advances; then, if Insuretech 3.0 is product innovation, it will need to be more thoughtful than product innovation in non-insurance sectors, at least for personal lines.

Indeed, successful insurance product innovation is about picking your battles. At OneTitle, for example, we leveraged an existing mandate (title insurance) and maintained accepted policy forms and coverages, but innovated on virtually every other lever.

See also: Harvey: First Big Test for Insurtech  

Insurance startups, innovators and early stage investors will face a battle if they focus on optional, creative or expanded personal lines coverage options targeting more than a niche population. Tropical Storm Allison already tried—and failed—to convince Americans to buy optional coverage by dumping four feet of water into 73,000 living rooms. It is hard to imagine an insuretech coming up with a more compelling argument than that.

Before you howl about the value of risk avoidance or peace of mind: consider the transaction from the consumer’s perspective. For most, buying insurance is the only commercial transaction that amounts to paying money and receiving nothing in return. As Harvey shows, even making a large claim just 16 years ago is not enough to counteract the consumer’s view that, absent a claim, they receive nothing in return for their premium dollars.

Absent government or third-party mandates, aggregate insurance premiums paid directly by consumers would shrink dramatically. The vast majority of consumers don’t buy insurance – regardless of whether it’s in their best interest – unless they are forced to do so by law or by a third party like a mortgage lender or a landlord. And they don’t show any signs of changing their behavior. Most consumers vastly underweight risk avoidance and peace of mind, even when the risk is as obvious as a flood experienced only 16 years ago. P&C call center veterans tell stories of policyholders who call to request a refund since they didn’t have a claim that year.

Insuretechs, insurance startups and investors would be wise to understand this as they rush to bring more consumer-friendly insurance products to market. There are important opportunities for insurance innovation, but product innovation in mass market personal lines must be viewed through the lens of legal or other mandates. Without that mandate, a new product category or expanded coverage is unlikely to appeal to more than a relatively niche market.

The lack of flood insurance in Houston is only the most recent example of consumers’ willingness to give up valuable coverage in order to avoid spending money on insurance. In 2015, for example, 6.5 million taxpayers paid an average penalty of $470 rather than purchase required health insurance under the ACA.

Viewed a different way, the ACA requires most consumers without employer-paid or other forms of health insurance to select from a menu of insurance choices. The penalty is effectively the least expensive “plan.” It costs $470 and offers no coverage. In the metallically-named ACA plans, this one ought to be named “Lead.” The next least expensive option—Bronze—cost an average of $1,746 after tax credits in 2015. But, 6.5 million adults placed so little value on health insurance that they selected the least expensive “plan” despite an explicit understanding that they would actually receive nothing more than legal compliance in return.

See also: Getting to ‘Resilient’ After Harvey and Irma  

Auto insurance tells a similar story: 32.6 percent of drivers have either no liability insurance (12.6 percent) or carry only the state minimums which, at $25,000 or less in coverage in most states, offer only a veneer of coverage. As an aside, this may be unintentionally rational given that 30.2 percent of American households have a total net worth of less than $10,000, making them effectively judgement-proof.

Of course, there is real opportunity for innovation in insurance, including product innovation. At OneTitle, for example, we started with a mandated product—title insurance—and formed a full stack insurer specifically to ensure that we had the control and flexibility to innovate on price, service delivery, distribution model and efficiency levers.