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November 21, 2016

Where Will Real Innovation Start?

Summary:

Creativity has been superficial. We hardly have seen any serious change in insurance offerings in decades.

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay

Ten years ago, BlaBlaCar was founded and now is a trusted community marketplace that connects drivers with empty seats to passengers looking for a ride. BlaBla has 25 million members in 22 countries and is one of many successful initiatives using technology to bring together supply and demand. Are there successful equivalents in insurance, as well? When will the customer be served with appropriate insurance cover and services for a safe environment based on real-time individual risk profiles?

See also: The Future of Insurance Is Insurtech

There are a few interesting initiatives:

  • trials and pilots (in car-telematics have been around for 10-15 years);
  • conferences and summits where new technology is discussed as a true disruptor;
  • billions of dollars reserved for fintech and insurtech initiatives;
  • warnings from regulators and consultancy firms that business models are under pressure;
  • studies and whitepapers from the industry;
  • insurance companies setting up or expanding innovation labs.

And yet we hardly have seen any serious change in the insurance offerings in the last decades. Creativeness does not go beyond a discount on a traditional product/premium when good behavior is proven. That is good for a start but of course is a dead-end street.

So will real innovation/disruption come from the inside or the outside?

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As a business engineer with 30-plus years’ experience in insurance innovation and digital transformation, I’m following global insurance business and all kinds of new initiatives closely.

There are two important findings:

  • the initiatives are often thin (scratching the surface and lacking insurance substance) and
  • the initiatives are fragmented, touching only a part of the overall customers’ insurance and claims needs

It is rather obvious for me that the insurance future is in real customer-centricity and -engagement and that technology (with a personal touch) provides the means to achieve personalized, dynamic and engaging solutions in a new and sharing economy.

Some of the key requirements:

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If you do the tick-list, the outcome will be that there is a strong reason to have clever teaming-up between startups and existing insurance companies., where a NewCo can develop at arm’s length from the insurance company but with full consent and maximum freedom (while staying compliant). In insurance, it seems that “Construct” is more promising than “Disrupt.”

See also: Shift in Funding for Strategic Initiatives  

Where “Bla Bla” in BlaBlaCar refers to the level of chattiness, let’s hope that there won’t be too many Bla’s in insurance and that real innovation will come soon, resulting in future-proof insurance solutions with happy and engaged customers.

At Intsure Technology Solutions, we are working on projects like:

  • My Insurance Kit
  • Pay-per-mile car insurance
  • Digital Advisor and
  • InConnect (Intelligent Insurance for Smart Living)

As a consultant I’m ready; as a consumer, I’m waiting.

And anyhow there is so much happening and so much to learn that any delay is a waste of time.

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About the Author

Ewout van Zonneveld is the founder and owner of Sunfield Consultancy. He is also a partner of Intsure Technology Solutions (ITS) He has more than 30 years of international experience in automotive and non-life insurance (P&C).

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