Press review of April 17th 2018

revue de presse du 17 avril 2018

Here is a little overview of articles that caught my attention and deserve to appear in the press review of April 17, 2018!

Subaru offers 3 years of insurance

Links: DecisionAtelier.com – Subaru offers 3 years insurance.

Those who read me regularly know that I often talk about a decomposition of the value chain to come. Indeed, I believe that it will be necessary tomorrow for insurers to go further in their response to the needs of their policyholders at the risk of being supplanted in the commercial relationship. The example above is symbolic for me of this situation! Subaru, automaker, intermediates the insurer in the proposal of a motor insurance. This is obviously not new, but it raises again the question of the role that can play the trademark of the insurer in this if it no longer assumes the distribution to the client.

The blockchain is dead, live Hashgraph

Links: Article from Journal the net – Hashgraph .
When it comes to blockchain, it happens quite quickly that we fall back on the technical difficulties of scalability and performance. A new technological solution would make it possible to overcome a number of these constraints. The proposal seems interesting and the subject promising, but we are obviously still far from a concrete applicability. All you have to do now is read white paper to get an idea ( Note: I have not read it yet! )

When call centers predict customer emotions

Link: ZDNet – When call centers predict customer emotions

There is a lot of talk about affective computing or how artificial intelligence could move us on the path of emotional intelligence. However, so far, few reliable sources allow to see more clearly what happens. We knew the solution of Affectiva , we can now add Cogito. This solution is based on sociometers, developed by an MIT team. It’s about detecting subtle signals in speech, tone and body language, regardless of the words used.

Solar panels, a puzzle for firefighters

Link: XLCatlin- Solar Panels

Innovation in insurance is not only new technologies that come to transform the business, they are also new risks . We talk about cyber risk very often, but here’s another, quite unexpected, but still difficult to manage.

Make car insurance “cool”?

Link: Karl Heinz Passler – My 10 innovative ideas on making motor insurance cool

Karl Heinz Passler is one of the leading influencers in the insurance innovation market. He is very active on the social networks , and a little less frequently on his blog, but the article above presents some often simple ideas for boosting car insurance!

SwissRe – Global Insurance Review 2017

global insurance review 2017

Version Française ici.


SwissRe has just published its global insurance review 2017 and its 2018 forecasts. The document is available at this link (Global insurance review) .

Innovation is essential, but to identify new answers, I remain convinced that we need to understand the state of the current market. This type of report is therefore essential to refine the grid of reading of what is happening in the world around us! This is particularly right as they give valuable insights into innovative solutions!

The four main themes covered in this document are:

  • Continued cyclical economic recovery at the macroeconomic level, although risks of instability persist;
  • Obviously, a big subject on the natural disasters of the year! These are causing great difficulties for all the systemic insurers in the area and therefore even more so for reinsurers;
  • Life insurance re-insurers adapt to the new deal;
  • Stable emerging markets in non-life and strong growth in life.

Key Points from the 2017 Global Insurance Review

More globally, here are the 10 points that SwissRe puts forward:

  • The rise of protectionism in large markets: in the United States, but also Brexit or the situation in Catalonia. This phenomenon is however not uniform (for example Latin America is liberalizing)
  • Monetary policy : what about the gradual end of quantitative easing?
  • Cyber ​​risk : The market is growing rapidly, and the stakes are high, particularly in terms of the quantity and quality of data needed for risk monitoring and pricing. A particular focus is to read p15 of the doc on this subject. Indeed, an estimated growth of 30% per annum of this market over the next 5 years should not be underestimated.
  • Increasing auto claims : More and more miles traveled, more traffic and distracted driving are the first drivers. The key is always technical results.
  • Brexit and the UK insurance market: Depending on the UK exit format, premiums should be reduced by 8 to 20%. This is a considerable shock on the market.
  • Innovate to increase the scope of insurability, especially in the “commercial” segments: I come back to this point just after
  • Losses related to Natural disasters (hurricanes).
  • Protecting Floods : Tools now exist to assess flood risk, and collaboration with states is needed to ensure the best coverage of this risk.
  • IFRS17 : Investments will be needed around the data to ensure good data collection and analysis.
  • Insurtechs in China : I’ll come back to this point below.

Increase insurability

On the perimeter of the “commercial” contracts (on which I am working rather seriously lately), innovation brings new solutions.

Swiss Re cites, of course, parametric insurance solutions, coupled with a global vision of risk, that solve complexities of the process at the time of the claims. On the other hand, it does not bring any real additional value talking about premium reduction for example.

The most important point about these contracts is that it is now possible to insure elements previously impossible to cover. This offers interesting growth opportunities. For example: image loss, product recalls, weather protection, or financial risks of increasing energy prices. This is now possible thanks to better access to risk data and a better assessment of its consequences.

Insurance can therefore strengthen its position as a protector of corporate investments and offset the risks of earnings volatility.

global insurance review 2017 global insurance review 2017

Insurtechs in China

A small recap is proposed on the issue of insurtech in China, where the growth of Zhong An is particularly impressive (insurtech largest insurer of the world).

2 successive waves took place in China:

  • A first from 2001, around the online distribution, which brought the online market share to almost 8%;
  • The second in recent years, which exploits new technologies and especially big data (telematics or insurance to use / UBI)

Prospects can still open up to cover the ecosystem of e-commerce, and even consider the entry of new players outside the insurance world.

The Chinese regulator seeks to constrain certain segments (such as online lending), but it is generally rather a support for innovation.

global insurance review 2017 global insurance review 2017

My opinion on the global insurance review 2017

Always of very good quality, the Swiss Re reports are full of information and figures. One could blame them for their lack of pedagogy and the austere aspect of their reports, which prevent a diffusion to the greatest number. It may be the price of quality!

Accenture – Reimagining Insurance Distribution

reimagining insurance distribution

Version française ici.


Accenture publishes its last report dedicated to the transformation of insurance distribution . The ambition is Reimagining insurance distribution. The latest version of this report was from early 2016.

Digitization transforms insurance distribution

The report is based on a survey of 400 industry managers around the world. The first lesson is that the vast majority of actors are working or planning to work on a restructuration of the distribution model, including by leveraging the benefits of digital. Only 1 in 5 actors do not think about it.

Accenture brings out six trends:

  • Digital channels
  • User experiences improved by customer knowledge
  • Changing the role of the agent
  • Future of aggregators
  • The role of ecosystems
  • The Internet of Things.

Besides, Accenture gives insights on what they call the “living services”, all the services that the insurer can provide in addition to its customers based upon collected data in particular.

reimagining insurance distribution

1. Digital channels

All stages of the distribution chain are affected by digitization and a search for omnichannel. Thus, this trend does not question traditional networks, but questions what should be the respective place and added value of each. Accenture also confirms the rise of selfcare, which has two objectives: satisfaction of customer demand and a desire to reduce distribution costs.
reimagining insurance distribution

2. Customizing the customer experience

Insurers are clearly switching from a” product-oriented” posture to a” customer-oriented” one. ( Note: By the way, it will be necessary for Accenture to explain the difference between the concept of sales of products based on the needs and the notion of customer-oriented model, because I am not sure to understand… ).

This involves mastering the collection and use of data for:

  • To estimate correctly the potential of each one
  • Choosing the right channel for each customer
  • Identify the best time to initiate a contact
  • Choose the best offers and the right messages.

This involves the use of predictive models to adapt to a changing population.

reimagining insurance distribution

3. Changing the role of the agent

Almost 2/3 of insurers work with their agents to ensure the best positioning in the value chain. It is about bringing them in when their added value is the most important. Another essential element with these populations, 79% of insurers rework the models of remuneration in a digital and omni-channel context.

reimagining insurance distribution

Thus, the remuneration should aim to encourage a certain number of activities, around the customer relationship.

reimagining insurance distribution

reimagining insurance distribution

Finally, this type of questioning brings another trend, heavier and longer term. This involves reviewing the profiles sought for new recruits. ( Note: a legend in Figure 8 would not have been a luxury to ensure understanding … )

reimagining insurance distribution

4. Future of aggregators

The aggregators confirm a dominant position and still growing. Respondents believe that they will be even more used, especially in the upstream phases of the distribution (search for information or tariff).

reimagining insurance distribution

Therefore, the question is to choose the strategy to adopt against these actors: use the brand to generate commitment or use a dedicated brand or sell white label. The answer is very variable according to the geography and the penetration rates of the comparators. There is therefore no single answer. On the other hand, we still see a tendency to favor the use of a secondary brand for these channels. ( Note: One nuance, it does not seem relevant to me to treat in the same way the respondents who say they may be ready to do it within 3 years, and those who do not know. It affects seriously the result).

reimagining insurance distribution

Finally, last step observed, the creation of proprietary aggregators. ( Note: I do not dwell on this point, too few details are given by the report on what is understood in this terminology, it is too vague to be exploitable! )

reimagining insurance distribution

5. Ecosystems: end-to-end experiences

One point on which I agree with the conclusions of the report: the future of insurance goes beyond insurance. It is the emergence of service ecosystems that aim to improve the response to customer needs by offering new services or products. It’s about building partnerships and thinking more about what can generate engagement.

reimagining insurance distribution

Note: This point is a really insufficiently treated.

6. The Internet of Things: The New Paradigm

Whereas the focus was previously on the embedded telematics (of which I speak regularly), connected objects now move the lines. In 1 year, investments have exploded and the number of services or associated products has been multiplied by 2 or 3. It affects all types, including smart homes, health or other wearables.

reimagining insurance distribution

This allows a change of posture, from the role of indemnifier to the role of prevention, more positive. In addition, insurers can now offer their clients self-assessment of their risk, thanks to tools whose prices have fallen significantly.

Digital leaders show the way

Accenture reveals a difference between digital leaders on one side and followers on the other. Where the former seek to truly transform their profession, the latter are more willing to catch up.

By comparing the relative positions of each one, it makes it possible to better appreciate the differences between the most advanced actors and the others.

reimagining insurance distribution

On the question of connected objects, we can also better measure the difference in taking into account the problem.

reimagining insurance distribution

A recommendation: become a digital insurer

Accenture’s recommendations focus on four areas:

  • Choose your business and distribution models, and stick to them!
  • Define the desired position in ecosystems, models of cooperation or partnerships (yes!)
  • Switch from a compensation mode to real-time protection
  • Make innovation and customer focus the cornerstones of distribution strategies
  • Seeking simplicity first and foremost for access, transactions or offers
  • Emphasize the human contact of agents on advice, value-added and more complex customer relationships.

reimagining insurance distribution

Conclusion of Reimagining insurance distribution: Transforming to Secure the Future

Conform to the standards of all reports of this kind, Accenture does not know how to close a report! To write:” The only thing we are sure of is that the insurance company of tomorrow will be different from today’s” is of an appalling banality …

In short, since the results are based on studies and surveys, it provides a confirmation / disregard of a number of concepts. In this sense, this report brings real interesting points. However, being too hand-to-mouth, swallowing the analysis and for all that depriving oneself of carrying convictions is very disappointing for this type of player on the market. If Accenture hopes reimagining insurance distribution will be that simple, they’re wrong: it will take a little more.