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! )
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.
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.
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!
When we look at the connected objects of vehicles, or more technically what is called telematics, a major problem appears: the exploitation of data! The startup Otoconnect focuses on this segment and is working on the provision of multiple connectors, around a first target, the portability of contracts under the GDPR regulation. Continue reading “Otoconnect – Vehicle’s data platform”
Matteo Carbone is an opinion leader in the insurtech industry today as one of the most prominent on the market. He created the Connected Insurance Observatory, an international working group, first in Europe, then in North America, dedicated to insurtechs. Matteo participates in numerous conferences around the world throughout the year. He unfolds his theory of 4P’s of insurtechs, and I wanted to make a presentation for a long time.
The 4P’s of insurtechs
First of all, you can listen to Matteo Carbone in his presentation at the 2017 Global Insurance Symposium in Des Moines.
You can also find slides at this link, if you are an aficionado of his prose, without listening to his wonderful English accent!
Key points to remember
According to Matteo Carbone, insurtechs can intervene on 4 axes:
Productivity : be more efficient
Profitability : get a better technical result
Proximity : to be closer to the customer and his needs
Sustainability of the portfolio (the term it uses is “Persistency” which means persistence over time, and therefore no attrition): Build a profitable portfolio on the long run term, with a small rotation.
In the absence of these objectives, there is no interest in innovating because the solution will not bring anything useful.
The second subject addressed in this presentation is telematics, because it is one of the key topics of Matteo Carbone. The Swiss Re report which I was echoing a few months ago is directly worked with him, when it comes to the Italian example.
3 topics to consider:
The connected object : often a black box connected to the vehicle
Insurance coverage : and the notion of incentive reduction associated with it
Associated services : access to a set of additional services that can be provided for a fixed fee.
Under the arguments that telematics allows of itself and of course a selection of the best risks ( Note: it is questionable ) and a better controls of the compensations ( Note: that on the other hand, I share ), he comes to the conclusion that the financial result of the insurer is improved thanks to this technology.
It is also possible to rework the customer experience on all of its use of the vehicle and the different needs that might be relevant. Note: this aspect is absolutely essential, because it is from the use that one deduces the exploitation that one can make technologies.
Finally, the figures it presents show that attrition will be lower with telematics than without (11% instead of 14%).
In short, that positive points!
I share a lot of Matteo’s conclusions.
By reading, you will understand that the questions of use and business need interest me first. The 4P’s of insurtechs are a key to reading that is interesting to keep in the lead.
On the Telematics side, I am also convinced of the short / medium term prospects for the subject. I invite you to read again my note on it . Let’s discuss if you want to consider a deployment!
Mutli-line / Multi-year approach: which reduces volatility
D&O (Executive) policies continue to evolve and adapt to changing risks. The tailor-made is put on this profitable and dynamic market (new regulations, cyber risks, etc. which increase the risks for managers).
There is growing interest in combined fraud / cyber collateral, although these mounts do not always yield the best proposals. Note: It is understandable that customers are always looking to hedge against an unknown risk, but perceived as critical .
Kidnap & Ransom products are in full swing, because of an international geopolitical context that is sometimes hazardous.
Conclusion: My opinion
This report is a mine of information, very technical, but essential to a good understanding of the complexity of heavy risks. A disadvantage on the bedside table, but imperatively under the elbow!
In hollow, one sees there appear, as often, the insurance products which could be generalized tomorrow. The trends observed, especially on cyber, fraud or regulatory aspects are in this sense good indicators of the future.
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.
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.
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%;
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.
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!
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Thus, the remuneration should aim to encourage a certain number of activities, around the customer relationship.
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 … )
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).
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).
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! )
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.
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.
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.
On the question of connected objects, we can also better measure the difference in taking into account the problem.
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.
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.
Deloitte published in November 2016 a European study on car insurance entitled The growth of connected cars insurance. This study is carried out for the second year in a row on approximately 15,000 consumers and in 11 European countries (Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Poland, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom) .
Briefly, Deloitte believes that these products are promising, that customers are ready, and that it remains to work the business model by moving towards services. One of the main elements to remember is the notion of service platform, presented at the end of the study .
Current situation of the European market
Deloitte presents the figure of 97 billion euros for the size of the European market (premiums issued) of motor insurance in 2015. They also present a potential of connected cars insurance by 2020.
Three lessons are to be remembered:
Overall, the potential is 17% (or € 15bn) of connected cars insurance, with two countries far ahead: Italy (see Swiss Re case study on this topic ) and to a lesser extent the UK. These two countries have a potential of respectively 27 and 23% of their market. Note, in Italy, there are already 4.5m insurance policies concerned.
The study shows a significant change between 2015 and 2016: the intention to change insurer increases more than 15% in Europe. For the authors, this indicates a transition towards a more volatile market, and therefore a necessary transformation. (Note: In France, we observe it through the consequences of the law “Hamon”)
28% of respondents are willing to share their data with their insurer. At the extremes, France and Germany were the most cautious (27% and 25%), and Belgium, the most interested (40%).
Short summary sheets are presented by country and make it possible to explain specific local situations.
While insurers do not always have good press, customers are nevertheless rather ready to share their data with them. Insurers have a relatively better image than many other types of actors.
In an increasingly standardized, competitive and fluid market, this shows the appearance of a momentum for insurers. It could be interesting for them to exploit these good conditions to position themselves in this market and thus set up criteria differentiating from their competitors.
Nevertheless, it’s impossible to talk about connected cars insurance without talking about analyzing and processing the data collected. It is therefore a question of organizing the transition to more big data in order to benefit from real targeting skills.
Which potential customers?
6 categories of customers are identified by the study, with a very different interest towards connected insurance contracts:
Segment of curious elderly policyholders
Refractory aged insured categories
Versatile young people insured
Young faithful insured
If these categories deserve a little refinement, they already allow the authors of the study to make an international comparison.
What motivations for underwriting connected cars insurance?
Several scenarios were proposed to the respondents.
Consumers appear much more likely to share their driving data than data from social networks. In addition, as expected, price reduction is the main motivation that can encourage sharing of information. On the other hand, the provision of complementary services is well reflected in the expectations of customers.
The study then presents two interesting visions showing the correlation in the valuation of services and the confidentiality of data, first by country, then by population segment.
We will note here different profiles for the two most advanced countries (Italy and United Kingdom).
Is connected automobile insurance, in addition to an opportunity for differentiation in the market, the opportunity to renew or develop the service offer. This is what the authors of the study think.
Categories of Services
3 categories of services were studied:
Automotive related services : troubleshooting assistance, theft notification, etc.
Non-automotive services : geolocated promotional offer, etc.
Data analysis and driving behavior services : Travel and expense information, comparing driving with friends, etc.
Respondents then had to indicate whether they would agree to share their data in order to benefit from one of the 17 services offered.
4 services are therefore clearly of significant interest (more than half of the respondents would be willing to share their data):
free troubleshooting assistance
automatic assistance in case of emergency
theft notification / tracking of stolen vehicles
free oil change or vehicle maintenance services
These services (in relation to the automobile) could then serve as levers for insurers in order to gain maturity on the other 2 categories of services.
Case / smartphone application
Finally, the study shows a preference in almost all countries for a box installed in the vehicle rather than a smartphone application. A nuance is to be brought: the versatile young insureds show a rather opposite behavior (54% of preference for the application). As it is in this segment that there is a strong potential for development, this nuance is important!
As the choice of equipment is fairly structuring, insurers will have to choose the segments of the population they want to target as a prerequisite for any approach.
The usual worries of the insured are not excluded from this study.
The issue of transparency in the use of data is therefore essential. In addition, three approaches are to be taken into account by insurers to integrate social responsibility issues:
ethical dimension of data usage
possibility to feed a new type of relationship with the insured
taking into account real risk prevention / loss reduction.
In the end, it should be clear to insurers that the data collected should be used for risk reduction and not just for risk selection. We find clearly in our study that the assessment of services is related to security issues.
The service platform
One of the main elements of this study is the notion of service platform. Insurers have the opportunity to move from a value proposition focused on claims management to a wider range of services around the mobility experience.
Connected cars insurance could be the product that will allow the insurer to renew its relationship with the insured, adding more frequent touch points.
This implies for the insurer to be interested, beyond tariff benefits, in the entire ecosystem of car insurance. More specifically, the insurer will probably have to participate more deeply and invest these new segments to reinvent the user experience.
The choice that presents itself is simple for the insurer:
Either do nothing and take the risk of being overwhelmed by new players that will spill over into its business segment
Either position itself as a service platform, which will allow the insured to access an ecosystem of partners.
The experience of a few players in other markets (eBay, Uber, TripAdvisor, etc.) shows the potential of such an economic model. These entities are indeed able to operate light and flexible structures that adapt quickly to the needs of consumers.
Auto insurance is already mature enough, and offers a clear environment. This will surely be one of the first branches for which we will have to reinvent the operational model. The first to launch will have a certain competitive advantage.
Deloitte is presenting a proposal for a range of services that could be addressed.