Insurance, innovation and behaviorial evolution

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A conjunction of elements led me to reflect lately on the link between insurance, innovation and behavioral evolution! It is an opportunity to give you my point of view on the issue.

Insurance is often considered reactive. Indeed, it reacts to events called claims to compensate for the residual loss.

Campaigns, sometimes famous (I think about road safety), are intended to transform behavior upstream to reduce downstream losses. For the insurer, it is an initial investment that finds its ROI in reducing the indemnification. We are here in a model in which the insurer is a preventer and no longer just a compensator.

However, a lot of debate has taken place in recent years to give the insurer a more proactive societal role upstream to reduce risks and thus change behavior. The embedded telematics (with Pay-How-You-Drive offers for example) has often been seen as an incentive for good practice: if you drive better, I make you pay less. Ditto for connected bracelets of health: if you play sports, you will have a reduction.

However, we note that these approaches do not always work or that they are not effective. However, do not we say “chase the natural will come back at a gallop”? The challenge is therefore twofold:

  • Find new ways to influence behavior.
  • Adjust offers to better stick to individual behaviors rather than standardizing responses.

Nudges at the service of behavioral change

Context

It will probably not have escaped you that the last Nobel Prize in economics (2017 ) was awarded to research on the so-called behavioral economy. To learn more, read here . This is also called benevolent manipulation.

insurance innovation and behavioral evolution
Cover page of the book Guide to Behavioral Economics, free download here . Thanks to Yuri for giving me the paper book.

I will not attempt here to detail fully the possibilities offered for insurance, because it deserves to think seriously about it. Anyway, I invite you to read the very good article from one of my competitors on the issue. Here is the example cited:

For some American motor insurances, the declaration of the mileage achieved in the year (n) conditions the premium for the following year (n + 1). The average rate of under declaration is estimated at 15% compared to the Km actually made. A Nudge has been tested to try to improve the statements. Instead of signing the declaration on honor at the end of the document, the researchers put it on the heading of the document, before the declaration. This simple change results in a 10% increase in the number of Km declared, a gain for the insurer of $ 48 per insured. The simple reorganization of the structure of the document, the architecture of choice, makes it possible to modify the behavior of the insured and thus to increase the income.

Some examples of nudges for insurance

Here are some examples of nudges that are or could be relevant to insurance depending on the objectives:

  • Reducing risks: The incentive to drive better.
    • The solution implemented by Liberty Mutual and relayed here consists of a mixture of gamification and information to drivers. Thanks to embedded telematics, the solution allows everyone to consult their driving information and to consider how to drive better and therefore how to reduce their premium, the discount rate being updated live every day for 3 months before being fixed.
    • By extending the exercise outside the pure scope of intervention of the insurer, we can note that tracing, on the road, shorter white stripes gives the impression of going faster and encourages you to slow down without even realizing it.
  • The incentive to subscribe:
    • A study relayed in the book above (London Economics and YouGov in 2013 for the FCA) showed the impact of the presentation of the insurance offer in parallel with another product. This is the case for example when buying the insurance when buying a mobile or cancellation insurance.

 assurance innovation and behavioral evolution

Beyond the questionable ethical aspect, this shows the influence of the distribution strategy on the choices of insured.

  • The choice of priorities: Last-mile problems (read for it this article and that one)
    • Segmenting the populations can be done according to a probability of underwriting. By identifying 3 segments (low, medium and high effort) using artificial intelligence, we can then determine who has the strongest probability of traveling the last mile to the subscription. These populations, for which the effort is small, will be treated differently and maybe receive, when the time comes, a little nudge! This can be a text message, a small message on the screen or a welcome email when giving the little extra that will be enough to convince them.

I will come back to these questions later with other detailed use cases to imagine more precisely how to use these methods.

Adjust offers

Most of the current offers are very standardized. They take into account a need considered identical for all insureds. At the time of individualization, why could not we consider adapting the coverage more finely according to the real risks of the insured. I can already hear the reactions: “This is the essence of our job”, “We already do it”, the contracts offer options and choices of levels to ensure according to his needs. “Very good, but in truth, can one think otherwise?

The Wilov speech is very interesting on this point. Most auto insured drivers drive less than 50 days a year. Yet they are covered full time. By inventing the “Pay-When-You-Drive”, their starting premise is to charge drivers only when they drive! The price is not necessarily much lower, however, the feeling of the insured is much better (provided that the user experience is the appointment of course!).

The approach of Inspeer goes in a similar direction. Starting from the premise that changing the behavior is complicated, Emmanuelle Mury and her team are working on the notion of affinity groups that go around the use. Clearly, they identify similar behaviors, and create the corresponding supply. I will come back to this in a dedicated article!

In short, the notion of supply is still too much seen today as unique, identical for all. Indeed, IT systems did not allow to easily and quickly deploy variants and customization, or the illusion of personalization was at the marketing level. It’s time to move to a higher level!

 

And you what do you think? When do we start to revamp your offers?

Insurance innovators – Future of insurance 2017

future of insurance 2017

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Insurance Innovators (an offshoot of Market Force, which I had already talked about here for their report under the same title ) has just published the future of insurance 2017 (Future of General Insurance Report 2017).

7 themes are discussed (for a better readability I separated into several pages):

  • Innovation and Disruption
  • A changing regulatory environment
  • The future of underwriting and pricing
  • Value-added services
  • Touch Millenial Generation
  • Insurance in the Age of Machine Intelligence
  • Fraud in a connected world.

Written in partnership with the Chartered Insurance Institute , and sponsored by IBM, Sas and Smart Communications , this report is generic, but of quality. Market Force believes that insurers are poised to innovate and transform to keep pace with insurance companies, but the pace of transformation is still too slow. A tip: Act now! Continue reading “Insurance innovators – Future of insurance 2017”

SwissRe – Global Insurance Review 2017

global insurance review 2017

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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!

Heading towards insurance products redefinition

insurance products redefinition

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An example given by Alexandre Lebrun of Facebook at the Insurection event brought up a subject that I wanted to discuss here. This is the need for insurers to start thinking about insurance products redefinition.

Example

The example quoted is the following:

  • Alexandre Lebrun consulted the patent plans for the first washing machines.
  • It was then a question of proposing a technical tooling which made possible to reproduce by the machine the manual action carried out in the antique laundry
  • It was only afterwards that the industry modified the plans to adapt the washing process to what the technology could do more efficiently (the inside rotation that we know nowadays).

Underlying consequence

Technological change or innovation brings new solutions.

As a first step, it is a question of using the new technology to make more efficient the actions carried out previously. In other words, it is about consuming fewer resources (time, money, people) to achieve the expected objectives. For example, technologies such as RPA open up horizons for automating recurring tasks. So it’s about doing the same thing as before, but doing it better.

Another level of analysis is open with the surge of new solutions coming to the market. Like the washing machine, it becomes necessary to reinvent the insurance business and the way to realize it to adapt to the technical possibilities.

Attention, it is often said in IT projects that we must be careful not to be too influenced by the tools to not constrain the framework of expression of business needs. But the current business teams are themselves often constrained by a historical framework of thought that is not always relevant. Business need is therefore as this watermelon, constrained in its mold.

insurance products redefinition

The arrival of new tools, or new technologies must therefore be a pretext for an opening of borders, the extension of the horizon of possibilities.

Focus on the impact on supply: towards an insurance products redefinition

The assumption expressed above may have impacts in many aspects across the entire insurance value chain or business processes. However, I want to treat it under the axis that seems to me the most striking: the products!

A Standardized Offer Policy

Insurance has always been very product-oriented: a car product, a home product, a health product, an additional health supplement, a borrower insurance, etc.

In each of these products, the offer has become standardized, sometimes subject to regulations, sometimes under the influence of the market which is stabilizing and becoming standardized.

So we see products appear, all very close in terms of covers and exclusions, the comparison is not easy. Although initiatives here and there exist to simplify the terms and conditions, we still see exclusions against the fission of the atomic nucleus or this kind of thing (in French sorry, but the same examples may exist in english):

insurance products redefinition insurance products redefinition

It is not useful to say who are the insurers concerned, everyone, in his own terms & conditions, can find this kind of fomulation.

First impact of innovation

As we have seen above, innovation aims first and foremost to improve the current way of doing things.

The companies then call on insurtechs considered as “enablers”. These are intended to enable better management by reducing irritants, streamlining processes or improving operations.

Take the example of auto products, and claims management. All insurers have long sought to improve their process.

In that objective, they were able to deploy:

  • Process Improvement
  • Implementation of dedicated management tools with complete workflows
  • Deployment of solutions for teleexpertise
  • Opening of selfcare services

At this stage, it is not a question of modifying the products, but of adapting the context that goes around!

2 nd impact of innovation

Where the exercise goes further is that innovation imposes a new way of thinking.

On the claims management, to go further, it was necessary to automate the settlement of claims.

The first option was to speed up all operations, but that was not enough. For some time now, automatic payment solutions have appeared because of modified products. I am thinking here of parametric insurance, for example:

  • Weather insurance: if it rains more than a certain number of mm of water over a certain period of time ( as in this SwissRe contract in HongKong ), the conditions are met for an automatic claims settlement.
  • Cancellation Insurance / Flight Delay: Several solutions have recently been deployed. If a cancellation is announced, it is possible to adjust the loss automatically.

This involves two new elements:

  • A data feed, which is not structured today: Meteo France does not yet allow a systematic provision of forecast information or weather observations, companies or airports do not publish all the time via interfaces / API flight data.
  • The structuring conditions of the products must be adapted to these new rules.

Products as they exist today leave too much room for interpretation and therefore require human intermediation to be treated. Who says human, says subjectivity. When we add terms & conditions and very numerous exclusions, we get a lassitude of the customers and the famous phrase: “the insurers are all thieves! “. At this level, there is no question of a lack of security, just an offer that does not voluntarily cover the complexity of the needs of insured, to achieve controlled price levels, on the one hand and profitability, on the other hand.

Policies to cover needs

Thus, three progressive consequences are to be expected from the innovation on the offers of the insurers.

  • A simplification of the products,
  • An objectification of the products,
  • A coverage of needs, rather than standardized products.

Simplification

Gradually, the general conditions of 30 to 60 pages should tend to disappear. The goal is not only to express the same thing more clearly ( as we saw in Cardif ), but above all to remove the rules that pollute the customer experience. So it’s not so much the writing that has to be simple, but the product. Thus, there should be no question of looking for dressings in technology , but rather make confidence in the insured by a better understanding of what he is obliged to make sure!

Objectification

Once the simplification is in place, it is a question of objectifying! It must then make the contract dependent on objective rules, supported by recognized third parties or formal findings! At this stage, it will be necessary to consider that a home insurance is activable as soon as a water damage has taken place, and this, whatever the reasons which triggered it (check therefore in your contracts if the overflows are covered ). A borrower insurance will be acquired, as soon as the incapacity is noted, without playing on the terms (check if your contract covers you in case of incapacity to realize “any profession” or “your profession”, just a term which changes a lot things).

In short, it will obviously cost more to cover, but the price will be offset by customer satisfaction and the reduction of churn on the one hand, and the reduction of management costs on the other hand. Moreover, technology now allows the application of anti-fraud controls a posteriori and thus remove doubts on that side.

Needs coverage

A last level of maturity appears, via the two previous points, as well as by the new uses that appear on the market. Thus, when you are insured by car, you are insured for you as the driver of your vehicle. What about collaborative uses (you rent your vehicle on Drivy or rent another vehicle).

These needs are now covered by other insurance products. The insurance of tomorrow will surely have to cover “mobility”, and will include all your travel operations. This can be by driving your vehicle or rental vehicle, driving a bike or scooter self-service or by taking the train or plane, etc.

Home insurance will cover tomorrow the need for housing. Thus, there will be both a minimum insurance when you do not occupy places, and full insurance for where you are at the time you are there. With this in mind, Wilov’s proposal for auto insurance is interesting: you are insured all the time and only pay when you drive.

And you, what do you think of this necessary insurance products redefinition ?


PS: For atypical vegetable gardeners, molds for fruits can be found on the CoolGadget website !

DREES – Predictive modelling for health insurance

modeles predictifs

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In July 2017, the French DREES (Directorate of Research, Studies, Evaluation and Statistics) published a report “Studies and Results” entitled “The rise of predictive models in international health systems“. It is focused on those new methods of anticipating events related to the care system, combined with techniques of scoring individuals according to the probability of occurrence of particular health risks.

The quantity and the multiplication of the available data allow today to develop powerful statistical models of risk analysis. These are no longer based solely on simple data such as the age or sex of the individual, but can take into account many other parameters. This makes it possible to better anticipate health risks, to better size the health system (for care), but also to better regulate this environment. For example, preventive actions can be implemented in a targeted manner and innovative remuneration methods or incentives for actors can be defined. This has been developing over the last decade at international level

Continue reading “DREES – Predictive modelling for health insurance”

SwissRe – Unveiling the full potential of telematics (Italy)

Re/insurer Swissre regularly publishes notes of analysis or expertise on its areas of specialization. They recently published a study (Unveiling the full potential of telematics – an Italy case study) on the evolution of telematics, these connected objects embedded in cars. This study follows a more general and similar one published at the end of 2016: Telematics – Connecting the dots.

The starting point is simple. Italy has the highest rate in Europe of insurance offers based upon these famous telematics. One can find there the highest penetration rate of these connected objects in the vehicles. This report is intended to provide feedback and, more importantly, to consider what options could be extended to other countries.

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