Craig Olivier, VP Tech Stuff, Genasys Technologies
On some sub-conscious level, we must be genetically compromised to naturally hate the idea of completing a form. Even more so administrative forms that require specific minutia about our vehicles, homes, and ourselves. Insurance forms are not spared this aversion.
If implemented correctly, an insurance technology ecosystem can negate most of this process.
In this instance, the prospective policyholder simply has to punch in their ID number after which various automated interconnected systems would spring into action, filling in the rest and providing an accurate and seamless insurance quote within mere seconds. This is a simple example of data enrichment through an insurance ecosystem and there are various far more transformative uses.
The Insurance Ecosystem
When broken down to its bare essentials, an ecosystem consists of a core platform, such as the Genasys SKi platform, that facilitates API connectivity both in and out of the system.
Feeding into this ecosystem is Internet of Things (IOT) integration that supports parametric insurance, also known as event-based insurance. In other words, insurance cover at the press of a button, when and where you need it. Insurers are also waking up to opportunities in telematics, Big Data, data enrichment, and fraud management, which all serve to enrich the ecosystem. It exists and functions with the main aim of improving efficiencies and enhancing customer experience.
Real value is created not by technology providers trying to build every solution for each client, but rather to provide the technical ability to connect best of breed technology within an eco-system. In doing so, we support aspects of the insurance value chain. Many legacy platforms continue to be relatively closed and don’t facilitate innovation. The product offering to the customer needs to be reinvented, and then supported by technology.
Most of the mentioned enabling capabilities are supported by the ability to create ecosystems that can integrate new technology into legacy frameworks, typically via business to business API capabilities. Having said this, potential is moot without adoption.
In March this year, I talked at the Cover Insurtech Conference about the Insurance Ecosystem, and touched on the culture of insurance technology adoption in South Africa.
For insurance technology, and so too the modernisation of the industry, to carry, this culture of adoption – and adaption – must be implemented at top level and allowed to trickle down to the rest of the organisation.
Businesses need to clearly define their business objectives and leverage technology where it makes sense to do so. We have harped on about this, but technology implemented without proper planning and vision is almost always a massive waste of resources.
There are many buzz words currently driving adoption, future-proofing being one, which has often led companies to introducing technology for all the wrong reasons. It also further complicates measuring the value returns of these newly-introduced technologies, skewing the general perception of insurance technology in the industry.
However, large insurers have been forced to adopt innovative approaches to improve efficiency in their operations and their offerings to clients, and we have seen insurance companies acquiring insurance technology solutions to bolster their existing value propositions.
Agility today is key. Businesses must produce innovative products in an extremely agile manner, and be able to test and fail fast. If the product doesn’t work, then the company must be agile enough to pivot as required.
A platform must be able to support an ecosystem that is pre-integrated and provides existing, and prospective, customers the option to select from a list of best of breed supportive technologies to assist with business objectives. An open platform that can integrate with innovative technologies is an ultimate enabler for agility.
Going forward, we will see increased IOT and telematics proliferation throughout the insurance market, including in the home insurance space. Furthermore, the new generation of customers want to be digitally enabled.
They want self-service at any time, day and night. Savvy insurers have already started this process of digital enablement by buying into the promise of an insurance ecosystem. Not having to fill out an inconvenient form being only the beginning.