Tony van Niekerk, Managing Editor, COVER Publications
The Road to Inclusivity
When hybrid electric vehicles first came onto the market, it was only the seriously committed “greenies” or “tree huggers” that invested and, even now, these vehicles are priced outside the affordability range of the average vehicle buyer. However, it is estimated that by 2035, all vehicles manufactured in Europe with be electric only. Change is inevitable, even when it starts slowly.
So, also, it is with game changing innovation in insurance. The first movers and radical innovators are mostly skunk works, small niche insurtechs and a few non-insurers who push the envelope of standard processes and models in the industry. However, as these models refine and start to get traction, it becomes attractive and viable to the average underwriter to participate. I would like to argue that we are here now. Let the games begin!
Insurance Innovation Journey – We recently hosted a series of webinars to discuss digitalization from the perspective of innovation. After all, this is just another facet of innovation. The biggest mistake made in the quest to compete with increased digitization is to jump at quick fix plug-ins offering access to untapped markets or apps that digitise sales and on-boarding. This might look like quick wins but they mostly do not deliver nearly as well as expected, due to the lack of strategic decision making in the selection and implementation of technology based opportunities.
In our Innovation Journey feature on page 60 several presenters at the webinar share thoughts on this journey and especially the strategic approach to digitization.
René Schoenauer. Director, Product Marketing, EMEA at Guidewire Software, approached his presentation from the point of the insurance value chain, exploring the various touch points for optimisation across the chain. According to Bruce Sahd, CEO, Casejohnson and Partner in COVER Advisory, explains that insurers are “in a ‘stuck situation’, not because CEO’s are not aware of the possible strategies available to them, but because there is no clear roadmap to get from where they are now – to where they want to be. His presentation provides some very practical tips on how to embark on and successfully sustain the digitisation journey.
The innovation journey is aptly defined by Valerie Hayter and Isaac Chindotana of Lireas Holdings when they said “Innovation is not just about the introduction of technology but includes the creation, development and implementation of new products, processes, services or business models with the aim of improving efficiency, effectiveness, competitive advantage or producing new profits or growth for the organisation.”
Kali Bagary, CEO of The Data Company unpacks the opportunities that innovation opens to intermediaries and how they should approach benefitting from the opportunities offered by digitisation.
If you are interested in innovation, insurance technology or digitisation regarding any aspect of the insurance value chain, I highly recommend you read this feature and, if you want more detail, to watch the webinar videos here.