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Eight points of reflection on insurance

Joining EIS, and importantly for me, coming back into the insurance industry, has been a return which sees me become part of a business I believe has genuinely created the platform needed to help insurers finally unlock the power of ecosystem business models. So, I thought: why not write about eight points of reflection?

1. Insurance is actually a brilliant thing

I say this sometimes and get some confused looks, but at its core, it really is a brilliant thing. We have the chance to make a bad experience slightly less bad for people, and often remove what could be a catastrophic loss, and that’s a really important thing. And now increasingly embed insurance and use risk mitigating services so that the risk is potentially avoided altogether. And to do this insurers pull people together, creating a pooling effect that means we are all sharing this risk burden, reducing the financial burden or financial risk in the process. I know this is the rose-tinted view, but it’s also true.

2. Customer-first mindsets are still emerging for insurers

Although insurers are ultimately looking at their customers’ risk all the time, it’s complicated math. In the context of highly complex businesses, regulated and with massive pressures in investment markets and catastrophic loss events, it is all too easy to not think about the customer first. This means that customer experiences are still relatively poor, and the intimacy between insurers and their customers relatively low. Annualized transactions or decision points and hopefully infrequent claims experiences still make up the vast majority of customer interactions. And yet there’s a clear understanding that this needs to change, and it is. Our CustomerCore and EIS DXP are just some examples of enabling capability that can help shift this paradigm quickly. Coretech is key to this, and here’s an example of the sorts of experiences this can quickly enable.

3. Environmental, social & governance are becoming a huge focus for insurers

Insurance, from the outside, appears to be a laggard in dealing with the “E”. NetZero goals are emerging, but they are, relatively speaking, not that ambitious. Most insurers have to push hard in areas like how they invest to drive much of the shorter term positive impact. 

There’s some good reason for this. Insurers are complicated businesses, and when you look at scope 1, 2, and 3 you can also see why true NetZero is hard. Their operations or the connected carbon impact of their businesses extends into supply chains, and often the control or will they can impose on a lot of this is hard. 

This is changing rapidly, and data-driven sustainability is undoubtedly going to have a huge impact, allowing insurers to really understand where their carbon impact is so they can do something about it. And PwC has tried to unpack this and look at how strategies are and will have to change. EY has also taken a look at how insurers can promote resilience in the face of climate change. Green insurance not only offers a chance to rethink the insurance product in NetZero terms, but also new products will have to emerge that can better face the coming challenges due to our changing planet.

4. Casing the future of insurance is still hard

Insurers have been let down by technology in the past, their enterprise design models have remained focused on how insurance works today and inevitably this makes it even harder to understand all the benefits and upsides to fundamentally transforming their businesses and how they operate. How technology can or will change what insurance is, how it works and importantly how it manifests itself in people’s lives is a clear opportunity. For example, we blogged about how APIs could help create better partnerships in health and dental plans. And there are many other examples of this.

5. People are wonderful, surprising and what it’s all about

EIS has a wonderful culture, and that’s set from the top down, but the people themselves have been incredible to get to know. Passionate, intelligent and caring. And joining here has just reminded me how ingenious people are. When the problem or opportunity is made clear, people find brilliant ways to solve things. We are constantly evolving and growing, which takes graft, but it also takes teamwork. So, if you’re looking for a place full of good people, go to our recruitment pages and see how you could join us.

6. Managing risk out of people’s lives has huge and largely untapped potential

For a long time now, the insurance industry has been looking at ways to remove risk, rather than merely pay out after the event. I too have completed many PoC’s, removing escape of water risk from homes or fire risk from warehouses. The IoT infrastructure and data-availability has fundamentally shifted the potential to “manage risk,” and AI/RPA/MI means that predicting risk is also becoming much easier and more effective. This means that this is still firmly an agenda item in most vision workshops, innovation sessions and blog posts. To make this work insurers need a few things, they need much more flexible coretech, so they can see the customer 360, bring in new real-time data sources and partner new capabilities to provide services that actually remove risk, or resolve risk related issues. And they also need to change their relationship with the customer, and potentially how they charge and price their offerings.

7. There’s a massive competitive shift happening in insurance

Non-insurer insurers are emerging from all sorts of places. Whether it is a mobile bank or a new start-up changing how pet insurance works or bancassurance or Amazon, they are emerging from everywhere. And it’s super exciting to watch. We will see this continue, and we will see other ecosystem businesses move into this market as well, as this pressure mounts this in turn will force incumbents to respond ever more quickly. And the winner in this will hopefully be the customer and industry as a whole.

8. Technology is the answer, but what’s the problem?

At the end of the day our software can do lots of things for insurers, and like all good digital engineered and in-the-cloud platforms, it has huge amounts of flexibility. And we can adapt or change super fast. All this really means is that we have to be laser focused on what it is our customers are trying to achieve. Then we can not only articulate how we can help, but also help our customers get the most out of the potential it brings. If the major objective is to re-engineer the claims process, automating and digitising it and the associated customer experience, then that’s cool. It could also be to drive new revenue growth getting products to market at lightning speed and adapting them ongoing. Either way, this is what it’s really all about!

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