McKinsey's Simon Kaesler and Felix Schollmeier identified trends and converging patterns at Digital Insurance Agenda (DIA) 2018 Amsterdam 

  1. Evolving Platforms and Ecosystems
  2. Automated Claims Processing
  3. Artificial Intelligence, RPA
  4. Item Insurance
  5. Engagement  Innovation

In fact: all 5 trends are converging with some insurtechs combining two or more in one solution. BUT- there was an important missing trend at DIA :-

6. Scaling analytics across the enterprise 

1. Platforms and Ecosystems

"While insurers have traditionally played a more passive role in their customers' lives, this is changing as companies establish their own platforms and integrate their services into established ones."  Simon Kaesler and Felix Schollmeier 

ZhongAn joined  with several of China’s biggest Internet groups to create an extensive  insurance ecosystem that allows users to buy insurance products directly through retail sites. ZhongAn Launched in 2013, ZhongAn today has 450 million customers.

Amazon's goals and strategy worry many insurers. Will it merely be an insurance distribution channel disinter-mediating insurers and controlling customers or will it become an insurer? Either way it is a competitive threat that insurtechs can help counter with the right insurance digital platform. Only 29% of customers are open to buying insurance from Google, Amazon etc but that still a whopping number. Source Accenture 

2. Automated Claims Processing

Digital self-service is the norm for consumers and therefore a must for insurers to adopt for their customers. 

World-renowned expert Steve Krug's bestselling introduction to Web usability was titled "Don't make me Think". That is the mantra every digital claims insurer should apply to all aspects of customer UX.

To capture the full value of digital,insurers should think about the entire customer-claims journey— from a digital first notification of loss (FNOL) via live video or images from the scene of an accident to an automated settlement." Simon Kaesler and Felix Schollmeier .

Not just registering FNOL and gathering information, but also the complete supply chain-

  •  Live-video to patch local technicians with remote world-class experts for fast and effective evaluation and decision-making.
  • Aggregating and visualising crash data at the FNOL, to deliver actionable insights to claims handlers
  • Orchestrating care hire, body-shops, vehicle repatriation, medical help, translation services, legal advice to support stranded motorists in a foreign country.

Insurers should ask for an all-in-one combination of digital claims platform AND communications and orchestration hub 

3. AI to reshape claims, distribution, underwriting, pricing

AI is just a means to an end despite the hype. Where the massive amounts of data are available it will help automate predictable, repetitive processes and decision-making freeing up claims handlers to focus on what's important for customers and that needs human cognition and empathy. 

There is a caveat though. Take simple. low cost claims like phone & TV loss and damage. Savvy fraudsters will outwit AI time and again as they change their MO to anticipate the latest algorithms. Self-service digital claims in which claimants submit text, photo and video have been proven to lead to 30% and higher walk-aways! Claims that would have been paid out automatically with AI.

On the other hand AI can reduce the questions asked to price and offer products down to around 5 for home and contents insurance. Aviva and Legal & General already operate this way .

4. Item Insurance

Slice, TROV, Buzzvault and others pioneered Software-as-a-Service. Customers pay for the immediate need and cover by the hours, day. Simple to buy and when required claim. Insurers can anticipate a competitor like Lemonade by branding and offering their own product fast and effectively e.g. Legal & General with Homeshare. 

5. Engagement Innovation

Spoilt by Amazon, Uber et al, customers want a personalised, simple UX tailored to their needs. Either:-

  • Either Click a button on the insurer's website for the right digital claims form to arrive on phone, tablet and/or laptop with the minimal number of questions and fastest resolution of the claim.
  • Or, phone an agent when a customer needs the personal touch but still be offered a simple, fast digital self-service means to start FNOL, avoid unnecessary questions and still know there is a human point of contact.

These five trends are aspects of a complete answer customers want now. It's one thing to experiment  with a single aspect but future insurance leaders must embrace all five at the same time. 

6. Scaling analytics across the enterprise

 Despite huge investments in analytics "senior executives tell us that their companies are struggling to capture real value. The reason: while they’re eking out small gains from a few use cases, they’re failing to embed analytics into all areas of the organization."

Source: McKinsey Analytics May 2018

To jump that hurdle McKinsey identified three critical success factors

  1. Prioritise decision-making processes
  2. Establish clear decision making rights
  3. Empower front-line staff to make analytics driven decisions

That is where digital platforms come into their own by allowing insurers to: -

  • Embrace all six trends.
  • Digitise the complete customer journey.
  • Combine artificial and human intelligence. 
  • Incorporate API architecture to add world-class item insurance products
  • Act as a step to engage with evolving ecosystems