Its that time of year when the insurance industry attends awards dinners and Altus publishes its annual DigitalBar ranking UK insurers in a digital maturity league. We can compare insurers and consider how technology partners can help them rise up the rankings.
Here are the top three in home and auto.
There are new winners in both the Home and Car ranking tables. AXA are now leading the pack in the Car Insurance rankings, with both Aviva brands (Aviva, QuoteMeHappy) not far behind. Our 2020 leader (1st Central) maintain their high position at number 4, with another AXA brand (Swiftcover) completing the top 5. In the Home Insurance rankings, a new InsurTech brand (Locket) is showing the incumbent brands the art of the possible. Following Locket is a very tightly contested bunch of insurance brands. Aviva and Admiral make up the top 3 and are currently the leading incumbents, with several other major brands (esure, Swiftcover, Barclays, British Gas, Hiscox and the DLG brands) all within 3% of each other.
If you want to see the full listing drop me a line on LinkedIn.
The additional 2021 scoring areas around connected homes and cars has favoured insurers who have invested in IoT technology. Similarly, those who have invested in Integrated Sign-On via Google/Facebook/Apple and Voice Assistant Technology will have also scored well this year.
The detailed analysis of individual insurers shows where they score highly.
No. 2 Aviva
At No. 6= is DLG
Altus add new measures each year and one important area to consider is triage, collaboration and communication across supply chains. Not to mention brokers and agents. This topic was high on the list of industry challenges discussed at the recent I Love Claims Home & Property Conference
An essential benefit that any technology partner must deliver and those that I mention below do so.
Digital transformation and innovation is a means to an end of course and implemented without a sound business vision and strategy will get nowhere except notch up costs. One of the insurers with the highest consumer satisfaction ratings by the highly respected watchdog Which Magazine languishes near the bottom of the digital maturity league. We'll come back to that later.
One Celent learning point of 2021_
Executing on innovation: Carriers are realizing the key to insuretech innovation is to change the way they innovate: digital product-led, human-centered design; long-term vision but small, incremental experiments; and modern architectures that support rapid development.
Covea took that approach its Chief Technology & Information Officer Graeme Howard saying:
“It was important to me that I didn’t judge a book by its cover and say ‘well, you are too small, how could you possibly have the smarts to help?’ It was more judging it on the value that it can help us achieve.”
You can read more about Covea's strategy and technology partnership at "Partnering with startup insurtechs means ‘judging it on value’ and not a book by its cover – Covéa Insurance"
Last week's "I love Claims" Home & Property Conference had AA Insurance Claims Director Gary Barker discussing industry challenges and how he partnered with Synergy the technology affiliate of Cloud Consortium Group (CCG) to deploy a new digital claims platform in July this year. CCG delivers home and property claims services to many UK insurers from Home Contents to severe flood and fire damage and its technology underpins its success.
Gary Barker, Claims Director at The AA commented: ‘It’s a rare thing in business for two organisations to find each other at a time when they have completely aligned mutual objectives, but that is what happened with this partnership with the AA and Synergy Cloud. Both teams have taken on a truly collaborative approach to the project and it has genuinely felt like we are part of one team, in fact, at times it has felt like one family! The product we have created between us creates a first in the UK home claims market, a system that provides a completely common platform for customers, suppliers and claims handlers alike, digitally-enabled incorporating the latest video technology and cloud-based but which is not ruinously expensive. Synergy Cloud is a first-rate provider and we are very excited to be working with them and proud of what we have produced together.”
The AA is currently 39 in the DigitalBar rankings so you can guess the strategic importance Barker gave to a strategic claims transformation project. The 2022 digital maturity rating will be interesting to see.
At the other end of the scale Tier One Insurer Aviva, with two places in the top 5 of the DigitalBar has partnered with CoreLogic the home and property ecosystem technology partner for many years.
“Ensuring that we have good communication with our customers in their time of need is an essential part of the claims process. Not only does LINK provide us with a platform for this communication, but it also significantly improves the claims experience for our customers when they need us the most by providing clear and simple information.
Kelly Robson Director, Aviva UKGI Home Claims
Many of the large insurers partner with CoreLogic whilst, as we see above, insurers have a wide choice of options now and no one technology partner delivers everything despite all the end-to-end claims. As Covea's Howard says don't judge a book by its cover nor dismiss an insurtech because it is a small fish in a large pond.
Zurich chose Sprout.ai to address a specific issue.
Zurich cut property claims settlement times to under 24 hours with its latest state-of-the-art industry-first AI solution. During a pilot between December 2020 and February 2021, the technology created in collaboration with Sprout.ai delivered automated policy checking through the use of Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Knowledge Graphs to deliver a brand-new capability to the market, Automated Policy Checking.
Whilst No-Code and Low-Code software have been around for a long time they offer tremendous business advantage to insurers that know what their customers need in the future, plan and resource teams well and are prepared to give leadership support and direction to the teams involved. Vendors that offer this can deliver transformational change faster and at lower cost. They can harness the expertise of their own teams and consulting companies to customise products and services. They can tackle the critical areas of red in the digital rankings matric that deliver great value to customers.
No-Code & Low-Code used to be the preserve of the insurtech new kids on the block like RightIndem, Synergy, Unqork SnapSheet . The ability for trained members of the insurer's own trained team members to rapidly innovate and iterate without the need for coding or software developers. CoreLogic and Duck Creek have added this functionality to their platforms so check out each vendor. Behind the configuration tools there is coding galore of course and each no-code/low-code implementation will have some constraints and the vendor will at times have to apply custom coding and scripting to bridge over gaps in functionality.
It changes the economics of innovation. Most technology partners will deliver production-ready solutions customised to the insurer's unique needs at a transactional pricing model for cashflow efficiency. They allow the insurer to terminate should the deployment fail to impress. No more POCs with lightweight applications followed by three year term agreements before the software is proven.
This means both insurer and technology partner are committed to successful outcomes, put skin in he game and don't proceed with their being a good business plan, strategy and justification for the innovation.
There are many technology partners to chose from and below is a representative example which can help increase digital maturity and deliver competitive differentiation.
- Insurance core platforms Guidewire, Duck Creek, Pega, Majesco, IDIT, ICE, and so on.
- Quote & Buy, MTA & Renewals platforms like HUGHUB
- Digital Claims Platforms Synergy, RightIndem, Snapsheet, ClaimsGenius, 360Globalnet, etc
- Property Ecosystems Core Logic, Verisk,
- Contents Claims Automation SLVRCLD,
- Combined claims services and technology providers Crawford & Company, Sedgwick, Davies Group, Claims Consortium Group. Control€xpert etc.
- No-Code/Low-Code app building platforms from Unqork, Netcall,
- Point Solutions Tractable, Solera, Shift, Friss, Sprout.ai,
That is scratching the service and a useful service to scout for and track potential insurance technology innovators is Sonr.
Now digital maturity is only one part of the innovation jigsaw. Number 45 in the list was NFU.
The consumer watchdog Which Magazine rated NFU Mutual highest of all home insurers at 85% so its products, services and customer facing people are the best in class. Technology itself cannot paper over gaps in products and services whereas it can add effectiveness, efficiency and customer satisfaction to the best products in insurance.
If I wee an insurer I would compare my rating with my competitors and prioritise those gaps where they are higher in the rankings. Then ask my existing technology partners and those in the article above if they can collaborate to prepare a business plan and innovation strategy.
And customise to your market, your customers, your teams and deliver as a production quality deployment with an agreed transactional pricing model. You can the enter term agreements when you are sure the outcomes meet or beat your goals and KPIs.
According to research by McKinsey and Company published in October 2020, “companies have accelerated the digitisation of their customer and supply chain interactions and of their internal operations by three to four years”. Furthermore, “the share of digital or digitally enabled products in their portfolios has accelerated by a shocking seven years”, McKinsey and Company noted. A key question would be whether this Covid-driven acceleration of digital transformation work will maintain the same pace as the UK continues to exit the pandemic. The appetite for digital options is only going to grow moving forward, indicating that the pace of technology project work will follow a similar trajectory.