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TOP 10 INNOVATIVE INSURANCE PRODUCTS OF 2019

6 minutes 9 seconds read

We are witnessing the slow but sure, uberization of insurance. Insurers now more than ever, need big data-driven insights to assess risk, reduce claims, and create value for their customers. The industry is abuzz with a steady influx of new innovative products, deriving value in areas that were previously untapped.

Processes like faster KYC verification and onboarding, automated underwriting, virtual claims adjusting, to name a few have become hot commodities within the last year. With AI-assisted technologies improving functionality, reducing real-time data fraud or meddling; insurers are creating custom-fitted coverages for the end-user.

For example, AI-powered underwriting solutions are already saving up to 97% of the time and resources that were traditionally required, enabling the corporate underwriter to specialize in cases that require deeper thought and analysis.

According to a recent CB Insights report, here’s what’s next for P&C Insurance.

The general insurance industry in India alone is valued at US$ 21B in 2019, growing at 13% CAGR over the next 5 years, and is expected to touch US$ 57B by 2025. Customer’s coverage expectations in the subcontinent have shifted toward desires of flexible insurance products that more closely match their lifestyle needs. These trends across the APAC landscape mirror the changes being witnessed in more advanced insurtech markets across Europe and North America.

Keeping customers primed at the centre of insurance innovation, here’s a look at the top ten most game-changing products in insurance today (in no particular order)

  • Splitsurance: Allianz Suisse used KASKO’s cloud-based insurance lifecycle platform to create and run a new type of insurance product – splitsurance. The offering targets university students in Switzerland, who live in a ‘flatshare’. Customers can get a liability cover, insure up to three high-value items of their choosing and also get discounts if their flatmates decide to join. Users can manage and update their cover autonomously through an after-sales customer portal.  
  • CUVVA: Cuvva provides hourly car insurance. In the mobile app, you simply enter the registration number and approximate value of the car you are borrowing from a friend or family member, choose the time you want to be covered for, take a picture of the car and Cuvva will get you an instant quote. Cuvva integrates with Facebook so that you can see which of your friends have cars to borrow. Cuvva queries various data sources to check driving licence data, the Claims and Underwriting Exchange and automated fraud protection to verify coverage quicker than legacy players can.

  • Digital Risks: DigitalRisks is an insurance specialist built for tech companies, offering a flexible, pay monthly Insurance-as-a-Service model. A founder could start out by protecting their laptop and end up with employer liability insurance and insurance against data breaches as the company grows.

  • Back Me Up: Back Me Up is an offshoot of Ageas. Their unique proposition is to be a parental-like cover for young people and students. For £15, one can insure their three most valuable items (eg: laptop, mobile), that also includes theft loss and worldwide travel insurance, plus there are no annual contracts.

  • Mango: The Mexico-based life and retirement insurance intermediary, allows users to obtain life insurance “in minutes.” They are pioneers in Mexico, who use technology to streamline every interaction you have with your insurance, avoiding unnecessary paperwork and confusing coverages. They have intelligent bots at work to answer insurance related queries, plus their UI is outstanding.

  • Bought By Many: The UK-based startup is a free, members-only service that helps users to find insurance for the not so common things in life. They offer pet, travel, car, bike, shoes, gadgets, home insurance covers and more. Members save an average of 18.6%. The company negotiates discounts directly with insurers for the clients’ unique situations.  

  • Dad Cover: The product is uniquely propositioned for Dads looking to get life insurance and financially protect their families. They’re full-sized professional financial planning firms, working with life insurance specialists.  Using a streamlined service, one can get a free quote after a quick chat with their DadBot, then one of their associated FCA registered advisers will talk you through your needs, answer all your questions and give you proper independent advice on what’s best to help protect your family.

  • Go Girl: GoGirl is a woman-only drivers insurance, that rewards good drivers with lower premiums. The insurance cover also includes a free courtesy car when your car is in for repairs, legal cover, child car seat, personal accident and windscreen cover. The company also insures your handbag and its content if it is stolen from the car. A free quote is available in minutes, and the whole transaction can be completed online.

  • Safety Wing: The “Insurance for Nomads” via SafetyWing is travel insurance that’s creating a safety net for online freelancers and entrepreneurs. The company offers coverage – up to $250k via Tokio Marine HCC – for unexpected illness or injury, including eligible expenses for the hospital, doctor or prescription drugs. They plan to extend their products to medical travel insurance in the near future.

  • Vlot: The Vlot platform provides life risk analysis and coverage solutions that smoothly adjust to your changing life situations. If you meet unexpected changes in your life, such as moving to a new city, getting married, or loss of a job – you can adjust your life risk coverage accordingly and never be over or underinsured. You only pay for what you really need in your current life situation, and control the premiums as and when dynamic changes occur.  

Special mention:

Fizzy: Fizzy is a revolutionary web & mobile insurance cover for flight delays of 2 hours or more. Developed by AXA, with Fizzy you combine the benefits of a startup and the insurance knowledge of a global insurer. They offer a one-shot coverage tailored to your own flight route, with automatic compensation in case of a delay, with no exclusions. You can purchase fizzy in 4 clicks at any time after your flight ticket has been purchased, up to 5 days prior to departure.

As customer tastes continue to evolve, the future looks promising for the state of innovation, while insurers align their offerings in lieu of the demand for newer insurance products.

The marketplace of insurance ideas is already a reflection of the changes customers want to see from their insurance providers, with young insurtechs being instrumental in bridging those unmet need-gaps, and bringing out positively unique insurance coverages for the average consumer.

(Note: The products highlighted here are not rank-based and are not indicative of the ‘best’ insurtech products available today. For more analysis on Insurtech products such as those from Lemonade, Trov etc. – which are not included here, read our blog on the Adoption of Chatbots across Insurance.)

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[Interview] Mr. Horacio Sanchez- Granel – Latin American Insurance Industry amidst COVID-19

7 minutes, 50 seconds read

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the global economy is expected to shrink by over 3 percent in 2020 – the steepest slowdown since the Great Depression of the 1930s. To understand the impact of the COVID crisis in the Latin American Insurance Industry, we interviewed Mr. Horacio Sanchez- Granel from Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Insurance & Reinsurance Consultant.

Mr. Horacio has been Chairman and CEO of Boston Seguros, P&C and Life Insurance company for 21 years. Previously, he held senior executive positions in three insurance companies and has several years of experience managing financial service institutions. He has also held other executive positions in an Argentinian oil company and a tractor and industrial machinery international company. Currently, he is a Board Member and part of the Executive Committee in Nacion Seguros, the state-owned insurance company. He also works as an insurance and reinsurance consultant for Argentine and Latin American markets.

Connect with Mr. Horacio – LinkedIn

The excerpt from the interview:

Customer Relationship during the pandemic

Insurance companies play a pivotal role during times of economic stress by helping companies and individuals manage risks and cushion against losses. How should Insurers respond to their customer’s needs, especially since there will be scrutiny about how they respond during this critical time — and it will dictate public perception for many years to come?

Mr. Horacio: Insurers must safeguard the interests of their clients and advise them on the scope of the coverage. They must communicate that the coverage is not infinite but rather has limits in terms of the risks covered, amount insured, and the origin of the claim. There are doubtful cases but insurers should be flexible enough and protect their client from damages. It was not possible to predict COVID-19. Both Life and P&Cs have been affected and have huge arrears to be paid. 

On the other hand, claims processes need to be more transparent. They should adhere to the compliances of the insurance companies. In these times, selling agents and insurance brokers should be more flexible and build close relationships with the clients. They should explain to them the possibility of the claim they are trying to reimburse. In Latin America, we don’t have many claims related to business interruption. That coverage is not very common here. 

Especially in Argentina, businesses have slowed down due to lockdowns. The claims ratio in this area is going down but claims in life insurance policies have increased a bit. However, the impact here is not as big as the USA or Europe.  

Business Continuity in the time of Pandemics

What are some new business models that Insurance Carriers are considering to meet the expectations of life in ‘The New Normal’? More specifically, where is the new business going to come from, for Insurance, over the next two years?

Mr. Horacio: The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the dynamics of work culture, human relationships, and daily routines. Many companies including insurers are adopting digital solutions within their operations. Organizations are reimagining their business models to adapt to new paradigms to be more sustainable and profitable. 

The New Normal has given rise to new coverages in various insurance lines to cover risks originated by this pandemic or any possible future pandemics. 

For example, new clauses such as Loss of Profit due to business interruption and pandemics in Life and Health insurance, and worker’s compensation will now be included in the respective policies. Interruption of business processes entails new set-up and investment. Some other new coverages will also be introduced such as the cost of maintenance due to the non-use of offices, premises, or industrial facilities. Cyber Insurance will now be a must as most of the workforce is working remotely. The rate of cybercrimes was much higher in developed countries before the pandemic, but now even the developing countries are at risk. This will accelerate the need for Cyber Insurance in developing countries. 

Road to recovery

Many General Insurance lines are hit- Travel, Motor, Home – what will be the road to recovery for these Insurance lines?

Mr. Horacio: Since people are avoiding travel altogether, the travel and motor insurance industry are hit badly. Many customers in Argentina are asking Insurance companies to give some discount on the premiums. We will see some big changes in these insurance lines. Going forward, on-demand or pay-as-you-use policies will prevail more in these insurance lines. 

Role of AI in pandemic crisis management

Before the Pandemic crisis began, technologies like AI have been instrumental in modernizing the business of insurance and advancing their digital transformation. Where are some of the biggest gaps being exposed to insurance organizations, and How is technology going to solve these problems?

Mr. Horacio: Going forward, AI along with IoT and other technologies will play a crucial role in the Insurance industry as a whole. They will rely on statistical analysis of large databases to predict future behaviors. The new challenge is how to incorporate unknown risks into the existing models to be able to properly underwrite and price risks, anticipate client behavior, facilitate complex operating processes, manage complex claims and detect possible frauds.

Financial assets are the main asset of an insurance company. They are under the influence of the volatility of financial markets. Technology here can help by analyzing different scenarios but the ultimate decision is in the hands of the banks. 

Challenges & opportunities in adoption of AI

Why Insurers hesitate to invest in AI?

Mr. Horacio:  Companies were investing in technology earlier, but now it has accelerated due to the unprecedented change brought about by COVID-19 pandemic. Not just the developed countries but in developing countries such as Latin America, I see a big wave of new investments in technology. Technology companies are also looking forward to this change. Insurers will eventually overcome their hesitation and invest more in AI and other technologies. 

[Related: 5 Challenges in AI implementation for Insurers]

Which area will see max Investment in AI- claims, underwriting, fraud detection, marketing in Argentina, and Latin American Insurance markets?

Mr. Horacio: Before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, investment in AI was more targeted towards claims, fraud, underwriting, back-office operations, etc. Going forward, predicting future scenarios will be a challenge. Historical data might not be useful here. Therefore, in the New Normal, all aspects of an Insurance company will have to be developed under the umbrella of AI.

Product Innovation

Consumers, now more than ever are seeking value-added experiences with the products & services they buy. How will these expectations amidst this Pandemic backdrop impact new product innovation within insurance? 

Mr. Horacio: Customers want a more palpable relationship with their insurers. Customer Experience is going to be a fundamental aspect during the purchase of insurance coverage. In addition to being simple, the purchase and subscription process will have to be perceived as a service that accompanies the client at every moment they need it. These additions will help insurers gain more information on their customer’s actions and behavior. Based on this data, they can dynamically adapt the coverage and pricing of the product. I call it — Dynamic-on-demand coverage. 

Challenges in Latin American Insurance industry

What are some of the technological challenges faced by Insurers in Argentina and Latin American markets operating in the New Normal? 

Mr. Horacio: Insurance industry for many years has been static but now is moving forward in many ways. The world including the Latin American Insurance is witnessing rapid development in terms of technology. The InsurTech industry is parallel to the Insurance industry. It aids in the development of the insurance companies. The whole world of insurance is making advances in technology. Different economics have different buying patterns for insurance products. One such insurance product that should develop is Microinsurance

Microinsurance needs technology, without which it is very difficult to manage. In a sense, the outbreak of COVID-19 was beneficial in accelerating these technological developments.   

[Related – AI can help bridge customer gaps for microinsurers]

Insurance buying behavior in the post-pandemic world

In a post-pandemic World, will insurance ever be bought offline? Or have we crossed the threshold for now buying policies purely online? 

Mr. Horacio:  Personal line insurances such as car, accident, personal, travel, microinsurance are mostly purchased online. In Argentina, 60% of the insurance policies are sold by traditional marketing and sales through brokers. However, in commercial, industrial, energy, transport, and large companies in general, the marketing and sales will continue the traditional ways but through electronic means. The use of IoT, sensors, drones dynamically monitoring the facilities and processes in different industries is increasing. Argentina, which is an agro-based country already has technologies such as drones and IoT which monitor the crops in place. AI will surely be crucial here to analyze the data and enable quick decisions in case of a fire or an accident.  

Wrapping up

Summing up — Mr. Horacio Sanchez-Granel shared valuable insights on the challenges in the Latin American Insurance Industry, how AI technologies can aid in policymaking and rise in dynamic-on-demand policies in the post-pandemic world.

AI is going to be essential for Insurers to gain that competitive edge in the post-pandemic world. Check out Hitee — an Insurance specific chatbot for driving customer engagement. For your specific requirements, please feel free to write to us at hello@mantralabsglobal.com.

More InsurTech insights from the industry stalwarts:

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