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TOP 10 INNOVATIVE INSURANCE PRODUCTS OF 2019

Nivin Simon
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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A website’s page load time plays an important role in customer acquisition. Google states that if your website takes more than 3 seconds to load, over half of the visitors will leave it. Eventually, it leads to conversion and profits. Although there are online tools available to check your website loading time and performance (Lighthouse, for instance), it’s important to understand what affects your website’s page load time. You can then optimize your web page accordingly.

8 Factors that affect the page load time

#1 Web hosting

Today, no one would like to wait for a website to spin and load at its speed. Websites that load quickly perform more in user engagement, conversion rates, and user experience. Hence, it is very important to have a high-availability web hosting plans.

#2 Size of files

The page speed always depends on the size of the assets loaded on the browser. It is, therefore, good to have an optimum number of assets with the least possible file size. This will require lesser bandwidth.

#3 Number of HTTP requests

Greater the number of HTTP requests from a browser to server/server to server, the higher will be the bandwidth consumption. Therefore, keep the number of HTTP requests to the minimum possible.

#4 Absence of CDN

Using CDN will boost the performance of the web site. The absence of it will affect the load time. CDN is a content delivery/distribution network. It is a network of proxy servers and their data centres distributed across the globe to increase the performance and availability of services to the end-users.

#5 Mediocre coding

Bad coding will always affect the page performance and SEO ranking of the website. It is good to follow best practices starting from the initial stage of development.

#6 The number of redirections

The number of redirections impacts the DNS lookup time.

#7 Lack of Keep-Alive

If you’re using HTTP/1.0 protocol and have not configured Keep-Alive, then there’s a higher possibility that the browser to server connection will break. It will not load the page properly. 

#8 Hotlinking

Sourcing page content from other sites might affect the load time and performance of your website.

You might also like to read about 11 proven techniques to optimize website performance.

Strategies and checklist for website optimization

You can implement either bottom-up or top-down strategy for website optimization (discussed later). However, website optimization is an iterative process and you can repeat the following loop after completing a cycle.

How to optimize the website - Infographic
  1. Ideas: Prepare a checklist of all the possible strategies for the target website to optimize.
  2. Prioritize: Prioritize the prepared checklist strategies and act on them.
  3. Test: Test the applied strategies for enhanced performance.
  4. Analyze: Analyze the impact and performance of the website and check if any further strategies are required.
  5. Optimize: For further enhancement, perform the cycle again until you achieve the best.

#1 Bottom-up strategy

This strategy starts from planning to production (Proactive). It defines a set of rules and actions before/while starting the actual development.

Bottom up strategy for website optimization

The above infographic represents the lifecycle of Bottom-Up strategy in web page optimization.

#2 Top-down strategy 

It is a reactive method, which analyses the existing process to find the issue/lag, then reworks on behavioural grounds to accomplish the target. It is a reverse engineering process to identify the performance-issue gap and methods to fix them.

You can identify the resources which are affecting in maximum page load by considering the following-

  • Resource size
  • Asset positioning
  • Render blockers
  • Uncompressed contents
  • Bad requests

Once you’ve identified the sources, lay down the process of optimizing the content and keep iterating to achieve the desired results. 

Basic checklist for both bottom-up and top-down strategies 

  1. Layout performance principles
    1. Page load time
    2. Responsiveness
    3. Minimizing the number of requests
    4. Use Cache headers
    5. Minify CSS and JS contents
    6. Use CSS sprites
    7. Encourage Lazy loading on contents wherever possible
    8. Avoid iframes and redirects
  2. Executive performance principles
    1. During application design
    2. During application development

Consider the following aspects during the design and development phase.

#1 Application design optimizations

  1. Simple & lightweight: Include only key functionalities on load to keep it lightweight.
  2. Client side components: Adopt client side validation to catch errors.
  3. On demand data loading: Use on-demand data instead of pre-loaded data. (E.g. use paginations, pop-up contents on click instead of on load)
  4. Asynchronous calls: Adopt implementation of AJAX calls from the presentation tier and the business tier.

#2 Application development optimizations

  1. Include JS files at the bottom of the page (to avoid render blocking of page).
  2. Combine multiple CSS files and optimize unwanted rules as per page requirements.
  3. Avoid using external scripts at the beginning of the page.
  4. Combine smaller images/icons to sprite & have optimi.
  5. Use CSS rules/files in the head section of the document.
  6. Reduce the number of requests to server.
  7. Implement server/browser caching on possible sections.
  8. Implement Mobile-specific sections to avoid overloading on small screen devices.

Below are few improvisation observations which are affected by optimizing the Webpage and it’s assets.

UI performance optimization and the performance gains - Infographic

We’re technology tinkerers, experimentalists, and experts in customer experience consulting. Get in touch with us at hello@mantralabsglobal.com to know more about our ventures in website design and experience consulting. 

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In a country that ranks second in the world for video consumption, cheap data is often attributed as the primary driver behind it. Although data is cheapest in India (Rs. 18.5/GB in 2018, Rs. 3.4/GB in 2019), regional content curated and consumed by natives contributed a great deal to the adoption of digital in rural India. Digital content consumption is expected to double, with over a billion of the population having a smartphone by the next decade. Let’s see what will change in the coming decade? But before, a quick insight into the existing Indian digital landscape.

India’s Digital Demography

Users: 94% of the urban population in India has an internet subscription; which falls to a considerable low among the rural populace (only 24%), according to TRAI.

There are four categories of internet users – Digital sophisticates (3%): these are tech-savvy, wealthy, and urban and prefer global and original content; Digital enthusiasts (36%): these are mainly smartphone & TV streaming users with preference for Hindi and regional content; Digital mainstream (59%): these are predominantly smartphone users and seek free content available online or bundled TV packages; Fringe users (2%): these are irregular users belonging to remote areas where internet connectivity is poor. (India’s Digital Future, KPMG, 2019)

Temp-infographic

Preferences: Nearly 30% of google search in India is voice-driven (Business Standard, 2019), indicating voice assistance will further progress linguistic democratization.

In India, YouTube accounts for nearly 265 million unique, active users. 95% of these users watch videos in their regional languages (Economic Times, 2018).

Google and Facebook account for nearly 80% of the digital advertisement in India (KPMG India analysis). In 2018, Google reported INR 93 billion in revenues from its operations in India, with 67% accruing from its digital ads platform. Also, video ads contribute to most of ad-spent (53%).

In 2018, there were 340 million smartphone users in India, which is projected to reach 829 million by 2022, according to the CISCO VNI report.

New Trends in Digital Content Consumption

Today, video streaming services have more subscribers (613 million) than traditional cable connection (556 million), according to VentureBeat news.

The media consumption in India has grown at a CAGR 9% during 2012-18 (IBEF, 2019), which is almost nine times that of the US. Print media and television remains the largest platform for advertisement, however the future might witness a shift.

The Indian FMCG sector spends the most on digital advertising. However, considering its overall budget, it’s only 16%. Interestingly, the BFSI sector spends nearly 38% of its marketing budget on digital advertising. (Dentsu Aegis Digital Report, 2019) This indicates that industries have started to realize and invest in digital platforms.

Regional content: According to KPMG in India analysis, consumers spend 35-43% of their time on regional videos on digital platforms. Digital content and media platforms like Zee5, Hotstar, Voot, and Amazon Prime Video are keen on producing original and region-based content. According to Financial Express, the cost to develop regional content is 30-40% lower than that of Hindi and has a larger viewership. 

Original content: The increased digital content consumption also demands originality. Today, content generation is not limited to the media and entertainment industry. For instance, in September 2019, Zomato launched a video streaming service on its app. The primary goal remains the same- customer engagement. Addressing the fact that food is not the only thing people consume these days, businesses are penetrating the minds of youth through quality and original content. 

Hotstar reports 80% of its viewership from dramas and movies and plans to invest INR 120 crores in creating original content.

The Future of Content in India and APAC

The next significant disruption in content consumption will come from 5G technology. Because digital content needs internet and India’s still dangling between 2G and lower cap of the 4G network. Setting up a 5G network will require a $500 billion investment in the next 5-7 years. The government is expecting the initial deployment of the 5G network by 2020 and roll-out by 2022.

5G technology will be able to handle more traffic at a higher speed, satisfying the demand for high data and the growing number of mobile users. HD content will become a thing of the past and consumers will be interacting with augmented reality in their everyday life. It will not only enhance augmented reality and virtual reality experiences but will also support IoT, autonomous vehicles, and automation to name a few. However, India isn’t quite ready for 5G technology yet. The following graph illustrates the countries which are about to enter the 5G era.

5G-Adoption-across-the-world

An overview of digital behavior in Japan, Korea, and Singapore which are among the top 10 countries to deploy 5G.

 JapanRepublic of KoreaSingapore
Internet penetration93%99.5%84.0%
Mobile penetration89.9%95.8%147.3%
Preferred device to go onlineSmartphone (59.7%)Smartphone (94.3%)
Online activityEmail (80.2%), weather report (65.8%), transport (63.4%)Communication (95.2%), information search (94.0%)

Source: SourceSource: India’s Digital Future, KPMG

5G will also make technologies like Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, cloud-based gaming, IoT and OTT services commercially available.

Apart from this, AI (Artificial Intelligence) will continue to retain customer engagement through predictive analytics, machine learning, and natural language processing capabilities.

For example, Hotstar uses machine learning algorithms for personalized movie recommendations. It predicts user preferences by calculating total watch time per user per month. The company is leveraging AI technology for translations, audio to text conversions, video compression, object detection, and scene classification.

Also read – Your Shopping Cart just got a whole lot Smarter, this festive season.

We’re an AI-first products and solutions firm with extensive experience in insurance and consumer internet domains. Feel free to reach us out at hello@mantralabsglobal.com for an intelligent digital solution to your business requirements.

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