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10 Takeaways from the World InsurTech Report 2019

Nidhi Agrawal
6 minutes, 6 seconds read

The insurance market dynamics are changing rapidly. While a connected ecosystem is the need of the time, agility and new business models are a way through. The current edition of the World InsurTech Report (WITR) emphasizes on developing synergies between Insurers and InsurTechs for the success of the future insurance marketplace. Here are 10 key takeaways from WITR 2019.

Insurance Business Process Improvements

Tech giants like Alibaba, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google are entering the Insurance space with enormous customer data. Moreover, customers (nearly 30%) are responding positively to buying insurance products from BigTech firms, according to the World Insurance Report 2018. WITR proposes the following business process improvement for Insurers to remain market-fit.

#1 Partnerships with Insurtechs, Financial Institutions and Industry Players

90% of InsurTechs and 70% of Incumbents believe partnerships are crucial. And these partnerships are not confined only to the insurance sector. These can include collaboration with financial, technology, healthcare, travel, transportation, hospitality, retail, and more. 

Partnerships - world InsurTech Report 2019
The diagram illustrates the Insurance and InsurTechs’ level of willingness for partnerships – World InsurTech Report 2019

Baloise Insurance partnered with Swiss bank BLKB, and Swiss online insurance broker Anivo to develop a flexible and scalable digital insurance platform with B2C integration. The product released as Bancassurance 2.0 achieved a hit ratio of 50% for video-chat advisory sessions; more than 90% of customers rated the experience as good or very good. 

Partnerships can also bring compound insurance products, which otherwise seems impossible. For example, Swiss Re and French cybersecurity InsurTech firm OZON together, launched CyberSolution 360°. It is a risk management solution combining insurance and cyber-attack protection services for small and medium-sized enterprises.

#2 Adopting New Business Models

Not only Insurers, but also customers approve of new insurance models. For instance, 41% of customers are ready to consider usage-based insurance and 37% are willing to explore on-demand coverage. To meet the coverage gaps, offer convenience and personalization, Insurers are adopting the following new business models.

  1. Usage-based model for as-you-go coverage/premiums for a customer’s potential risky behaviour.
  2. On-demand model for cost-effective requirement-based coverage.
  3. Parametric insurance for covering uninsured risks, based on an objective-triggering event.
  4. Microinsurance services with low-premium packages.

#3 Aligning Strategies with the Future Insurance Marketplace

An insurance marketplace is a viable solution to support a broad spectrum of customer demands. It can also offer coverage for emerging risks and can deliver easy-access compound offerings from individual players of the insurance, manufacturing, and technology ecosystem.

For example, Friday, a Berlin-based startup, launched in 2017, offers digital automotive insurance with kilometre-based billing, flexible tenure, and paperless administration. With telematics support from BMW CarData, Automotive services from ATU, car-rental marketplace Drivy, and distribution channel from Friendsurance, Friday offers customer-centric insurance products.

“The insurance marketplace of the future will provide data and insights about customers that the industry never had before. This will allow firms to design a product closer to customers’ needs and, more importantly, offer them the product when they need it!”

Stephen Barnham, Asia CIO, MetLife

#4 Building an Integrated Ecosystem

As aggregators, OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers), policy management apps, and third parties enter the insurance value chain, an integrated insurance ecosystem can smoothen the overall functioning. 

For instance, digital integration with aggregators and third parties can broaden the Insurers’ distribution channel. Partnering with OEMs can help them with real-time customer data. Further, APIs, cloud-based storage, and blockchain can foster the insurance ecosystem with data security and transparency.

Technology Implementation Partners- World InsurTech Report 2019
An overview of digitally integrated ecosystem – World InsurTech Report 2019

#5 Being an Inventive Insurer

Inventive Insurers are the ones who have strategically updated their product portfolios, operating models, and distribution methods. They are realistic about their competencies. By identifying their distinct capabilities and partnering with other players to bridge their competency gap, Inventive Insurers can deliver an end-to-end product to the customers.

The World InsurTech Report 2019 defines the competencies of Inventive Insurers as follows –

  1. Capable of making business processes more intelligent, efficient, and effective using AI, automation, and analytics.
  2. Creating new scalable products with shorter development cycles.
  3. Enabling seamless integration with new data sources and distribution models.
  4. Offering value-added services to the customers.

Product Innovations

The tech-savvy customers are seeking easy-to-understand products with the facility of direct online purchases. Even leading Insurer like Berkshire Hathaway’s Insurance Group – BiBerk launched ‘THREE’ – only three pages long product covering workers’ compensation, liability, property, and auto to catch the pace. The drift is towards the following new insurance products.

#6 Bundling Financial and Non-financial offerings

An insurance package comprising both financial and non-financial products can expand an Insurer’s products portfolio, giving a competitive edge. It can also help in pitching new prospects. Bundling products and services will increase customer touchpoints and can help insurers identify their needs more effectively.

Bundling financial and non-financial services: World InsurTech Report 2019

For example, Homeflix insurance provides renters and homeowners insurance to its core. In addition to insurance coverage, it also offers concierge maintenance services like plumbing and electricity. The company also plans home delivery, babysitting, and cleaning services next.

#7 Tailored Products

Traditional insurance policies don’t fit today’s desire for add-on services, personalization, and flexible offerings. The World Insurance Report 2019 survey found that more than 75% of B2B customers and 85% of retail policyholders believe they’re not covered against the emerging risks.

Being aware of the need for customized products, 84% of Insurers and 80% of InsurTechs say they are focusing on “developing new offerings.”

#8 Products that Engage and Educate Customers

Gamification, video-chat sessions, and social media are promising channels for engaging with customers and educating them about risks and their need for coverage. Healthy interactions with customers through their preferred channels can boost sales.

“Insurers should focus on providing user friendly, transparent information via digital channels, allowing customers to make an informed decision. This will be critical not only for upselling, but also for attracting more new-generation customers, who are tech savvy and want to make faster product decisions.”

Jas Maggu, CEO, Galaxy.AI

Operational Improvements

For operational success- understanding customer preferences, conceptualizing new products portfolio, partnerships, and an effective go-to-market strategy is crucial. Fundamental shifts in the current operational models towards experience-driven solutions, strategic use of data, partnerships, and shared ownership of assets portray emerging trends. 

#9 Embracing Digital Agility

70% of insurers and 85% of InsurTechs believe a lack of technological readiness is a critical concern.

The more quickly Insurers implement initiatives, the closer they will be to achieve the digital maturity and hence actively participate in the connected ecosystem. The agile digital infrastructure demands real-time data gathering and analytics and automation of complex processes.

It will also lead to product agility. Insurers can offer new products at a faster pace and with reduced GTM (go-to-market) time, they can gain a competitive advantage. 

#10 Automating Processes

Not only claims processing and underwriting, but much more insurance back and front-office operations can also be automated. Automation brings two-fold benefit to the insurers. One- mundane tasks are carried by machines, speeding the processes and freeing humans for sophisticated work. The other benefit lies in enhanced accuracy. 

For example, AIA Hongkong has improved claims processing time by 40% through AI-driven ICR techniques and intelligent process automation. 

Read claims automation case study: How AIA Hong Kong saves 60% through claims automation.

Deutsche Familienversicherung (DFV) provides a digital automated platform for property and supplementary health insurance. It can process the transactions in real-time enabling customers to file claims and receive feedback immediately. Moreover, policyholders can engage with the firm via several digital channels, including Amazon Alexa.

Source: World InsurTech Report 2019

We’re AI-first products and solutions firm for the new-age digital insurer recognized among the InsurTech100 for pioneering the transformation of the global insurance industry. Drop us a line at hello@mantralabsglobal.com to know more about our offerings.

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Chatbots are the assistants of the future and they are taking the Internet by storm. Ever since their first appearance in 1994, the goal was to create an AI that could conduct a real dialogue with their interlocutors. The purpose is to free up customer service agents’ time so they could focus on more delicate tasks- which require a more human approach.

If you are thinking about including a chatbot on your website, here are the things you need to keep in mind to boost customer engagement and deliver high-quality services.

Define your audience

First things first- think about who will be interacting with the chatbot? Who are your customers? How do they talk? How can you address them in a way they’ll enjoy? How can you help them?

For instance, if your company sells clothes that are mostly designed for young adults, using a less formal tone will be much more appealing to them.

Lisa Wright, a customer service specialist at Trust My Paper advice: “Customer service calls are usually recorded, so listening to a few of them can be a good place to start designing your chatbot’s lines of dialogue.”

Give your bot some character

People don’t like to talk to plain, simple robots. Therefore, giving your chatbot some personality is a must. Some brands prefer naming their chatbots and even design an animated character for them. This makes the interaction more real.

For example, The SmarterChild chatbot- designed back in 2000, was able to speak to around 2,50,000 humans every day with funny, sad, and sarcastic emotions.

However, the chatbot’s character needs to match your brand identity and at the same time- appeal to customers. Think about – how would the bot speak, if they were real? Are there some phrases or words they would never use? Do they tell jokes? All these need to be well-thought through, before going into the chatbot writing and design phase.

According to a report published by Ubisend in 2017, 69% of customers use the chatbot to get an instant answer. Only 15% of them would interact for fun. Thus, don’t sacrifice the performance for personality. 

Also read – 5 Key Success Metrics for Chatbots

Revise your goals before chatbot writing

Alexa- Amazon bot has 30+ skills which include scheduling an appointment, booking a cab, reading news, playing music, controlling a smartphone, and more. However, every business bot doesn’t need to be a pro in every assisting job.

Before entering the writing phase, think over once again – WHY you need a chatbot? Will it help customer service only? Or will it also help in website navigation, purchase, return, refund, etc.?

Usually, customers want one of the three things when they visit your site: an answer to something they’re looking for, make a purchase, or a solution to their problem. You can custom build your chatbot to tackle either one or all of these three situations. Many brands use chatbots to create tailored products for their clients.  

Cover all possible scenarios

When you start writing the dialogue, consider the fact that a conversation can go in many directions. To ensure that all the situations are covered- start with a flowchart of all possible questions and the answers you chatbot can give.

To further simplify your chatbot writing, take care of one scenario at a time and focus on keeping the conversation short and simple. If the customer is too specific or is not satisfied with the bot’s response, do not hesitate to redirect them to your customer service representatives.

For instance, Xiaocle is one of the most successful interactive chatbots launched by Microsoft in July 2014. Within three months of its launch, Xiaocle accomplished over 0.5 billion conversations. In fact, speakers couldn’t understand that they’re talking to a bot for 10 minutes.

Also read – Why should businesses consider chatbots?

This article is contributed to Mantra Labs by Dorian Martin. Dorian is an established blogger and content writer for business, career, education, marketing, academics, and more.

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The antiquated commodity of Financial ‘Coverage & Protection’ is getting a new make-over.  Conventional epigrams like ‘Insurance is sold and not bought’ are becoming passé. Customers are now more open than ever before to buying insurance as opposed to being sold by an agent.  The industry itself is witnessing an accelerated digitalization momentum on the backs of 4G, Augmented Reality, and Artificial Intelligence-based technologies like Machine Learning & NLP.

As new technologies and consumer habits keep evolving, so are insurance business models. The reality for many insurance carriers is that they still don’t understand their customers with great accuracy and detail, which is where intermediaries like agents and distributors still hold incredible market power.

On the other hand, distribution channels are turning hybrid, which is forcing carriers to be proficient in their entire channel mix. Customer expectations for 2020 will begin to reflect more simplicity and transparency in their mobility & speed of service delivery.

A recently published Gartner Hype Cycle highlights 29 new and emerging technologies that are bound for greater business impact, that will ultimately dissolve into the fabric of Insurance.

For 2020 and beyond, newer technologies are emerging along with older but more progressively maturing ones creating a wider stream of opportunities for businesses.

Gartner-Hype-Cycle

Irrespective of the technology application adopted by insurers — real, actionable insights is the name of the game. Without it, there can be no long term gains. Forrester research explains “Those that are truly insights-driven businesses will steal $1.2 trillion per annum from their less-informed peers by 2020”.

Based on the major trends identified in the Hype Cycle, 5 of the most near-term disruptive technologies and their use cases, are profiled below.

  1. Emotion AI
    Emotion Artificial Intelligence (AI) is purported to detect insurance fraud based on the audio analysis of the caller. This means that an AI system can decisively measure, understand, simulate and react to human emotions in a natural way.

    F0r Insurers, sentiment and tone analysis captured from chatbots fitted with emotional intelligence can reveal deeper insights into the buying propensity of an individual while also understanding the reasons influencing that decision.

Emotion-Intelligence-Market



Autonomous cars can also sensors, cameras or mics that relay information over the cloud that can be translated into insights concerning the emotional state of the driver, the driving experience of the other passengers, and even the safety level within the vehicle.

Gartner estimates that at least 10% of personal devices will have emotion AI capabilities, either on-device or via the cloud by 2022. Devices with emotion AI capacity is currently around 1%.

  1. Augmented Intelligence
    Augmented Intelligence is all about process intelligence. Widely touted as the ‘future of decision-making’, this technology involves a blend of data, analytics and AI working in parallel with human judgement. If Scripting is rules based automation, then ‘Augmenting’ is engagement and decision oriented.

    This manifests today for most insurance carriers as an automated back-office task, but over the next few years, this technology will be found in almost all internal and customer facing operations. Insurers can potentially offer personalised services based on the client’s individual capacity and exposure to risk — creating opportunities for cross/up-selling.
Gartner-Data-Analytics-Trends-Forecast-2019


Source: Gartner Data Analytics Trends for 2019


For instance, Online Identity Verification is an example of a real-time application that not only enhances human’s decision making ability, but also requires human intervention in only highly critical cases. The Global value from Augmented AI Tools will touch $4 Trillion by 2022.

  1. AR Cloud
    The AR Cloud is simply put a real-time 3D map of an environment, overlayed onto the real World. Through this, experiences and information can be shared without being tied down to a specific location. Placing virtual content using real world coordinates with associated meta-data can be instantly shared and accessed from any device.

    For insurers, there is a wide range of opportunities to entice shopping customers on an AR-Cloud based platform by presenting personalized insurance products relevant to the items they are considering buying.

    The AR ecosystem will be a great way to explain insurance plans to customers, provide training and guidance for employees, assist in real-time damage estimation, improve the quality of ‘moment-of-truth’ engagements. This affords modern insurance products to co-exist seamlessly along the buying journey.

  2. Personification
    Personification is a technology that is wholly dependent on speech and interaction. Through this, people can anthropomorphize themselves and create avatars that can form complex relationships. The Virtual Reality-based concept will be the next way of communicating and forming new interactions.

    VR Applications such as  accident recreation, customer education and live risk assessment, can help insurers lower costs for its customers and personalise the experience.

    Brands have already begun working their way into this space, because as they see it — if younger generations are going to invariably use this technology for longer portions of their day for work, productivity, research, entertainment, even role-playing games, they will shop and buy this way too.

  3. Flying Autonomous Vehicles and Light Cargo Drones
    Although this technology is only a decade away from being commercially realized, the non-flying form is about to make its greatest impact since its original conception. Regulations are the biggest obstacle to the technology taking off, while its functionality continues to improve.

    The Transportation & Logistics ecosystem is on the brink of a complete shift, which will create a demand for a wide array of insurance related products and services that covers autonomous vehicles and cargo delivery using light drones.

While automation continues to bridge the gaps, InsurTechs and Insurance Carriers will need to embrace ahead of the curve and adopt newer strategies to drive sustainable growth.

Mantra Labs is an InsurTech100 company solving complex front & back-office processes for the Digital Insurer. To know more about our products & solutions, drop us a line at hello@mantralabsglobal.com

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