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10 Takeaways from the World InsurTech Report 2019

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. 

webinar: AI for data-driven Insurers

Join our Webinar — AI for Data-driven Insurers: Challenges, Opportunities & the Way Forward hosted by our CEO, Parag Sharma as he addresses Insurance business leaders and decision-makers on April 14, 2020.

#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

InsurTech Report 2019: Summing-up

  1. Scope of business process improvements through partnerships, devising new business models, embracing insurance marketplace, building an integrated ecosystem, and being an inventive insurer.
  2. Introducing innovative products that are tailor-made and educate customers about potential risks; bundling financial and non-financial offerings.
  3. Operational improvement through automation and digital agility.

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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Apple WWDC 2021, Facebook f8, Microsoft Build: What’s in it for Developers and Consumers this year

14 minutes read

Apple WWDC 2021 is the second all-virtual conference hosted by the company this year, one that will see both hardware announcements and software updates. WWDC 2021, which begins June 7 with the traditional Apple keynote will run the whole week long and will contain pavilions, daily recaps available to revisit, and more in this free-for-all developers virtual meet. 

WWDC 2021 is bringing big changes to iOS 15 and iPad OS 15, along with a new more powerful M2 chip and a redesigned MacBook Pro that gets rid of its maligned features like the Touch Bar, to re-introduce the HDMI port and MagSafe. 

Apple CEO Tim Cook began the keynote address welcoming “familiar” faces back again in the audience, virtual avatars aka Memoji instead of real people, given the ongoing pandemic. 

ALSO READ: Google I/O 2021: What’s in it for Developers and Consumers this Year

Here’s everything we noticed at the Apple WWDC 2021 keynote: 

iOS 15 

The new iOS update will come with a series of improvements including a better Facetime experience. FaceTime will now include features like Spatial Audio making calls more comfortable and natural, like you and the person on the other end are in the same room. The mic gets a Voice Isolation update, which, through the use of Machine Learning will block ambient noise and prioritize your voice. Another noticeable update is Wide Spectrum, to capture your voice and everything around you.  

The software update also introduces Portrait mode to blur backgrounds, and a grid view to enable multi-conversations with a highlighted tile to know who the speaker is. Users can also schedule individual FaceTime calls with Facetime links, similar to Zoom. Additionally, users can share their screen, music, TV show, or movie through a new feature called ShareTime, to enable a Watch Party of their own. FaceTime will, with this update, be supported on Android and Windows through a web browser.

iMessage, the messaging platform, available only on Apple devices, will now come with features that group similar images into galleries. A brand-new feature called “shared with you” will save links that people sent you and collects them in one place. It works across Safari, Apple Music, Apple TV, and Apple Podcasts.

ALSO READ: Here’s what a tech-enabled world will look like for future pandemic phases

Notifications will now have an updated design on the lock screen, featuring a clearer look. Titled the Focus feature, users can choose to go on Do Not Disturb mode or choose Work, Life hours to be able to receive notifications depending on their preferences, much like the OnePlus Zen Mode and Work-Life Balance feature that came with the OnePlus 7 series in 2019. 

Live Text, a new camera feature, will automatically identify and scan text or visuals in photographs. Another feature called Memories will use Machine Learning and AI to combine photos into galleries and add music from Apple Music. 

Apple Maps software is also updated with 3D data with this release. It now includes lanes, clearer city details, AR-led detailed directions, and more. The Weather app gets an interactive update where data and layout will change according to weather conditions. 

A new feature is also coming to AirPods called “conversation boost” which will help people better understand who they are talking to in real-time. Siri will be able to announce messages and read out your shopping list as well. Apple Wallet adds a new functionality which now includes corporate badges.

Quicknote is a fast and easy way to get to a note saved for later, while also allowing a user to jot notes using the Apple Pencil. Consumers can now add tags to organize their notes better and even mention others in shared notes.  

With iPadOS 15, Apple is adding features for multi-tasking, bringing widgets and app library to the iPad as well. Apple has also announced an iCloud+ subscription service with a focus on privacy. 

Privacy and Security: 

New privacy features, and a subscription-based iCloud+ was also announced at the keynote. Apple is now adding new privacy features across its devices. The Mail App, for instance, will have a feature called tracker-blockers to hide your IP address, location and other information that help building a digital personality for third-party apps. An App Tracker Report section in the Settings will allow users to see how often apps have used their info in the last seven days.

iCloud+ will also include a key feature called Private Relay, which essentially helps route web traffic through two separate servers, just like VPN.

Siri, on the other hand, has some new features including availability on third-party apps, and users can also request tasks from the Voice Assistant without an active internet connection. 

Speaking of legacy contacts, Apple has introduced a Digital Legacy Program that will help your trusted contacts to manage your account, close them et al, even when you’re no longer around. 

Digital Health: 

The latest Apple Watch software allows more interaction possibilities while also connecting health trackers that monitors everything from your gait to the sleep patterns via the Breathe app called Mindfulness and let’s you know as soon as it finds something out of the ordinary which can be addressed promptly. This is possible through Apple’s collaboration with a few electronic health record companies. If you’re away from your loved ones, the new software allows you to share health data too. 

New watch faces on Watch OS8 are available in Portrait mode and one also has the ability to write a text with their finger to send a text message. 

ALSO READ: What will ‘Behavioural Changes’ Mean for India’s Digital Health Future

Additionally, in the Workouts app, new workout types including TaiChi and Pilates have been added guided by popular names such as Jeanette Jenkins as well as a new Artist Spotlight series that offers workouts on the music of Lady Gaga, Keith Urban, and more.

macOS Monterey: 

At the WWDC 2021 keynote address last night, Apple announced a new version of macOS. Titled Monterey, after the pristine beach town in California’s central coast, the new macOS brings a number of features including multiple screen-usage while using the same mouse and keyboard across a Mac or an iPad. This feature is called Universal Control. 

iOS devices can (for the first time) beam their screen to a Mac, thanks to AirPlay. The Safari web browser has also got a redesign with new and improved features including tab grouping and tab bookmarking. 

What piqued your interest the most at this year’s Apple WWDC? Facebook f8, held earlier this month also had a few interesting announcements. Take a look. 

WIIFM at Facebook f8? 

Facebook f8, held on June 2 this year kicked off with a promise that Facebook was returning to its roots and focusing on the developer community for this year’s virtual event. 

“This year we are refocusing F8 on developers,” Mark Zuckerberg said. “Some of the most important services in the world started when someone looked at an existing issue, and just found a better way to build. And I’m optimistic that some of the next generation of services are going to start right here with you.”  

On the business messaging front, Facebook announced that its Messenger API for Instagram is available to all developers. The social media giant is also testing a way for people to opt into messaging with businesses through a new feature called Login Connect with Messenger. 

Through WhatsApp Business API, it’s now easier for businesses to get started with using the tool effectively for their businesses. Among its key updates, Facebook said it has reduced the entire API onboarding process from weeks to five minutes. The company also announced new WhatsApp messaging features with an aim to give people a quicker way to make a selection when interacting with a business’s chatbot on WhatsApp. 

Augmented Reality, AI and Machine Learning: 

Facebook’s development of its futuristic augmented reality glasses is still ongoing, but the company has exhibited broad ambitions in terms of its AR experiences built on its SparkAR software. In the near future, Facebook has said that it wants to make it easier for developers to build augmented reality effects for group calls via its new Multipeer API.  

The SparkAR platform now has 600,000 creators in 190 countries, with 2 million AR filters and effects created to date, according to Facebook. 

PyTorch, the deep learning framework co-developed by Facebook in 2016, is now becoming the default framework for building all its AI and machine learning models in the foreseeable future. 

“PyTorch not only makes our research and engineering work more effective, collaborative, and efficient, it also allows us to share our work as open-source PyTorch libraries and learn from the advances made by the thousands of PyTorch developers all over the world,” Facebook said in a blog post. 

Missed Microsoft Build? Here are key highlights tailor-made for you: 

Microsoft Build, also a developer conference, was also held virtually this year from May 25 to 27. 

Following his keynote address, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella wrote on a LinkedIn post, “As computing becomes embedded in every aspect of our lives, there will be no longer such thing as the tech sector. The world will be transformed through tech intensity at scale. Every organization will need to not only adopt the latest technology, but more importantly, build their own unique digital technology, or be left behind.”

“We are building the platform for platform creators. It’s not about setting new rules or constraints that dictate how or what you should build. It’s not even about celebrating our own innovation. It’s about enabling your innovation and creating new opportunities for you,” he continued. 

From Microsoft Teams that allows users to complete projects from any location and at any time without needing to switch across different apps and data, to Windows Updates providing GUI support on Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), it will also allow seamless integrations with other workflows with Linux, GUI apps, and GPU-accelerated ML training.

In terms of privacy and security, Microsoft announced the integration of its Azure Security Center with GitHub. This integration will further enhance collaboration between the development and security teams. Interestingly, this collaborative effort will feature an update to enable security teams to be aware of the holistic development life-cycle instead of trying and fixing bugs only once the software is released. This measure will further allow the DevSecOps teams to run vulnerability scans, resolve findings, and visualize the security of workflows within their CI/CD pipeline.

The company also announced key updates to its Azure AI services, including Azure Bot Services, Azure Video Analyzer, and more. That’s not all, Microsoft also announced ML capabilities updates to accelerate its AI model deployment, namely Azure Machine Learning Managed Endpoints and Power Fx.

Automatic Aggregations was yet another feature that debuted at MS Build this year. Power BI dataflows that suitably handle streaming data sources, starting with Azure Event Hubs and Azure IoT Hubs, promises to make streaming data and real-time analytics accessible. 

Microsoft also introduced a low-code programming tool that allows users to write code without any prior coding knowledge. Called Power App Ideas, is the first-of-its-kind collaborative effort between Microsoft and artificial intelligence (AI) research company OpenAI. The app uses OpenAI’s Generative Pre-Trained Transformer-3 (GPT-3) AI model, among one of the highly advanced natural language AI models in the world today. 

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