Conference session

Redesigning…. how we reach new markets and engage with customers

ICMIF Biennial Conference 2017 session

Changing consumer behaviours and expectations in an increasingly digital world are having a significant impact on the ways in which consumers choose to interact with insurers and how insurance products are sold. By harnessing digital technology, insurers have the potential to get closer to their customers and improve the overall customer experience. These ICMIF members’ case studies look at emerging technologies through the customer lens: new distribution strategies, the sharing economy, social media and other digital innovations, as well as potential market disruption from new insurtech platforms.

Insurance organisations must change to meet the changing aspirations and expectations of customers. People now want to only access a service when they need it. Whilst ownership was previously the key factor, society is now built on sharing, creating a versatile and agile market.

MAIF (France) continually attempts to reinvent its thinking. It collaborates with start-ups in order to create “something new”. This helps the company evolve and disrupt itself, although it is important to find start-ups with shared values. It is all about understanding customer experience, as aspirations and needs will drive the future of insurance, not technology. Insurers must create trust and reassurance by demonstrating this flexibility. Long-term loyalty is MAIF’s proposition, which means keeping the confidence of its members throughout and beyond the transformation of the industry.

Unipol (Italy) is redesigning insurance through innovation, building new business solutions to reach new markets and engage with customers. Managing innovation to respond to market challenges and the pace of change is vital. This approach, combined with leveraging data and advanced analytics, is helping Unipol to shift beyond the traditional insurance business model to provide a better service to its customers. 

Unipol is the leading motor insurer in Italy and a pioneer in telematics technology. The competitive landscape is changing, at pace, and new entrants are gaining market share. Unipol knows innovation is crucial and so established an internal innovation hub to continually tests new ideas and pilots, especially in the mobility and housing ecosystems. It also looks to collaborate with Silicon Valley companies. As customers move away from ownership into long-term rental, the quality of relationships is now the most important thing.

brightpeak financial, a brand of Thrivent (USA) set up to help Christian millennials and young families, takes a holistic approach when interacting with its customers. It focuses on serving the needs of customers, as opposed to providing insurance coverage. The cooperative/mutual mission is more relevant than ever for millennials, who are looking for organisations that align with their own values. Younger generations still want and need help with money worries and value financial products, but their expectations have risen. Personalisation is also expected, especially from the younger generation who have greater (digital first) expectations.

The company acts like a real start-up, using an agile mindset. Time has been spent understanding fintechs, including practicing creative disciplines. In brightpeak’s experience, it is essential to keep experimenting with new channels in order to reach and interact with new (younger) customers.

The insurance industry has the potential to be highly disrupted from transformative forces. Changing customer expectations are transforming the industry from within. New business models are beginning to emerge, driven by insurtech companies that are testing the boundaries of insurance, and pushing incumbent insurers to rethink what their long-term strategies will be.

According to Deloitte, there are unlimited opportunities for insurers to identify unmet coverage needs. Peer-to-peer (P2P) insurance allows group members to pool their risk online, similar to a mutual company. On-demand (or episodic) insurance could become the norm, forcing insurers to re-think how to design and underwrite products for the customers of the future.

Session speakers:

  • Thomas Ollivier, Head of Sharing Economy and Emerging Practices, MAIF (France)
  • Andrea Pezzi, Director of Innovation and New Business Solutions, Unipol (Italy)
  • Alec Catsuros, Senior Product Manager, Digital Experience, Thrivent Financial (USA)
  • Emma Logan, ‎Transformation Director, Deloitte (UK)
  • Nektaria Bessa, Administrative & Development Director, Syneteristiki Insurance (Greece) moderator

More information

If you would like more information on the topic or case studies presented above, please contact us. We are here to make tailored introductions to your fellow ICMIF members and we can also share other member-only resources with you based on your specific challenges and interests.

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