Insurance: What’s On the Horizon?
You may soon have to forget everything you know about insurance because it’s likely to look very different in the future. But what’s driving the change – and how fast is the new dawn approaching?
At the end of November, Caura, the car management app for UK drivers, announced the launch of a new insurance product “that significantly reduces the cost and time taken to insure a car”. With the help of this app, UK drivers can buy car insurance in less than 60 seconds. The insurtech claims this is the most rapid way to buy and manage insurance.
How is this short journey possible? “Partnering with six leading UK insurers – Aviva, Ageas, Markerstudy, ERS, Sabre and Somerset Bridge -, Caura can offer cover for the majority of UK drivers, with the largest footprint of any insurtech”, writes YouTalkInsurance.com. As of early 2021, the app’s users will be able to pay for insurance in monthly instalments.
“Startups in insurtech have been so busy finding niches that they’ve forgotten to innovate for the mainstream consumer”, Sai Lakshmi, who founded Caura earlier this year, told TechCrunch. In this case, innovation springs from the “one-stop shop” approach: drivers are onboarded to Caura by entering their vehicle registration number and, from here, they are able to manage all the car-related admin: parking, tolls, road tax, car insurance, congestion charges and more.
“Startups in insurtech have been so busy finding niches that they’ve forgotten to innovate for the mainstream consumer” – Sai Lakshmi, Founder of Caura, for TechCrunch
“New business models and capabilities”
According to VentureScanner.com, there were more than 1,500 insurtech startups last year, globally. But what are the implications of this insurtech boom? ”Insuretech startups are creating new business models and capabilities that will shape how insurance is discovered, evaluated, and sold”, research and consulting firm Forrester Research reveals in its August 2020 report, “Insurers Should Leverage Digital Technology To Strengthen Agency Distribution” [The Forrester Research Report].
Some examples of how insurtechs are shaping the future of insurance – other than Caura, mentioned earlier – can be found in Forrester Research’s report:
- Insurtechs Kasko, massUp and Slice enable businesses to embed insurance products into their digital channels with a few lines of code so that customers can discover insurance during related purchase journeys;
- InsureLife.io uses psychological and behavioural data from its proprietary algorithms and AI models to predict customers’ key life events and insurance needs, then connects customers to its channels;
- Some comparison websites have given customers tools to compare policies and switch to the cheapest provider. The numbers speak for themselves: 19% of US adults who opened an auto insurance policy online in the past three years used a comparison website, up from 4% in 2018.
“Products, payments, distribution, underwriting, and operations will look very different in the next five to 10 years” – Forrester Research report”
Digitally empowered customers
A ‘born digital’ generation expects fast access and a frictionless shopping experience, no matter the purchase – a subscription to Netflix, a new watch, a ticket to a concert or an insurance policy. That’s exactly the business philosophy that Amazon, today a trillion-dollar business, was built upon since the very beginning, in 1996, “to be Earth’s most customer-centric company”.
As a result, the business of insurance is changing – but how fast? According to Forrester Research, the impact of digitally empowered customers is already palpable across the insurance industry. “Products, payments, distribution, underwriting, and operations will look very different in the next five to ten years”, says The Forrester Research report.
In light of this trend, here’s what Forrester notes in its report that industry leaders would do well to remember:
- A variety of business models will succeed. A number of different business models will be successful, but not all insurers will make it, particularly those slow to adopt digital technology. Direct-to-consumer models will persist — they provide a cost benefit and convenience.
- Insurtech isn’t a disruptor, it’s an opportunity. Agency platform vendors are bringing capabilities such as instant quoting, automated customer response, and mobility to the market; these will enable you to build your digital capabilities. However, insurers and intermediaries mustn’t rely solely on these vendors. Assess your digital roadmap and where insurtech can enable you compete successfully in the digital world of tomorrow.
- Virtual assistants and chatbots still have a long way to go before replacing agents. Your agents provide a human touch that robots won’t be able to replace easily. However, chatbots and virtual assistants will provide a means for insurers to extend customer service and elevate cX (e.g., 24×7 customer service). Today, customers ask Siri, “What’s the weather?” or “What’s the fastest route to the beach?” Tomorrow, Siri will provide alerts that help customers minimize the costs of their continuously priced auto insurance policies. Furthermore, as their circumstances change, Siri will shift them in and out of insurance policies based on risk needs and insurance rates. With integrated technology enabled by APis and the cloud, this surely could be a reality in the next 10 to 15 years.
This article is part of a series of articles and webinars dedicated to the insurance industry. FintechOS has talked to leading companies from incumbents and startups to accelerators and consultants, to get to the heart of the questions: What does transformation look like? And what is driving it?
For more findings on insurance:
➡️ Watch the recording of FintechOS’s dedicated webinar – on demand: https://fintechos.com/webinar-life-insurers-customer-insights/
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