Article | July 13, 2022
There is no doubt that we are living in an era in which insurers have been called to transform their business offerings, infrastructure and operations. Successful transformation translates into new revenue opportunities, stronger customer relationships and sustained brand relevance. However, this need to evolve cannot be addressed through superficial changes. Leading insurers are transforming their core offerings to completely reimagine their role in the insurance landscape. As the nominations and winners for the Efma-Accenture Innovation in Insurance Core Insurance Transformation award show, leading insurers are starting their core transformation at the top, and applying it to every touchpoint of the business.
Nine pioneering nominees
The nine nominees in the core insurance transformation category lead core insurance transformation in various innovations across their value chain. The nominations were:
AXA for A.Iconic Claims
Discovery for AI Quote
RBC for their conversational AI Platform, driven by Personal Insights for Life Insurance Application
Generali for their fund transaction through blockchain innovation
FWD for the AI-Everywhere Smart Insurance Framework
China Life Insurance for an intelligent value evaluation system for salesforce
Multiasistencia for MACARENA, an innovative AI voicebot that provides100% automated First Notice of Loss in home insurance claims
Humania for their ground-breaking income insurance for accident and disability claims
Mapfre for Verbatims, a cognitive behavioural model that integrates live customer feedback
As can be seen, by the nominees above, AI is a leading technology in core insurance transformation. In fact, every innovation used technology in fresh, structured ways to create a lasting impact on their business. Let’s look closer at the winners, and what their innovations say about how to lead core insurance transformation in 2021.
Discovery are transforming the way brokers and clients engage with them through the introduction of their AI Quote service. Users are able to upload a PDF or pictures of competitor insurance and investment documents via phone or computer, and receive an equivalent Discovery quote in seconds. The entire journey can be completed in under a minute. Brokers can take the quotes to their clients and where a client has completed the direct journey, they will be called by a sales agent to discuss the specifics of the quote and close the sale.
Romek Sadowski, Discovery Life’s Head of Technical Marketing says, “Ultimately, AI-powered optical character recognition (OCR) technology has been able to equip us with a seamless journey for clients, advisers and employees of the business as a whole. For clients, benefits include receiving a comparable quote in less than a minute and an improved understanding of Discovery’s products relative to the market. For advisers, key benefits include more accurate and consistent competitor comparisons, as well as a reduction in sales and quoting frictions. By automating the process of extracting data from policy documents and then converting it into comparable Discovery Life benefits, our advisers are able to spend less time on manual work and more time assisting our clients.
AI Quote has also created opportunities for Discovery Life to incorporate digital tools into many of our existing processes and create a single, seamless, digital journey for advisers and clients alike. Additional innovations, such as Virtual Underwriting which allows clients to undergo underwriting from anywhere they choose, have been developed and are being refined in order to make this goal for a seamless digital journey a reality.”
This is an important innovation in the South African insurance and investment landscape, which is highly developed and innovative, and characterised by frequent product updates and enhancements. While products are fine-tuned to meet customer needs, it’s difficult for brokers to keep track of various products in the market and how they compare from one competitor to another. Clients are also not in the position to understand how exactly their financial products compare against competitors.
“The South African insurance industry is a complex environment with a vast array of sophisticated products. Financial advisers are faced with numerous competitors each with multiple products and options, resulting in countless different quoting combinations. By automating the comparison process, AI Quote simplifies the new business experience for both advisers and clients, increasing conversion rates and improving stakeholder satisfaction. AI Quote ensures that clients who have existing policies with our competitors are quoted comparable Discovery benefits and gives advisers confidence that they are providing clients with the best possible advice when comparing policies.”
By removing sales frictions and automatically carrying out comparisons, Discovery’s AI Quote aims to enhance the company’s exposure to potential clients, attract brokers to sell Discovery products, improve the accuracy of replacements and promote Discovery’s brand as a market-leading innovator. With an efficient client- and broker-centric platform, Discovery has taken quoting to the next level.
The potential for AI, however, is just beginning to be untapped. Romek concludes, “The insurance landscape is evolving, and we have seen an influx in microinsurance providers, direct-to-customer insurers and niche players in the market. When it comes to life insurance, clients are faced with a dauntingly large number of options – and that number is increasing. Within such complexity, manual processing of data in order to generate benefit comparisons is simply inefficient. A key benefit of AI is that it can complement or replace manual processes and allows for a far more streamlined user experience.
Outside of the new business process, AI has displayed immense success in other areas such as customer service, underwriting and claims. Chatbots are now commonly used by insurers around the world to assist clients and answer their questions. Car insurance has been fundamentally changed through advancements in telematics. Big data is more readily available and, with the help of AI, can be utilised to make faster and more accurate pricing and underwriting decisions.”
Generali conducted a deep transformation in the way they transact with their counterparts and custodians through the use of blockchain technology.
Generali France currently processes 250 thousand orders on funds (to cover unit-linked policies) per year through classical schemes via custodians. The aim is to generate a direct link with asset managers for trading shares of funds without using the costly transfer agent of custodians.
With this transformation in mind, Generali France invested in a startup called Iznes, developing a trading platform on funds based on blockchain technology. With this as a foundation, Generali has begun to connect its IT and operations to the innovative platform.
The innovation can serve all middle and back offices of investment departments and asset management companies. It crunches transaction costs and creates a direct link between the buy-side and the sell-side. The total cost of Generali Unit-linked orders is expected to drop by half, supposing that 50% of counterparts join the platform.
Led by their customers’ needs and vision to change the way people feel about insurance, FWD Group Data developed a ‘Smart Insurance Framework’ which sees the business embarking on a ‘AI-everywhere’ approach. The platform has transformed the entire insurance journey for both their customers and employees with the use of advanced technologies and AI power.
To create a simpler and smoother insurance experience for customers, FWD created a modern data architecture framework that improves operation efficiency internally and convenience externally. The Group Office Data Platform (GODP) streamlines and integrates all data into a single platform that is smart, secured and scalable. This platform allows business users to harness data, insights and run analytics across all our markets, to help support a spectrum of initiatives in FWD with data. The clever use of data allows FWD to evolve and predict customer responses more accurately, develop a better understanding of customer needs and behaviour, and in turn serve them better.
As the nominees and winners show, the insurance industry is embracing technology to pre-empt, analyze and streamline customer, broker and employee experiences. We would love to hear how you are transforming your core insurance operations. Submit your core insurance innovation to the Efma-Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards for 2022.
Core Insurance, Risk Management
Article | August 4, 2022
Cyberattacks are one of the world's most pressing concerns. In fact, they were ranked among the top ten risks in the World Economic Forum's Global Risk Reports for 2020 and 2021. 1 According to the reports, cybercrime-as-a-service is becoming more affordable, accessible, and sophisticated. Though previously regarded as a technological issue, cybersecurity is now a growing ESG concern for private companies, investors, regulators, and consumers.
Why cybersecurity is material for private companies
Cyberattacks are significant issues for both private and public companies because they increase the risk of exposing confidential company information or sensitive customer data, disrupting supply chains, increasing regulatory scrutiny, and/or causing reputational harm. In 2021, the average cost of a data breach (including ransom payments and customer compensation) was $4.24 million per incident (the highest level in 17 years),8 and the global cost of cybercrime is expected to be $10.5 trillion annually by 2025. 9 Companies with marketable client or intellectual property information face increased financial risk as a result of the impact that data has on both their value and brand loyalty. Furthermore, firms that rely heavily on real-time operations can expect high per-minute costs of lost opportunity and revenue if a denial-of-service (DoS) attack occurs.
As a result, while some attacks may result in no direct material loss, these risks can have a significant impact on a company's valuation by influencing brand perception and operating costs. Private companies should consider these potential risks when evaluating cybersecurity investments, as underspending can significantly increase long-term costs.
Cybersecurity is a widespread and rapidly growing issue that has significant material impacts on private companies.These risks are especially relevant as private companies prepare to enter public markets, where strict oversight controls are regarded as good governance. Companies, in our opinion, must have the necessary expertise and infrastructure to navigate these significant risks and the corresponding increase in regulation and disclosure expectations.
Automobile Insurance, Insurance Technology
Article | December 19, 2022
Insurtech is advancing, and the significance of an effective policy management system cannot be underrated. Policy management professionals understand the payoff it offers to an organization. On the other hand, a policy management system that just isn’t a good fit can prove to be a lot more expensive than previously budgeted.
So what is it actually costing you? Is your policy management software updated, or are you still using an old version? Do you know how much it is hampering your financial productivity? Even then, often, an outdated system may not be affecting your process significantly but damaging it in other intangible ways that are just as crucial to business success. Analyze your current system for the following:
Financial Implications of the Current System
Manual processes for policy creation and management make up the costliest part of running a policy management system. Paper-based solutions incur high costs that can be easily avoided by using digital systems that use automation extensively. With thousands of policies and compliance procedures for your team to manage, costs can add up quickly, especially with printing and distribution costs.
In addition to these expenses, manual processes are also responsible for policies being misplaced or lost. It may also result in a large fine for noncompliance if some policies are accessible to unauthorized employees.
Organized policy management procedures are critical for high operational efficiencies. Policy management systems that require manual supervision can prove to be expensive over the long run as they require employees to monitor them constantly. However, automated policy management systems enable policy teams to optimize their resources better and direct team members to speed up other more crucial processes.
Furthermore, modern policy management systems don’t need constant monitoring and require only a one time set-up. This enables teams to allocate resources where they are urgently needed.
If you have an outdated policy management system, chances are it takes a lot more micro-managing than it needs to. Businesses must be able to optimize their resources better but with old and outdated systems, it ends up cutting into the productivity and performance on an everyday basis.
In addition, it puts undue stress on employees to keep up with compliance norms and changing regulations and policies. Policy management often requires various employees to pitch in with their inputs, and using an old system that doesn’t offer the option to collaborate can take away a huge chunk of productivity daily.
What’s the Bottom Line?
Automated policy management systems can undoubtedly save you a lot of time and resources. If you’re facing sky-high costs just to maintain your policy management system, it might be time for a rethink. From automating the lifecycle of policies and procedures to streamlining the management of policies by your agents, consolidating a policy management process with software is one of the best insurtech trends to look out for in 2023. It is probably what your organization needs to move the needle.
Article | August 9, 2022
Policy management assists insurance companies in staying on track to meet their client objectives by selling more policies and collecting more premiums. However, organizations using inadequate or fractured policy management software may be leaving a lot on the table. According to a study by Accenture, automation could save the insurance industry a cumulative $5-7 billion.
Are you facing hurdles in processing policies? Are some of the tasks like policy renewal, policy issuance, policy binding etc., that are supposedly automated still taking up time and resources away from the company? If so, it might be time to rethink your policy management. Here are three signs to look out for when this happens.
There are Hiccups in Your Policy Processing Processes
Being able to make universal changes and synergize different processes is a crucial aspect of policy management. If your insurance policy management tool isn’t able to keep up with the information or automate tasks like making updates and syncing information in real-time, it may be time to reconsider it and seek a solution that integrates Robotic Process Automation, or RPA. RPA tools enable organizations to reduce processing time for issuing, updating and cancelling a policy.
The Underwriting Stage Takes Up a Lot of Time
Underwriting can be a tedious, time-consuming process. With modern policy management solutions, it is possible to automate a number of tasks within underwriting. If your application is contributing to negligible or no reduction in the time it takes for underwriters to process everything. From the applicant’s credit history and scores to savings and loos-run reports, the underwriter needs to manually process this data. However, before that, the data needs to be reached in a streamlined manner. If your platform doesn’t support intelligent automation, digitalizing the underwriting process isn’t possible, in turn hampering the ability to access information when needed.
It is Difficult to Keep Up with Claims Processing
Claims management is an integral part of any insurance workflow, and its automation adds immense business value. If your claim settlement process is slow, filled with bottlenecks, and is impacting consumer experience, your existing platform isn’t doing any favours. Advanced claims processing solutions let you integrate features that align with the workflows of the insurer.
Customer Experience Isn’t Up to the Mark
Poor policy management processes are always reflected in the overall customer experience. Are you inundated with customer complaints, feedback about slow processing, and injured employee morale from poor performance and higher work load? The key is to take a good look at your current workflow and how it is affecting the end consumer. In a high-stress service like insurance, nothing less than an impeccable customer experience is a base expectation. The lack of responsiveness in your communication can result in a high customer churn rate. With a good policy management solution, your teams are able to stay on track and automate tasks when needed in order to keep customers updated.
The insurance sector is a fast-paced business world and requires insurtech solutions that can handle the tremendous pressures and demands of customers. The four signs indicate that it might be time to introspect and, if needed, jumpstart your digital transformation journey.