Core Insurance, Risk Management
Article | September 22, 2022
Insurance customers look for result-driven insurance services and products. To meet those demands and grow revenue, insurers need to move beyond conventional methods and envision their insurance business' customer interaction as aiding in the management of product and service deliveries. This necessitates a cloud-based strategy for future-ready operations. This is where the concept of cloud insurance comes into play.
Insurers are receiving signals that the moment has come to invest heavily in the cloud ecosystem. But how? Read about it in the following points.
The revenue landscape is shifting
Investing in cloud infrastructure allows insurers to gain a competitive advantage in new revenue streams. In addition, it depicts a protected sphere where all the insurance business operations are risk-free, free of cyber risks and intrusions.
Digital distribution appeals to customers and capital
Customer-centric innovations, such as product distribution or cloud-enabled services, draw investors' attention. This results in increased revenue production.
Why is There a Need for Cloud Insurance Solutions for Businesses?
Insurance businesses face numerous obstacles in a continually shifting market position each day. As a result, insurance companies must primarily respond to the demanding and rising needs of customers. Cloud technology provides accurate solutions for the same.
Let's look at the need for cloud solutions amid the trending approach.
Customers expect personalized products, services, and experiences to support chosen communication channels like social media, a website, or a portal. Consequently, insurers need to improve their “speed to market” approach, which is possible through cloud technology and provide competitive products and services.
Furthermore, sales growth remains under constant pressure. As a result, cost reduction is another eye-catching feature for insurance companies. By streamlining procedures and operations under one roof, decentralized, and digitalized, cloud insurance best suits to decrease costs and expenditure.
Not to forget, globalization demands insurance businesses be more flexible and agile to win new markets and obtain new prospects. Cloud insurance infrastructure solutions are critical today and, in the future, to achieving all of these objectives.
The Insurer’s Viewpoint is Critical for Success
According to the report, leaders are more likely to use Cloud SaaSs, big data, AI and machine learning, and the Internet of Things (IoT). However, given the findings of the aforementioned study, it is clear that moving to the cloud is merely a baby step on a long journey of technological advancement.
Cloud computing has emerged as a critical tool for digitization, and the significant challenges posed by the COVID-19 issue have highlighted the benefits of cloud computing."
Peter Heidkamp, Head of Technology at KPMG.
The Internet of Services and SaaS as a service is particularly appealing to insurance businesses when it comes to cloud insurance (SaaS). In addition, SaaS licensing options allow customers to obtain software to reduce internet and operational costs.
The real use cases or benefits of the cloud are:
Business scalability and flexibility
Increased customer satisfaction
Optimizing business processes
Encourages business backups
Cloud Insurance: A Wake-up Call for Opportunities
Cloud technology and its solutions enable insurers to leverage cloud capabilities and resources to stay abreast with market developments. The technology meticulously encourages customized products and services on time, develops corporate networks, and implements new business processes with high revenue.
However, adopting cloud solutions is not always an easy decision for insurers, but those that overcome security worries can reap the benefits of cloud insurance. Therefore, utilizing cloud solutions is a continuous journey that necessitates constant innovation and adaptability.
Article | July 13, 2022
Despite economic pressures on reinsurers and cedants, nearly all buyers were able to secure coverage during the reinsurance renewal period. However, attachment levels and the cost of ceding risk were higher than most buyers desired, and supply constraints in some lines and territories caused stress not seen in years. As a result, according to Gallagher Re's latest 1st View renewals report, the reinsurance market has maintained its firming trend.
Despite mostly positive H1 2022 results, the combination of inflation and rising interest rates has caused reinsurers to adjust their balance sheets and reserves while also taking into account how a recessionary environment may increase claims frequency.
These economic factors, combined with sustained loss levels, allowed reinsurers to maintain upward pricing pressure as they sought to reduce their appetite for volatility.
Key Contributions to Understanding:
Natural disaster capacity decreased overall as reinsurers continued to shift away from low-level layers, which differed by country and region.
Reinsurers were seen assessing cedants' inflation-related actions and applying carefully calculated loadings to relevant treaties.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine increased interest in cyber and war contract provisions.
Long-tail casualty placements remained popular among reinsurers, but there was more debate about ceding commissions than in recent renewals.
Higher ILS risk transfer prices have attracted net new capital, but this has not resulted in market softening.
The inflation discussions have been detailed and technical, with reinsurers eager to challenge cedants' model outputs. Most reinsurers are assessing reserve adequacy as interest rates rise, in addition to their concerns about primary rate adequacy in the new inflationary environment.
They are experiencing effects simultaneously on the asset and liability sides, which has strengthened their resolve to maintain the pricing momentum of the previous two years.
Article | July 14, 2022
The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the pressures on emergency medical services and healthcare professionals as well as insurance platforms. Insurtech has proved to be a robust area of technology that needs further investments to ensure that we are able to leverage it even in times when there’s little global turmoil.
The Efma-Accenture Innovations in Insurance award winners have validated the exponential expansion of insurtech. Here are three insurtech innovations driving emergency prevention in healthcare.
1 bAIby – Interpreting Baby Cries
bAIby is a next-gen baby monitoring device powered by AI. Labelled as a “cry translator,” the BabyT device uses AI to interpret what a baby’s cries mean. The bAIby solution is based on the understanding that the first six months of a baby’s cries universally communicate the following:
The developer of the BabyT AI, Zoundream, collaborated with insurance company Generali to enroll young parents and test BabyT. This allowed Zoundream to collect the massive amounts of data sets required to train the AI. The AI is able to detect pathologies like hyperthyroidism, autism and even hearing impairment.
Furthermore, it will enable Generali to provide new parents with assistance, prevention, and insurance services, thus providing the peace of mind that insurance services should provide. This innovation won the gold in the Efma-Accenture Innovations in Insurance award.
2 Air Doctor – Finding a Doctor Overseas
Silver winner Air Doctor is a cutting edge solution to help individuals find general practitioners in unfamiliar places. The solution is aimed at travellers and expatriates whose first instinct when sick overseas may be to visit a hospital, leading to high medical costs and burdening the local healthcare system.
The Air Doctor platform provides access to a network of physicians in six continents and 70 countries. The information includes the doctor’s location, specialization, as well as online appointment booking and virtual care options. Insurance providers can integrate with the platform to connect with their customers by offering a digital link for quick verification and approval. The platform has made managing basic medical attention easier for both consumers and insurance providers.
3 bolttech – Boosting Insurance Penetration
Bronze winner bolttech was recognized for its smart insurance exchange ecosystem that enables non-insurers to integrate insurance solutions into their purchase journey. For instance, smartphone vendors can use bolttech to provide insurance as an option during the purchase of a new phone, leveraging the most effective purchase touchpoints to provide coverage. This is especially crucial in markets that have a low penetration of insurance. bolttech’s platform has medical plans with self-declared underwriting, delivering instant cover and reducing the onboarding time to just 90 seconds.
4 The Way Forward
Digitalization of insurance is the future of the industry. The above solutions have proven use cases that enable both consumers and providers to leverage digital network to create secure and stress-free access to insurance.
Article | September 14, 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented disruption to the insurance industry overall, dramatically curtailing business activity, upending the everyday lives of employees and customers, and more. However, companies that derive a substantial portion of their business from motor insurance have enjoyed stronger bottom-line results during the pandemic than in previous years. That’s because when sudden lockdowns kept drivers at home and off the road (see exhibit), claims plunged by 60 to 80 percent almost immediately. As restrictions began to lift, claim volumes subsequently bounced back, although they remain 20 to 30 percent lower than they were before the pandemic. The corresponding drop in payouts for claims was only partially offset by the refunds on premiums that insurers paid to customers to compensate them for traveling fewer miles.
Are motor claims in Europe about to rebound?
As of mid-2021, motor claims volume remains suppressed—at least for the time being. For insurers, this offers a short-term window to pursue or accelerate strategic initiatives aimed at establishing claims excellence, a key driver of profitability. These initiatives include transforming claims processes to improve customer experience, building digital capabilities, leveraging advanced analytics to improve decision-making, and reducing long-standing sources of leakage. Acting now will help insurers be prepared when vaccination rates across Europe accelerate, economies reopen, and both mobility and motor claims rebound.
Even as the pandemic recedes and business returns, insurers are likely to confront three persistent challenges that can be addressed—at least in part—by transforming claims management to improve profitability.
Top-line pressure will continue. Pandemic-related top-line pressure will likely continue for the foreseeable future. If history serves as a guide, commercial lines, which suffered from a temporary halt in business activity in the tourism, aviation, entertainment, and local business sectors, may be slow to recover. During the 2008 financial crisis, for instance, commercial lines took significantly longer to recover than personal lines. As for personal lines today, declines in everyday commuting have altered customers’ perceptions of the value of insurance: if they drive less, they expect to pay less. As noted above, some insurers have proactively offered their customers premium paybacks for reduced car usage—a change that could endure.
Digital is here to stay. Because of the pandemic, people shifted many everyday activities to remote channels and adopted new digital tools. For example, across Europe, 60 to 70 percent of consumers moved some of their shopping online, and most intend to perpetuate the new habit after the pandemic ends. This shift in customer behavior extended to engagement with insurers. In the United Kingdom, claims notifications filed via digital channels doubled during the pandemic, and insurers received 30 percent more digital inquiries than in the past. However, customers’ growing expectations for an end-to-end digital experience—with 24/7 service, instant feedback, and a user-friendly interface—still place most insurers in the position of playing catch-up. The large majority of customers still prefer to place a call rather than use digital self-service; in Europe, for example, more than 50 percent of claims are initiated when a customer contacts an agent. This preference could indicate that insurers have yet to fully digitize the claims handling process.
Inflation will affect claims costs. Insurers anticipate increased pressure on claims costs from multiple sources. First, car repair shops have suffered the knock-on effects of the COVID-19-induced drop in claims volume. Many received government help, but they also responded by increasing labor rates and margins on spare parts. The claims inflation rate currently sits at 4 to 5 percent. Ongoing cost pressure means repair shops are unlikely to reinstate their pre-COVID-19 price levels without some restructuring in the sector. In one scenario, insurers could step into the role of ecosystem orchestrators, significantly consolidating repair volumes and offering strong incentives—including extending insurance services to include maintenance and offering negotiated prices for parts and labor—to repair shops to participate. Meanwhile, insurers can analyze increased volumes of claims data to continually assess the performance of repair shops and then use those insights to guide customers to the best deals.
Even before the pandemic, insurers had made strides in improving the bottom line by increasing productivity and optimizing technical excellence, particularly via pricing. Now is the time to tackle claims. Claims organizations can use this period of lower claims volume to plan their strategic investments in advanced analytics transformation, to devise new digital talent strategies, and to improve their understanding of customer needs and expectations.
A complete suite of analytics and updated process automation—prerequisites for accurate, end-to-end automation—constitute the backbone of the new claims and customer experience model. The tools are evolving, driving automated decision-making along the entire claims handling process: routing, triaging, liability negotiation, cost estimating, deciding to repair or write off damaged vehicles, cash settlements, and fraud detection. All these areas will increasingly use digital and analytics as opposed to manual labor, changing the entire claims operating model.
Responding to customer demands for a seamless claims experience is a top priority. The pandemic has proved that customers are eager for and accepting of new digital experiences. They expect full transparency throughout the claims journey; minimal effort on their part (for example, very little engagement back and forth with the agent to get the claim resolved and receive payment); faster resolution of claims, perhaps including automated payments; and the ability to move seamlessly between the digital and physical worlds.
Furthermore, insurers can work to reduce leakage and improve the bottom line. Leakage takes many forms, including replacing rather than repairing a vehicle, offering a luxury replacement vehicle rather than a car that matches the customer’s vehicle class, and incurring costs for in-person loss assessments even in obvious cases for which pictures would suffice. Tackling leakage will entail enabling efficient detection of anomalies, selecting claims for detailed review, and empowering the claims organizations to efficiently close claims that cast no doubt.
Accomplishing these critical objectives will entail a shift from a scattered and often siloed approach using unintegrated digital and analytics tools to end-to-end digital- and analytics-enabled claims processes. On the front end, insurers will need to establish tools on par with the top digital services their customers use every day (for example, ride-hailing apps, social media, and digital banks).
On the back end, claims organization will need to invest in a suite of analytics engines to support automated decision-making to cut costs. The opportunity starts with claims prevention—using telematics and the Internet of Things to issue safety warnings and damage prevention tips—and continues throughout the claims processing journey, from providing customers with an easy digital first notice of loss interface and improving claims cost accuracy, to digital selection of a repair shop and automated payment processing and invoice checks. This relative lull in activity also gives insurers a good time to provide teams handling claims with the training they need to learn new processes and operate new digital tools.
Claims are already rebounding, so the clock is ticking for insurers. Building end-to-end digital and analytics solutions requires significant investment and will take substantial time. For claims organizations, it is critical to act now or risk missing the opportunity to emerge from the pandemic stronger than competitors.