The trouble with insurance is image

By Teamspirit on Tuesday, 28 November 2017

“The trouble with insurance is image” was the title of the one of the most interesting debates of the day at Web Summit’s MoneyConf. As consumers of insurance products most of us will have a portfolio of companies for each of our needs. When the audience was asked “Is there anyone here who is so excited by their insurer that they would put all of their business into one company?”, only one person from around 400 said yes - and even she then confessed that she worked for the company itself.

The panel was made up of the traditional institutions such as AXA Group’s Ameile Oudea-Castera and new entrants such as Lemonade’s Shai Wininger.

If the insurance industry was about image then Oudea-Castera did a great job of showing the strengths of an institution - her knowledge of the sector stood way above the other panellists. However at the same time the old incumbents’ problems in meeting the challenges of disruptors were made apparent. You need technology to be able to change as fast as the market does and the incumbents’ platforms are built on older systems that prevent them from moving as quickly into new systems and new ways of working - as Ouede-Castera explained: “Experience tells me that innovation is difficult, you need to know that you can’t innovate on 100 topics in a given year”.

One area which was of interest to Oudea-Castera is the way that healthy behaviours and behaviour change is creating a new model for the insurance business. China in particular is leading the way in changing insurance - Ping An’s Good Doctor App has 77 million registered users giving 250,000 consultations a day.

There was an acknowledgement that companies like AXA used to focus on scale, but should put a greater emphasis on building trust with customers in order to move forward and follow the example of companies like Lemonade. The Lemonade product team are obsessed with customer experience, AI and behavioural economics and this customer focus has had its rewards - 3% of their claims pay outs are returned.

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