Five things successful digital insurers know

  • Posted on May 28, 2015

digital insurerStarting this month, Avanade Insurance is kicking off a series of blog posts to present timely perspectives on the industry from across the globe, and frankly, to be a little provocative in an industry generally known for its conservative nature.

For this first topic, I chose a format I normally eschew but I’ve noticed myself recently getting drawn into articles that use the tabloid headline style of "Ten Things You Need To Do To [fill-in the blank]" and the Quora question-style of "What is the Single Thing I Need to Know About [fill-in highly complex, nuanced topic]." As an homage, and hopefully, as a way to get it out of my system, I’ve opted to go with "Five Things Successful Digital Insurers Know." There are, of course many more things successful digital insurers know, but, no doubt, these are among those at the top and are worthy of discussion.

So without further ado; [insert uncomfortably long, reality-show style pause here], I present the Top 5:

Five: The industry is changing whether I like it or not.  The role of insurance is to bring a degree of stability into a world where things are uncertain. A unique business model to be sure and one that without hyperbole, greatly enhances society’s ability to function. So what happens when the industry itself faces change and uncertainty?  Innovators must get past the business-as-usual mindset and pilot new initiatives to restore stability and enable growth.

Four: I can’t ignore the change, but my business won’t change overnight.  Startups have the advantage of being able to execute against a single digital agenda from the beginning, while more established organizations need to balance what they do today with where they want to be tomorrow. The important part for both is to formulate a plan and get moving in a way that fits the business, and the organizations ability to adapt.

Three: I use digital in a way that makes my business unique. All digital insurers should follow the same path, right?  Wrong!  The phrase ‘digital’ while arguably overused, does at least bring into clear focus that customers expect to interact with all businesses, including insurance, much differently than even ten years ago. A significant pallet of new tools and best practices are available to enable better customer engagement, but it is the unique way in which the tools are used that drives differentiated advantage against the competition.

Two: I can disrupt or be disrupted.  Solutions follow demand and customers follow good solutions.  It is not hard to see growing demand for new coverage options, risk assessment, cost control, and operational models. Critical mass will form around the solutions that best suit customer needs.  Companies that provide those solutions are the ones that will determine the future landscape of insurance.

One: In two years, my business will be selling coverage I haven’t conceived of todayCloud adoption, the Internet of Things, shared car rides, unmanned vehicles, DNA-based medical treatments and many other new technology scenarios are all potential disrupters that will force new thinking about what is covered, who is covered and how it is covered.

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