GlobalData Plc

Collaboration is key for insurers in a digital age

Encouraging collaboration between creative start-ups and well-established corporations is the key to disrupting the insurance industry and providing customers with better products and services.

Insurers are increasingly looking to find ways to innovate in the digital space. This is important as customers are looking for a digital experience. Based on our attitudinal segmentation of the consumer market within our 2015 General Insurance Consumer Survey, 42% of consumers identified with the Digital Lifestyles trait. This is a large proportion of customers, and is common particularly among younger consumers.

It is vital that insurers invest in insurtech to appeal to consumers’ needs. To cater for tech-savvy customers when innovating, insurers should look to take advantage of customers being always connected by encouraging them to have more touchpoints with insurers and products, tailor platforms and product use to portable smartphone and tablet devices, and develop insurance that is easy and convenient to purchase online.

Working with start-ups is an effective way for insurers to innovate. More insurers should aim to collaborate to create instead of focusing on purely internally inspired innovation. Traditionally insurers have partnered with third parties and used their creations and systems on the side. However, insurers should be looking to integrate third-party practices into their own systems and products.

Plug and Play is a global innovation platform that brings together start-ups, corporations, and investors in order to encourage innovation and disruption. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, it runs 12-week industry-specific programs – including one focused on insurance, which brings together its fintech, retail, Internet of Things, and health verticals.

Plug and Play encourages collaboration by promoting insurer and investor collaboration with smaller players that are already equipped with ideas to disrupt the market, but not the audience or investment to do so. This creates an environment in which mutualistic relationships can form that benefit all parties. Corporate partners of Plug and Play include AIG, Admiral, Munich Re, Nationwide, and most recently Aviva.

Platforms like Plug and Play that encourage co-operation between creative start-ups and legacy corporations will be extremely valuable to industry-wide acceleration in the development of insurtech. Companies should use the opportunity to collaborate, and ultimately provide customers with better services and products.

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