‘DIGITALISATION’ has been the buzzword throughout the global insurance industry over the past three to four years. Within and around the industry, managers, staff, consultants and providers, are all strongly, and correctly, convinced digitalisation is key to a successful future. To anyone within the tech space this is an obvious conclusion to come to, but within the insurance industry it is not so simple and there are two key things to keep in mind;
Firstly, digitalisation in the insurance sector is not a 100% new phenomena. The process of digitisation actually started more than 45 years ago! It was initialised in the late 60’s with insurance companies starting to store information digitally and beginning to support business processes via digital automation.
Secondly, when we consider futurist perspectives there are always difficulties defining what is actually meant by digitalisation. An attempt to clearly define ‘digitalisation’ within the context of the insurance industry has to take place in order to find a way through the jungle of expressions and buzzwords from “A.I.” to “digital identity” all the way over to “internet of things”.
Let’s try to define digitalisation in insurance by structuring it via four phases.
Phase 1 – Digital Efficiency
As mentioned above, this phase actually started a long time ago. This phase, a “journey from analog to digital” or “Automation Step 1”, went through drastic evolution periods, e.g. in replacing mainframes with client-server-technologies, or by opening IT to wider ranges of users through the ability to offer GUIs (graphical user interfaces) and affordable production methods. This phase is endless, efficiency improvements will not ever stop.
Phase 2 – Digital Interaction
This phase started in the early 1990’s, when IT could be identified as a helpful tool for communication: e-mail and the ‘www’ itself started their impressive and successful journeys to change the world. Parallel to that the progress in hardware technologies began the wider adoption of mobility features: Laptops or Notebooks and cellular phones spread all over the world. People and businesses realised the obvious potential of this kind of connectivity with potential customers & users. Web portals then began to create another very crucial milestone of distribution: e-commerce. Often elements of this phase are called “Industrialisation”. We could also define this phase as “Automation Step 2”.
Phase 3 – Digital Analytics
Of course, analytics has always been part of the insurance industry, even before we had IT. However, through IT we rapidly saw a wide-scale development of analytical tools, features, and developments like Data Warehousing, Expert systems and automation. The current quality and depth of insight of digital analytics has to be considered as a whole new episode. Capabilities of digital analytics has, and will continue to, heavily influence and form key business strategies. Predictive Analytics and the usage of ‘smart’ data collection methods as new sources of information will create new behaviour in all layers of business productivity and in our every day lives as well: From the consumers end, via distribution mechanisms, through to the heart of insurance providers. Let’s call this Phase “Big Data 2”, since insurance companies have used big data for decades, if not even centuries. Insurance has always been about BIG data, however the concept of what big data is and insurance companies ability to handle and utilise an ever growing technical world of data is the next challenge.
Phase 4 – Digital Action
The highest stage of performance in terms of our four phases is cognitive computing. Developing robotics and smart machines will enable further progress within the industry, e.g. new levels of Automation (“Automation Step 3”). Unexplored parts of the huge data oceans (“Big Data 3”) will support insurance companies in building new protection services and new ways to take this business to market.
What does digitalisation mean for ONE ?
ONE focusses on a mixed approach, “fix the basics of insurance as a business”, whilst in parallel setting the foundation for a powerful future. Firstly, ONE intends to deliver genuine solutions adopting advanced tech & processes developed via phases 1 and 2 discussed above, e.g. real-time processing and continuous client convenience and the best possible service level regarding your protection, personalisation of coverage, and claims management.
Based on this, ONE works on the delivery of new features, i.e. insurance on demand or on mobility based pricing. Another irreplaceable pillar in ONE’s business architecture is trust. Consumers require protection, protection must be given at any time and in every situation. This requirement also covers and includes a very protective, safe and trustworthy usage of data and information, which is getting exponentially richer and ever more automated on a daily basis.
The insurance industry is well aware it needs to digitalise it’s business and they are definitely taking steps to do so. However, By creating a full-stack, fully licensed insurance carrier from scratch, at ONE we are simply able to achieve these goals in a more efficient and timely manner. Our tech is state of the art and without any legacy issues, which means we do not need to focus on ‘digitalising’ and transforming our business. We have a clear vision for the future of insurance and have built a ‘technology business’ that is scalable and capable of, not only keeping up with new trends in data & service level but, leading the way.
Solving the insurance service level problems of today, while building the insurance experience and protection products of tomorrow.