How to Find the Right Balance in Digitalisation – A Customer Story
24/7 availability with online self-service tools
“If you want to make a difference with digitalisation, first think of your company’s identity and distinctiveness, and make sure your digitalisation strategy will fit in.” Marin Roos, Change & Innovation Manager at the Dutch non-life insurer Unigarant, recently inspired a group of Belgian insurers at Belgium’s number one insurance platform DECAVI. Keylane asked him to share his vision.The insurance market in the Netherlands has changed enormously since 2000, partly due to digitalisation. The rise of the internet for sales and distribution has been explosive, specific 100% internet insurers entered the market, and among consumers tablets and smart phones are now the leading devices instead of desktops. Consumers nowadays expect from insurers to be 24/7 available, to provide online self-service tools and to handle requests rapidly.The digitisation brings the insurance industry challenges, but above all opportunities. By automating a lot of standard processes, costs can be kept as low as possible. Think for example of the use of robots in call centers or the use of 3d printing in damage repair processes. And also big data and the internet of things offer new opportunities, such as predictive analytics and usage based insurance that will cause a shift towards prevention.
The Technology as Backbone
Technology is no longer the limiting factor in the development of new products and services. The pace of technology development is higher than its use. In case of for example the self-propelled vehicles, legislation needs to be changed, which takes quite a while. Smart technology has now become an essential backbone for companies to enable among others an efficient single administration, automated underwriting and claims handling and smart omni-channel distribution.
As the insurance industry constantly has to deal with many changes, companies need to focus on the areas they can make a difference. This requires standardisation of products and processes, as well as specialisation in product development, from premium and underwriting to output and distribution. With respect to digital support, insurers should outsource the hosting of their applications, as Software as a Service (SaaS) enables them to focus on their core activities: the insurance processes, customer interaction, products and services.
Digitalisation is to a certain extent essential in a competitive market, but certainly not an end in itself. The challenge is to find the right balance between digitisation and the human factor.