Insuretech Connect Asia 2023 Day 1

ITC Connect Day 1 is on!

The Future of Insurance is here

Sopnendu Mohanty from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) opened the conference with what can only be described as a bleak assessment of the real change that Insuretechs have delivered to the insurance industry. Stating " Insuretech has failed to deliver big changes. Why? Investments are down, and customer take-up and adoption are down. Why?"

These are some of the key reasons that were put forward:
  1. Access to data to enable insuretechs to offer compelling and meaningful difference. 
  2. The ongoing role of agents, particularly in South East Asia, to assist the customer is still "a delightful process". Online insurance purchasing, Sopnendu proposed was driven by price-sensitive customers, they want a cheap deal.
  3. Difficult to integrate insuretechs and legacy core systems. Insurance systems are complex to tackle and integrate with.
  4. There is a shift to risk prevention from risk protection as a more open and available opportunity.
  5. Need for regulation to adapt to enable the transition to take place more quickly.

So what do customers want?
  1. Generative insurance, driven by AI?
    • Generating the right insurance specific for an individual customer.
    • AI could be utilised to enable the customer claims process to be smoothed out and to lift claim success rates as "better claims" are made.
  2. Lifestyle insurance 
    • Embedding insurance with an individual's lifestyle to make their individual and unique experiences and requirements. Think of even greater increased personalisation. 
  3. Instant gratification
    • Fast and seamless claims process to take away major customer frustration and improve the service experience. 

Lastly, there is a need for the infrastructure to be in place, enabled by and through Government to fully unlock the opportunity here. SGFinDex in Singapore's attempt to create this Financial Infrastructure.

"SGFinDex is the world's first public digital infrastructure to use a national digital identity and centrally managed online consent system to enable individuals to access, through applications, their financial information held across different government agencies and financial institutions."

No time to Die - Why Investing in Digital Proficiency is Critical for us all

No time to Die - Why Investing in Digital Proficiency is Critical for us all

Go back to the core and focus on enabling your teams of agents they can apply and easily pick up and adopt. Together, the panel noted that building up digital proficiency is critical. There was a key consideration to be made around where will the investment go as you look to support your team's development. 

Critical departments to be successful in digital proficiency.

1: HR department needs to become more digitally proficient - picking up new tools, systems, communications mechanics etc 

2: IT department, need to become more engaged in helping teams become more capable. Not simply about keeping areas working, rather helping to procure the right solutions to fit within the wider organisational architecture. 

Interestingly they raised a conundrum - Organisations are setting goals with yearly targets, when investments in digital typically are a 3-5 year horizon for delivering value and growth into the future. This is especially challenging when leadership may not be aligned with the investment horizon. 

Peta noted that changing the mindset within the organisation starts with you as a leader. Also, that the approach to "buying of talent" has and will continue to drive wage inflation. It seems talented people as always are in demand.  Additionally, when you enable existing employees to build skills and drive change within an organisation, it will lead to a performance dip and the challenge to enable growth to continue effectively. How can you do both at the same time?

Whats one thing people can be doing to build their digital proficiency?
  1. Peta: Create a diverse network of peers to get insights from across the board. Rather than looking for a network that reinforces your perspectives
  2. Clemens: Fully transparent learning capabilities enable you to build a digital learning culture. Leaders need to do more and participate here. 

Top tips:
Invest in your capabilities, and get the supplements around you to strengthen where you are weak. Become a Life long learning - kaizen - continual improvements

From Legacy to Digital: The Evolution of Health Insurance to Win the Next Generation

Health insurance and customer journey are fragmented. Customers have to complete multiple forms and communicate information multiple times. It's a frustrating experience and could be better. 

Imagine a seamless technology experience for customers. Screening customers and providing digital customisation and configuration. Bupa Connected Care - the challenge is do customers trust the health insurer to participate in the market this way and to hold all that information together for them?

Customer use cases
  • Sick care
  • Preventative care - the next forefront of healthcare

Millennials and health care
If they get health care early on and have an experience as they age it's a better experience for them.

7/10 are health conscious and do care, but are too busy to change their lifestyle. Open to being engaged and pushed and encouraged to become healthier.

App to drink water in Hong Kong - The app is super popular and prompts you and reminds you to drink water, tracking progress and reinforcing positive behaviour etc. As a nice touch, it grows a tree to validate the experience and show your progress. Why and how is an app like this that is so simple, so effective in driving customer behaviour change? Could health care providers produce products like this? 

Enabling your Agents: Digital Tools for Better Customer Experience

Kalai Natarajan - ex Dai-ichi
Dr Yao Yuhui - FWD 
Ran Wang - Rgax
Terence Ho - Nanoinsure

This session opened, with a live experience of ChatGPT, where it was asked to help me understand what insurance I need. Interestingly, ChatGPT recommended a user connects with an agent.

What does the future agent look like?
  • Leverage AI
  • Personalised experience 
  • Educating the market to build trust.

The challenge has been to digitise the whole agent experience, as FWD has attempted to do. Developing tools and systems for existing customers such as "people like you". The key seems to be the need for specialisation and focus here.

Building own platforms vs partnering. There were differing opinions here as expected, however, insurtechs like Nanoinsure are promising to bring products to market faster. 5x times faster.

Help customers to find a sales journey, and shorten a buying journey from 60 mins to 20 mins. Leading to more sales and higher conversion rates. 

Any insurance product that sells well is driven by success in the sales journey.

Key pain points for agents:
  • Too many questions needed to be answered as KYC requirements
  • Agents biggest fear - "refer to manual underwriting", meaning they can close the deal straight away. How can we help the process to avoid delays during the sales process?

Arun 3 main insights for digital
  • Insights need to be provided across every step of the customer buying and engagement process.
  • Digital experience - all large brokers are creating these right now to pass structured data through during the customer journey.
  • Distribution of operations. The challenge becomes how do you create a custom market and target them, by industry or speciality.

A good understanding of the customer is essential to lift sales rates.

Distribution is dominated by Baninsurance and Agent networks and there is limited scope for the approach changing anytime soon. 

Is there a chance of offering an improved distribution offering that is broader than just sales. I believe there is. 

The biggest challenge for agents is lead generation. All about how to entice customers to connect with the agents. I wonder if this is because they are purely focused on sales and rather could move to a position of education and expertise sharing that would engage a wider audience who don't feel like they are only going to get sold to.... 

Speed of connecting at the right time to sell to clients. Shorter timeframe for interest.

How well do we know the customer?
Customers ultimately want their agent to know what they want and to help them navigate and deliver on their needs. Deep customer engagement and ongoing education is critical, however, I wonder how effectively this is currently being done? Strong brands like FWD leverages their brand as a key go-to-market approach. Which requires continued brand investment and nurturing. 

Education to provide information to the customer and the right time to meet their needs is a massive opportunity. 

The path forward to scale digital insurance distribution

Roopa Malhotra - Allianz

Digital distribution is getting expanded and will continue to grow. For any distribution, organisations need to feel the need for immediate or future impacts if they don't undertake the activity. The immediate threat, for their BAU is not there and so the need for new or more digital distribution hasn't been as large as it could have been. 

Success is critical and knowing whether this distribution channel will make a material difference and boost my revenue. The challenge organisations face is around the cost and type of customers you get through different distribution channels. If you're not getting digital distribution now, being active and present where your future customers are, then you'll miss them now and into the future. Not engaging with future high-value customers today is at the cost of your future business. The customer loyalty pyramid comes to mind here. 

The best digital platforms are built on a focus on what the customer wants.
Knowledge platforms used to share customer insights and information are increasingly being deployed and showing good early signs.

Insurance needs to be sold, so utilising generative AI helps you to drive sales with our humans will be an interesting space to watch.
Sandeep Dadia - Insurance Brokerage Leader from India
Sales lead channels need to shift to service lead propositions eg why does a customer have to go to the insurers' site for making a claims

4Cs of customer engagement.
  • Customisations
  • Comparison
  • Connection
  • Convenience 

You must be delivering increased customer value and relevance to remain competitive.

Andy Jamieson on ITC Singapore 2023

These are just some of the many thoughts, insights, connections and reflections from Day 1 of ITC Asia.