InsureTech Connect 2019 was held in Las Vegas in late-September, and CSIO was there. Over 7,000 attendees attend this annual conference, which features 250 speakers from 60+ countries focusing their discussion on digital disruption in the insurance industry. After participating in many thought-provoking sessions led by thought leaders and experts in the space, we observed some recurring themes.
Innovation and Digital Transformation
On the innovation front, insurers are seeking to find a balance between evolution and transformation. As part of this process, many are looking to partner with insuretechs to fill in gaps. Successful insuretechs have the ability to improve operational processes and customer satisfaction at both a lower cost and lower loss ratio than traditional insurance players. However, insuretechs need to evolve from single-mindedly developing solutions that are seeking a problem, to actually understanding and knowing the business pain point that they are trying to solve before developing any solution.
Concurrently, innovation needs to go hand in hand with fundamental changes in insurance company strategy and operating models. Innovation needs to be baked into the culture: all employees should be encouraged to think innovatively; innovation is not the responsibility of a single team or an innovation lab. Insurance companies need to change their mindset so that any proposed technology is evaluated on measurable results.
Speakers stressed that organizations’ operational strategy needs to be committed to digital transformation in order to see real change, and not as just ‘ticking off a box’. To truly see the benefit of innovation, it must be woven into a company’s long-term strategy and regularly examined to assess its performance.
A Customer-centric Economy
We also heard about the importance of understanding the customer journey.
We’ve heard it before: consumers judge their best insurance customer service experience against all other customer service experiences. As such, it’s important for insurance providers to understand the customer 360°, the end-to-end life cycle of the customer journey and its pain points in order to truly make a positive difference in their experience. Customers’ behavior is leading a change in the industry. We know that many customers view filling out paper forms in today’s digital age as unreasonable and behind the times. The push for a digital and seamless experience is present in many other industries and insurance can no longer afford to be left out.
Organizations must also continue to work on gaining the trust of their customers. With the ability for customers to easily switch their business, companies must continuously demonstrate integrity and follow through on their promises in order to retain business and consumer trust.
Partnership and Collaboration
Influenced by the innovation imperative and a focus on a holistic customer experience is the move toward reducing silos in insurance. In order to drive value and provide industry solutions, companies should work collaboratively and partner with vendors and new start-ups. This type of synergy allows companies to come together and create a more efficient, seamless experience for the customer.
Organizations that remain isolated, inflexible and rigid risk future success by being stuck in outdated operating models.
The final important theme we heard while at the InsureTech Connect conference was the emerging prominence of commercial lines. Several speakers emphasized that now is the time is to digitalize commercial lines and that the industry needs to build resilient platforms that support commercial lines. Standardizing commercial lines will open up opportunities to simplify and enhance the customer experience for small business customers. With the work that CSIO has undertaken with the Commercial Lines Data Standards Working Group, we were pleased to hear that so many industry experts are aligned with our perspective. CSIO, the Working Group, and expert vendors in Commercial Lines have all contributed many months of hard work towards the advancement of commercial lines data standards, including the successful testing of real-time quoting directly within a BMS.
This was the first-year commercial lines have been discussed at this conference and we’re excited to see how the conversation will evolve at next year’s convention.