The digital economy is rapidly changing the way life insurers market and sell their products and services. Already some companies are successfully adapting to the new demands of the marketplace. These are the Digital Transformers. They are moving quickly to find new customers, deliver new products and open new markets.

Accenture’s recent quarterly Digital Life & Health Innovation Tracker identified five key trends shaping the life insurance industry in mature markets:

  • Extended ecosystems. Innovative insurers are partnering with players outside the insurance sector and even beyond financial services.
  • Culture of sharing. Insurers are generating new business opportunities and enhancing their brands through social aggregation media and initiatives.
  • Mobility. Mobile technology allows customers to use products and services when the need arises—anywhere and anytime.
  • New market opportunities. Insurers are introducing new elements of competitive differentiation and increasing sales opportunities and new business.
  • The customer experience. Improved customer experience enables insurers to increase the perceived value of their products and services by enhancing consumer satisfaction and meeting rising expectations.

The first two trends, extended ecosystems and culture of sharing, emerged in the quarterly survey for the first time. They are becoming increasingly important.

In my previous blog I discussed some of the emerging opportunities highlighted by an Accenture study of the U.S. insurance market. Here are some examples of innovative Digital Transformers in Europe and Asia:

Community Life, a German start-up, launched a digital portal which offers simple, transparent disability and term life products, as well as empowering customers to engage in product development. The Community Life portal acts as an insurance broker, turning the traditional life insurance distribution trope on its head through the use of simple insurance contracts without technical jargon.

Max Life Insurance, one of India’s leading life carriers, has launched a digital campaign called “Second Chance” to create public awareness of the need for protection through life insurance. The campaign uses videos of human-interest stories on social media platforms, such as  YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, and directs viewers to a website to learn more about life insurance.

Genertel Life in Italy has launched I-Life, a life insurance policy which can be easily accessed by users of mobile devices. Prospective customers are provided with a full quote online in around five minutes. The product includes incentives that reward customers who take care of their health. If they take advantage of the free medical checkup, for example, they receive an immediate discount of 10 percent on their policy premium and a further 10 percent if they are found to be in good health.

ERGO Direkt, a subsidiary of ERGO Group and the third-largest direct life insurer in Germany, enables customers to use an electronic signature to buy term life insurance online after entering their data and answering health questions on their smartphone. Customers receive their policies within three business days.

These are only a few examples of what Digital Transformers are doing to engage customers, apply digital tools, and create ecosystems to compete effectively in the new digital world.

If you have any other examples of successful Digital Transformers in the life insurance industry let me know. I’d be keen to share your input.

Meanwhile, take a look at some of these links. I think you’ll find them useful.

Generation D: An emerging and important investor segment.

Changing the Distribution Dynamic: Strategies for Increasing the Value of Distribution in Life Insurance.

Beyond Insurance: Embracing Innovation to Monetize Disruption.

Stand on the Sidelines or Boost Competitiveness? How to make Bold  Moves on the New Insurance Playing Field. 

2015 Global Risk Management Study: Insurance Report.

Digital Insurance Era: Stretch your Boundaries.