KBC Verzekeringen, Discovery and AXA win top accolades for their disruptive products and services.

The annual Efma-Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards give valuable insights into how carriers are using digital technology to disrupt their traditional markets.

This year around 50 insurers and insurtech firms submitted their disruptive products and services for evaluation by the competition judges and members of Efma. The quality of many of the submissions was outstanding. Insurers are increasingly recognizing the potential of new technologies to open new markets or expand traditional sources of revenue. Furthermore, technology firms looking to capitalize on opportunities in insurance are showing a greater understanding of the sector and a growing willingness to collaborate with business partners.

KBC Verzekeringen of Belgium was judged to have submitted the best disruptive product or service. Its digitization of the KBC Home Policy simplifies and accelerates the process of buying insurance. The runner-up in this category was South African insurer Discovery followed, in third place, by AXA in France. Also on the shortlist of potential winners in this category were French insurer La Parisienne Assurances, ERGO Versicherungsgruppe of Germany and Spanish carrier Caser Seguros.

These are the six insurance offerings that were judged to be the most disruptive products or services launched during the past year.

  • Digitization of the KBC Home Policy: By digitizing and simplifying its sales process for home insurance, KBC has dramatically cut the sales time for these products. Consumers shopping online for home insurance must only answer three questions – address, type of home, size of property – to obtain an almost immediate quote. Available on KBC’s website as well as its KBC Touch and KBC Mobile app platforms, the service also reduces the complexity of evaluating properties. It uses open data and big data analytics to streamline dramatically the underwriting process and shows the enormous power of next generation underwriting.
  • The Global Education Protector: This life insurance product provides Discovery customers with cover to meet the cost of educating their children. It not only helps policyholders address the fast-rising cost of education in South Africa. The product also promotes the health and wellbeing of policyholders. The Global Education Protector is linked to Discovery’s Vitality wellness program. Policyholders can use the credits they earn by maintaining a healthy lifestyle to contribute towards the cost of their children’s education. The product is a very innovative cross-selling extension to Discovery’s Vitality wellbeing and loyalty program that addresses one of the key needs of South African consumers.
  • GiveDataBack: AXA France is offering consumers access to much of its claims and policy data so that they can determine the risk of water damage and theft at their homes. Its GiveDataBack facility consolidates insurance data drawn from Germany, Belgium, Spain, UK, Italy, Switzerland and France. By entering an address on the GiveDataBack website, consumers can find out the probability of theft or water damage at that location. They can also discover the likely frequency of such events, the average cost of these occurrences and the months in which they are most likely to happen. GiveDataBack demonstrates a new approach to risk prevention and shows how data veracity can be used to build customer confidence.
  • Insurance Product as a Service (IPaaS): La Parisienne Assurances built this technology platform to enable companies to easily bundle insurance with the goods and services they supply. The platform, which incorporates a portal for public APIs (application programming interfaces) and a private blockchain facility, allows product and service providers to build and customize reliable insurance offerings. In less than two years, La Parisienne has completely rotated its business model. It has built a “frictionless” Open Insurance business while still achieving very high growth.
  • me: Developed with Intrasurance Technology Services, Innosure.me is a “web shop” technology platform that allows ERGO Versicherungsgruppe to quickly develop and trial new insurance products and services. Prompt market feedback enables the insurer to tailor and refine its offerings while keeping a tight rein on expenses. This is a great example of a successful incumbent-insurtech partnership.
  • ReMoto: A smartphone app that provides insurance for motorcyclists, ReMoto, developed by Spanish carrier Caser, uses a specially-designed IOT device to alert the insurer, and if necessary emergency services, should the policyholder have an accident. It allows motorcyclists to enjoy freedom of movement, by not tracking them and only being activated when an accident occurs, but provides swift attention in an emergency. This innovation shows yet again the potential of the IOT to create new insurance value propositions.

In my next blog post, I’ll discuss some of the innovations presented by the many insurtech firms that submitted entries to this year’s Efma-Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards. For further information about the awards click onto the link below.

Efma-Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards.

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