Other parts of this series:
My previous blog on Accenture’s survey of over 22,000 insurance consumers in Europe showed how insurers are forging partnerships to meet rapidly changing demands for automotive insurance.
More than a year after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re also seeing big shifts in consumers’ expectations for health and life insurance. This has generated significant innovation from insurers.
How are consumer demands changing? Well, as with automotive insurance, personalising a broader set of services is becoming key. According to our survey data, 58 percent of Europeans expressed an interest in life insurance where future premiums are tied to a healthy lifestyle. Two years ago, just 40 percent did.
In addition, 53 percent are interested in medical insurance where healthy activities like running and cycling are rewarded with a reduction in future premiums.
Incentivising healthy living
These are big shifts and, unsurprisingly, leading insurers in Europe have responded. UK health insurer Vitality has been among the leaders in this space for years with a shared-value model that lets customers influence the future cost of their cover. It incentivises users to make healthier life choices by rewarding them with premium reductions and other added benefits.
Vitality says that in South Africa, where the model has been in operation for more than 20 years, the mortality rate for its highly engaged members is 76 percent lower, and those members live 13-21 years longer on average, than the rest of the insured population.
The onset of COVID-19 and people’s consequent decrease in physical activity saw Vitality introduce new initiatives and rewards. These included six months access to home exercise on Peloton, a cycling workout service, for which members could earn points, and 50 percent discounts on fitness devices. Rewards were provided via a network of ecosystem partners.
Other insurers have taken similar steps. Generali Welion, the healthcare and welfare division of Italy’s Generali Group, has launched a number of health-related services for its customers. As part of Generali’s “Lifetime partner” approach, Welion introduced a broad set of services, from teleconsultation to drug delivery.
More recently, it launched WelionAPP, which allows easy booking of appointments, access to affiliated specialists, and diagnostic tests at reduced rates, as well as 24/7 access to medical support. (WelionAPP is in the running for the 2021 Efma-Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards.)
Similarly, Welion also recently introduced Staiwel – an interactive, simple and intuitive integrated platform dedicated to the well-being of employees and their families, and through which they can benefit from exclusive promotions, goods and services. (Staiwel is also a contender in the 2021 Efma-Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards.)
And in April 2021, AXA Group announced a partnership with Microsoft to build a digital healthcare platform that makes healthcare journeys easier and gives customers access to a fully integrated health ecosystem. That followed a 2020 pilot programme in Germany and Italy that included self-assessment tools and teleconsultation facilities.
As I said in my third blog, insurers face a major challenge in convincing users to share their data – and that’s only become more difficult: today, just 31 percent of Europeans trust their insurer to look after their data versus 40 percent two years ago. Europeans are especially sceptical. In North America, for example, 41 percent trust their insurer to look after their data.
With this in mind, the health insurers that have enjoyed the greatest success in attracting customers to services that require the exchange of data have put privacy at their heart.
One example is Savia, a digital health services platform launched in 2019 by Spanish multi-line insurance provider MAPFRE. With Savia, users can book tests, treatment and surgery, chat or talk via videophone with a doctor, and access health content. The service can be accessed whether or not users have insurance.
When it comes to data, Savia uses artificial intelligence to anonymise and protect users’ information. A year after its launch, MAPFRE’s award-winning platform had been used by over 94,000 customers, 90 percent of whom said they would use it again.
These examples illustrate the range of ways in which insurers are creating new propositions centred around the consumer. With demands for personalisation likely to keep climbing, insurers need to stay creative.