“This year’s DKM clearly shows that insurance companies are taking on the digital challenges. Overall, however, the industry is still largely at the beginning of digital transformation,” explains Stefan Geipel, Partner at zeb. “Cooperation between InsurTech and insurance companies can help in moving along the roadmap to digitalization. But not all business models of InsurTech companies or cooperation initiatives are ultimately successful with the end customer or intermediary. Traditional insurers are required more than ever to implement innovative business approaches via functioning processes in their own companies and to continue working on digital transformation.”
Customers as drivers of change
The discussions with prominent participants from the insurance industry were a particular highlight of this year's InsurTech congress. Dietmar Schöne (Head of Broker Sales at R+V) for instance was convinced that digitalization was changing the business models of the industry comprehensively. Customers were the driving force, transferring the customer experiences and services of other industries to the insurance industry. He was also convinced that the insurance industry would successfully implement digitalization and develop a new range of services for its customers.
The levers for success are well known
The InsurTech companies Getsafe and Neodigital gave the expert audience a deeper insight into the business models of new players. Established players such as Adam Riese (W&W) and Friday (Basler) presented their digital counter designs. In the discussions, the experts shared the view that insurance companies as a whole would have to move closer to their customers’ lives and circumstances in order to achieve sustained success. In their point of view, customer orientation does not happen by itself. The essential levers such as simplicity, value for money, transparency and fast claims processing are well known, but are usually inadequately addressed by traditional players.
New thinking and cooperations needed
The discussion also revealed that established companies are too seldom geared towards innovation and generally do not allow a culture of error—this is a considerable disadvantage in the innovation race against new players. All in all, players in the insurance industry must succeed in significantly reducing the costs of customer acquisition in the face of intense competition if they are to achieve long-term success in the retail sector. According to the experts, one solution can be to build ecosystems. New ways of thinking have to lead to new cooperations. In this way, it might actually be possible to develop common standards for the industry. HUK Coburg with its innovative ecosystem in the field of mobility served as an example.
One pitch contest, two winners
The InsurTech congress came to an end with a pitch contest involving 12 well-known InsurTech companies. BANKSapi was awarded the jury prize in the competition, while GHV Darmstadt received the most votes from the audience and thus won the audience prize.