A Collection of Thoughts from ITC Global 2020 Fireside Chats
Author: Leonardo Cardone
Senior Partnerships Associate at Sure
Completing our coverage of ITC Global 2020, I’m going to share a few trends and notable points I picked up during a variety of fireside chats. Overall, there is a great optimism shared across the industry as we forge new ground with technology solutions designed specifically for insurance. The outlook for partnerships between incumbents and insurtechs is at its peak as current times demand the facilitation of digital distribution and servicing of insurance products. And brands aren’t slowing down in their pursuit of point-of-sale insurance offerings.
Upon compiling the insights gathered from the chats, I quickly noticed a common theme — in one way or another, success is undoubtedly tied to an insurers ability to meet customer needs using technology.
Here is my interpretation of the key takeaways:
- Remote workforces require advanced technology to facilitate meaningful customer interactions. This came as no surprise as I’ve experienced the rapid pace of technology adoption by insurance carriers and the boom in partnerships between carriers and insurtech first hand. Those that started their digital transformation ahead of the COVID-19 pandemic have an edge over the carriers that didn’t. This next year will be the true test for insurers as those that are unable to adapt quickly will undoubtedly lose market share.
- Customers demand digital insurance. As mentioned in my previous post, customer-centricity isn’t a nice-to-have aspiration, it’s a must-have mentality. Carriers that struggle to engage with large customer groups often lack the convenient distribution channels and servicing solutions that appeal to a wider market. This is what makes insurtechs so valuable to carriers. They have the tools to scale in the areas where carrier legacy systems fail and the insurance expertise to offer brands entering the market.
- Don’t be afraid to do a little digging. There’s no better way to understand your customer than to ask them what they need directly. Both B2B and B2C Brands entering the insurance space aren’t shying away from doing their research to ensure they come to market with solutions that outperform existing offerings. And they don’t stop there. Companies like Intuit are leveraging data they already have to cut down the number of questions they ask each customer with the goal of offering a one-click-buy insurance experience — something carriers can learn from.
- Be an insurance expert. Insurance is complicated. Whether you’re an incumbent that’s been in the industry for decades, a brand breaking new ground, or an insurtech breathing new life into an antiquated industry, success can only be achieved by those that are genuine insurance experts. It can’t be stressed enough that the details matter. The insurance value chain is complex, but can — and must — be mastered.
I intentionally saved this point for last. As with the takeaways above, it applies to both carriers and brands. However, additional attention is paid to each vertical to really drive the point home.
- Customers are the disruptive force in the insurance industry. This applies to brands, carriers, and insurtechs alike. Customers are always on the lookout for better, faster, cheaper insurance options and each vertical has a different way of meeting these demands.
Carriers are building upon, and modernizing, core systems by adding digital distribution channels and finding new ways to service policies. They’re making fundamental changes to the way they have historically sold and managed policies. This isn’t a small task. It requires restructuring, and in some cases, rebuilding.
Brands aren’t letting their late entry to market slow them down. They’re leveraging customer data to provide a seamless digital experience offering new types of insurance with relevant pricing models.
The common denominator for carriers and brands in breaking tradition and breaking ground is their reliance on insurtechs to achieve their goals. At Sure, we work with both verticals bringing something different to each table. Carriers rely on insurtechs for technology to reach digital milestones, as do brands. However, we provide an extra layer of expertise to brands that need a partner that understands every aspect of insurance. We help them navigate the market and put together the pieces of the insurance value chain.
As the insurance landscape continues to evolve, it’s clear that a positive customer experience at each part of the insurance lifecycle will remain core to carrier, brand, and insurtech success.
Read Part I of this two-part series here.