Going Beyond Insurance: Strategies to Win the Ecosystem Game
Ironically insurance is more and more happening beyond insurance. Maintaining the status quo, within the insurer’s ‘borders’, won’t make it. In the current system, insurers spend a lot of effort and money to gain consideration, attract and convince potential customers to prefer their product as opposed to their competitors’. The purchase of insurance is basically separate from the purchase of the risk object, making the whole customer journey highly ineffective and inefficient.
This inefficiency is hopefully and inevitably being corrected by Technology, bridging the gap between the user’s actual prevention and protection need and the right insurance offering at the right time. Insurance needs to be where and when the protection need happens, taking place in a living or business context.
The ecosystem conversations
By connecting with the environments where users and consumers show up and interact to purchase products and services, insurers have a unique opportunity to be a party in the ecosystem, being relevant at the moment of purchase. By definition an ecosystem is dynamic, constructed around a web of meaningful interactions between producers and consumers. With the right design and technology, the insurer needs to be part of this ‘conversation’ between producers and consumers.
What are these conversations?
- Smart mobility: how can I choose the best transport to go easily, safely and quickly from A to B? The user wants to be protected when taking the car, the bicycle, the electric scooter or even public transport.
- Smart home: how can I live safely and comfortably at home? How can I prevent and quickly mitigate home damages? The consumer wants to have the peace of mind that everything will be taken care of in case of trouble at home.
- Healthy living: how can I improve my health and wellness? The consumer wants to be advised, even assisted, on how to live a better life and receive the best care in case of injury or sickness.
- Early business protection: how can I be protected against casualties that would endanger my capacity to develop and run my business independently? Entrepreneurs and independent workers need coverage to prevent any accident that could hardly damage their nascent and growing business.
- Commercial protection: how can I secure my commercial relationships along the supply chain, ensuring my company ‘s business is sustained and not threatened by internal and external events? Companies want to be in control of their business operation and development and are willing to be covered in terms of property damage, security, liability and workers protection.
Ecosystem strategies enabled at the core
Insurers increasingly have to take a prominent role in forming their own ecosystem or engaging with ecosystem partners to deliver their insurance proposition. In either way, the ecosystem strategy needs to be enabled at the core:
- When forming an ecosystem, all parties involved need to be created in the core platform so that the commercial relationships, documentation and communication processes between parties are all set and can be executed in real time upon events. Core insurance processes are triggered upon events possibly happening outside the insurance company, making sure the insurance service is consistently delivered and each involved party (customer, agent, broker, supplier, loss adjuster, external partner, reinsurer, etc.) receives the right and timely information and compensation.
- When engaging with ecosystem partners, the insurer needs to be part of the ecosystem proposition, embedding the insurance into digital offerings. The core insurance platform needs to be highly flexible to configure the relevant products and services in each situation and serve them to the ecosystem via APIs, all in real time. In this context the insurance product becomes a native feature as part of the purchase of the product or service, easy to be subscribed by the customer in one or few clicks.
With the right experience and pricing (dynamically adjusted), seamlessly integrated with the core insurance platform, ecosystem insurance is the right model to provide more value to existing customers and, importantly, conquer new territories.
In the era of partnerships, insurers need to exhibit core technology capabilities to convince the right partners before their competitors because there isn’t room for everyone. In an ecosystem, it’s not a matter of which insurer, as insurance can even be invisible or white-labelled. It’s a matter of the right insurance offer with the right experience design at the right price. Who will take the insurance role in the ecosystem?
The ecosystem game is a winner-takes-all opportunity that needs a proactive and agile development built on modern core technology capabilities.
Design. Automation. API First.
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Written by Xavier Marcillac, VP of Sales, IBA
Published April, 2021