Cooperation will be key for innovation

Warsaw, January 14, 2019. At the Sollers Consulting conference Innovation in Insurance more than 300 insurance professionals from 14 countries discussed challenges of digitalization in the insurance industry.

Insurers from all parts of the world go through a period of a fundamental change driven by technology. The companies are challenged by political instability, tight market conditions and new claims scenarios. During the conference Innovation in Insurance at the Copernicus Science Centre in Warsaw representatives of insurance companies from Germany, Great Britain, Poland, Scandinavia and many other countries shared their vision of how to respond to these challenges.

“A vast majority of industry leaders believes that partnerships will become much more important to insurers’ distribution strategies”, said Michał Trochimczuk, Managing Partner of Sollers Consulting. “Insurers should be part of digital ecosystems”, he added. “They need to offer their products as part of cross-industry value chains, that can connect them in various ways with other parties like banks, real estate, telcos, airlines, car manufacturers or retailers.”

According to Trochimczuk there are two models for insurance companies to grow their business: digital transformation of the existing enterprise or creating new ventures to quickly reap the benefits of digital ecosystems. “98 percent of insurers expect the amount of insurance sold as part of a principally non-insurance transaction to increase, but many insurers are not ready to connect to ecosystems”, he said today.

Modern core systems give more options to insurers

Faced by rapid digital developments, modern core systems have become a key success factor in the insurance business. In 2018 many insurance companies began restructuring their core IT.  Roger Hodgkiss (Member of the Management Board at PZU), Ryszard Dyszkiewicz (Head of Group IT, VIG), Niels Zijderveld (Sales Director Northern Europe, Guidewire Software) and Carsten Vraa-Jensen (Senior Vice President Commercial, Tia Technology) talked in a panel discussion about why core systems have become so important and how they support innovation.

“It is difficult for an insurance company to change processes and products with an outdated system. Operating on a standard system, insurers can use customers data in a much better way and improve customer experience”, commented Roger Hodgkiss. “A company which does not have a proven team on board should not try to build up a proprietary solution”, warned Ryszard Dyszkiewicz.

Insurance has always been a data driven business. But the way companies handle data today has changed radically. To use big data and make tools like data analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence work, core system providers and insurers invest in technology.

Insurtechs make artificial intelligence work

Four Insurtechs presented their technological solutions today. Their offerings are based on artificial intelligence and other data-related technologies. “Sollers Consulting supports the cooperation of insurers and insurtechs as one of the sponsors of the Polish chapter of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Enterprise Forum (MIT EF)”, comments Grzegorz Podleśny, Partner of Sollers Consulting. During the conference Poland-based Smabbler showed to how it applies artificial intelligence to written language interpretation. SpaceKnow uses artificial intelligence for satellite image recognition. Runvido presented a solution for interactive photos based on augmented reality. Boomerun reported on its data tool for wearables, which can be applied in insurance pricing and for shopping discounts. “There are a lot of initiatives by startups and incumbents. Is it just hype or is it a business imperative? Looking at estimates of strategic research houses, it’s an imperative”, said Michał Trochimczuk.

Innovation at Financial institutions is speeding up

To improve the relationship with clients and increase customer satisfaction insurance companies innovate all parts of their value chain. Jarosław Bucoń and Marcin Grabowski of Sollers Consulting reported about innovation in sales strategies and sales processes. “Insurance companies should focus on the practices most correlated with strong financial and customer performance and build a digital DNA of their organization”, Jarosław Bucoń, Chief Customer Officer of Sollers Consulting, summarized.

A growing number of companies are focusing on claims handling. During the conference, German insurer VHV and the UK-based international insurer Beazley showed how they restructure and modernise their processes in claims handling.

Jeffrey Crawford (Global Claims Platform Lead, Beazley) and Steven Flood (Claims Operations Manager, Beazley) reported today on Beazley’s key areas of transformation and innovation. Branislav Siarsky (Product Owner, Basler Switzerland) explained how the Swiss insurer is creating a technological foundation for a digital ecosystem. Cyrille Dersch (Head of IT and Program Manager, Globality Health) explained, how the Luxembourg-based Munich Re subsidiary specialising on expatriates is preparing its IT delivery process for the digital era.

Małgorzata Kruaze-Kulewska (Product Owner, Santander Consumer Bank) described the bank’s innovative approach to insurance sales. On behalf of Santander Consumer Bank, she accepted the Sollers Award, which is given to outstanding innovation projects. “Santander Consumer Bank completely redesigned its insurance business. It adopted agile methodology for the first time and completed the project in just four months. It was an outstanding partner considering velocity and quality”, said Jarosław Bucoń. After the implementation of the new approach to insurance business, the sales at Santander Consumer Bank have gone up sharply.

The seventh edition of the Innovation in Insurance attracted more than 300 insurance professionals from countries such as Poland, United Kingdom, Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, Russia and many others. It has become the biggest international insurance conference in Poland. “There is a strong focus on digitization problems in the insurance industry”, commented Marcin Pluta, Managing Partner of Sollers Consulting. Companies are looking for technological solutions to improve their business. I am delighted that Innovation in Insurance has become such an important forum for the industry.”