Better digital future

Warsaw, 20th January 2020: The 8th Innovation in Insurance conference organised by Sollers Consulting attracted over 330 insurance experts from all over Europe to discuss the challenges of technology-driven transformation in the industry and learn from international insurers.

Insurance companies worldwide are increasing their IT investments. By modernizing their digital infrastructure, they are establishing new business models to put the customer at the centre of their operations. The eighth edition of the Innovation in Insurance conference organized by Sollers Consulting provided exclusive insights into the insurance markets in the UK, France, Germany, Poland and Japan with contributions from Zurich Germany, Saga, Admiral, Beazley, Axa Direct Japan, Generali Poland and the InsurTech Friday.

Building trust through technology

Michał Trochimczuk, co-founder and Managing Partner at Sollers Consulting, opened the two-day event in Warsaw with his keynote speech. ‘New technologies open up opportunities in all areas of the value chain,’ said Trochimczuk, ‘but due to inflexible legacy systems, innovations often cannot unfold their true potential,’ he warned in his speech at the Copernicus Science Centre. Trochimczuk encouraged insurers to rethink their way of doing business. ‘New products and sales approaches should be based on completely new ways of thinking about offerings and customers,’ he stated.

Trochimczuk emphasized that insurers have to make further efforts to focus on the customer and build customer trust. This is the only way to address the USD 1.2 trillion global protection gap. Claims statistics for 2019 demonstrate that the difference between the insured losses and economic losses is considerable, which has a serious negative impact on the economy and society as well.

In order to build up trust, innovative technology must be applied. Insurers need to simplify products, establish value-added services, streamline processes and make communication more transparent. In his speech, Trochimczuk emphasised that the role of the insurer is changing from a mere claims payer to that of a life companion.

International perspectives and best practices

In case studies, keynotes and panel discussions, the Sollers Consulting customers shared their views on the global challenges facing the insurance industry and provided exclusive insights into their current projects. 

Dorothée Appel, CIO at Zurich Germany, illustrated the digital future of the insurance industry in Germany in her keynote speech.

Andrea Simoncelli, CEO of Generali Poland, sketched the current industry trends and described how Generali is meeting them by innovating.

Dan Lewis, Head of IT Delivery at Admiral, and Karl Jones, Project Manager at Admiral, explained how to provide high-performance IT.

Genta Hatakeyama, Yuji Futamura and Hideyo Shimojima, Senior Managers at AXA Direct Japan reported on the first agile business transformation in the Japanese insurance industry and explained the success factors of this major multicultural project.

Matthew Gurney, Change Programme Director at Saga, demonstrated the path the British insurer has taken in its transformation programme to shape the future together with the customer.

Ben Spencer, Group CIO at Beazley, explained how the specialist insurer has adapted to the digital transformation and what strategic goals it is pursuing. 

Christoph Samwer, CEO and Co-founder of the InsurTech Friday, explained how the company intends to become Germany’s most popular mobile insurer in a year’s time with its IT foundation geared towards scaling.

Hubert Młodzianowski, Head of Products at Sollers Consulting, shared strategies on how insurers can leverage technology in a purposeful way and not let legacy IT slow down digitalisation efforts.

Insurance in the cloud

Insurers around the world are investing in cloud applications to increase efficiency and address changing customer needs. In a panel discussion featuring Annemarie Bruch, Director Global Strategic Advisory at Guidewire Software, Thorvaldur Flemming Jensen, Senior Vice President, Tia Technology, Ralf Bojarra, CCO at Fadata and Marcin Pluta, Managing Partner at Sollers Consulting, the challenges and options for the industry were discussed. Among the representatives of leading core system providers, there was a consensus that it will be crucial for insurers to be able to network quickly through proper interfaces and to make their IT architecture flexible.

‘Most insurance companies are considering cloud as an option and it makes sense to clean up their existing system landscape in the process,’ explained Thorvaldur Flemming Jensen of Tia Technology. ‘The end customers are setting the agenda and pushing insurance companies to be more agile and intuitive,’ he added.

‘Insurers around the world view an investment in cloud as an opportunity to shift resource capacity to focus on strategic initiatives,’ said Annemarie Bruch of Guidewire Software.

‘Cloud computing is an important pillar of a successful transformation strategy. It enables new, easily scalable business models and paves the way for the sensible use of technologies such as AI or Big Data. High scalability sets the course for future growth,’ summarized Marcin Pluta of Sollers Consulting.

From product-centric to customer-centric

At the conference, Sollers Consulting presented the omnichannel platform RIFE, which enables insurers and banks to implement seamless, personalized customer journeys, manage their omnichannel strategy and enhance the customer experience. ‘With RIFE we support the financial industry in becoming more customer-centric and offering simple products,’ Michał Trochimczuk, Managing Partner at Sollers Consulting, explains. The future of insurance distribution follows an e-commerce-like approach and is expressed through a personalised customer journey, cross-sell offers, smart and assisted services and an ecosystem of multiple partners.

InsurTechs present their business models

At the conference six InsurTechs presented their products and solutions in 5-minute pitches.

Jakub Dryjas, Head of Growth at Tensorflight showed how the Warsaw-based Insurtech provides structured property data for the insurance industry by instantly analysing aerial, satellite and street view imagery.

Ella Lozinsky, VP of Sales & Business Development EMEA for Glassbox Digital, explained how they help the insurance industry to better understand customers’ pain points by enabling companies to manage and optimize the entire digital lifecycle of their web and mobile customers.

James Russel, Co-founder at Brisk showed how the start-up from London helps small and medium-sized enterprises to safeguard their business by using data analytics and AI assistance in order to identify risks and opportunities.

Antton Peña, Co-founder of Flock, a London-based  insurtech, known for its pay-as-you-fly insurance for drones showed how it introduced a real-time analytics and underwriting platform which is leveraging third-party​ and proprietary data to identify, quantify, and price insurance risks​.

Romuald Paprzycki, CEO of Minte.Ai explained how the Polish startup will automate subject matter assessment of claims related to medicine ​by using AI with the goal to establish a transparent process, instant payments and savings in operational costs.

Adam Richards, Co-founder and COO of Albany Group, presented his view on the future of supply chain management. The London-based start-up specializes in providing risk and intelligence software solutions for the financial services industry.

‘Insurtechs develop innovative solutions in all parts of the value chain. We believe it is a very promising strategy to establish partnerships between Insurtechs and incumbent insurers with benefits for both sides,’ commented Grzegorz Podleśny, Partner at Sollers Consulting.

Sollers Consulting is part of the InsurTech community and cooperates with the MIT Enterprise Forum to promote promising business models. Sollers Consulting’s role in the industry digitalization has been also acknowledged by the recognition as DIA Top 100 InsurTech and being included in the InsurTech100 by FintechGlobal.

Sollers Consulting turns 20

The eighth Innovation in Insurance conference was used by Sollers Consulting to inaugurate the company’s 20th anniversary celebrations. ‘Over the past 20 years, Sollers Consulting has worked with more than 80 financial groups worldwide, focusing on the markets in Poland, DACH countries, the UK, France, the Nordics and Japan, to help them transform and implement a strong IT core. ‘We will continue to be a trusted digitalization partner that not only focuses on the core systems of insurance companies, but also acts as a consultant to keep pace with market trends and the changing environment of the industry,’ said Marcin Pluta, Managing Partner at Sollers Consulting. ‘Digitalization is not just about using technology and being first. It is a long-term process that requires vision, experimentation, continuous development and the right leaders,’ he added. ‘We look forward to continuing to support our customers also in the next 20 years with their future challenges for a better digital future.’

Sollers Awards for outstanding digitalization projects

As part of the 20th anniversary of Sollers Consulting, Sollers Awards were granted for outstanding achievements. Zurich Germany accepted the award for its pioneering work in digital transformation. The agile business transformation of Axa Direct Japan was recognized as a first-class achievement. Warta, the Polish Talanx subsidiary, received the award for “The Fastest Claims Transformation” in a complex organization. Beazley accepted the award for its agile “Claims Transformation” in the United Kingdom, while Generali Poland was honoured for the successful agile transformation of its business and PZU as a “Pioneer of Transformation in Central and Eastern Europe”.

‘The Sollers award recognizes extraordinary achievements of our customers. The business success of our clients is particularly important to us and this is how we want to be measured,’ commented Pluta.

330 international guests from 16 countries

The eighth edition of the Innovation in Insurance conference again attracted 330 insurance experts from 16 countries on the first day of the conference, underlining its role as the leading international insurance conference in CEE and a unique platform for exchanging experience with international peers on digital issues. The next edition will take place in Warsaw in early 2021.

‘Every year it is a great pleasure for us to welcome insurers from all over Europe in Warsaw. We would like to thank our customers and partners for coming and are looking forward to next year’s Innovation in Insurance,’ said Pluta.

The second conference day is built around a range of innovative and practical workshops. They will take place at Sollers Head Office. Topics include the latest trends in core insurance systems, digital distribution, agile organization and DevOps.