The digital tornado and its impact on the insurance industry

An article written by BSI’s Community Manager for Insurance, Oliver Hechler, appears in the current issue of Manager Magazin. In his article, Mr. Hechler presents scenarios that apply to the digitized insurance industry and defines specific action areas. In a brief interview, he provides a concise summary of the opportunities and success factors.

Oliver Hechler, Insurance Community Manager at BSI

Startups and Insurtechs have set the innovation bar high. In addition to that, customer requirements ratchet up the transformation pressure. What does this mean for the insurance industry?

Oliver Hechler: Anyone who does not adopt their customers’ perspective risks losing customers. The key to living and breathing customer centricity is digitization, which provides fabulous opportunities, particularly for insurance companies.

In what way?

Insurance companies are intrinsically digital businesses. Nowadays, this applies not only to their products and technological foundation but also to the service they provide to their customers. In this context, we will see a variety of customized materials and services that can be retrieved depending on the situation and "on demand."

How will customers be able to access those?

For one thing, via platforms that use attractive interfaces and apps to provide a proactive service experience; and also by way of digital interfaces and sensors that can be combined into smart security packages. Cognitive bots will anticipate customer needs and proactively take care of their concerns.

What role is left for people to play in this augmented insurance world?

People will become a differentiating factor. Although customer interactions will be more and more data-driven and automated, differentiation in the insurance industry will continue to be shaped by people: by them demonstrating empathy while providing insurance-related advice, and also by using "machine teaching" since bots are not intrinsically intelligent.

Which action areas will arise from these circumstances for insurance companies?

Get to know your customers better; collect customer data in compliance with regulations for true added value (and then use it accordingly, too); launch innovative offers that satisfy your customers’ needs even before they arise; develop ecosystems; and, of course, always take your customers’ perspective. We need to look at digitization in the context of better customer experiences and customer-focused real-time interactions – as a strategy for a future where customers and their needs take center stage.

Read the complete article in german in Manager Magazin, spotlight on the insurance industry, September 2019.