An after-work informational forum examining “Sustainability in the insurance industry”
In the insurance industry, too, there is an increased focus on sustainability. In advance of InnoVario, we held an after-work informational forum called “Kaminabend” at Kameha Grand in Bonn on November 15 where we discussed with board members from the insurance industry how to implement the requirements for companies and sales organizations and what opportunities will arise from it.
Neo-ecology is a big trend shaped by social, political and regulatory drivers such as the taxonomy regulation or the sustainability-related disclosure regulation in financial services. Insurers, too, are increasingly recognizing that sustainability is more than just a hot trend and call it a strategic field of the future. Some of our customers, such as Bayerische, have already established sustainable brands, while others like Signal Iduna are currently in the process of doing so.
During the “Kaminabend”, we examined the topic of sustainability from different angles. In his impromptu presentation, Prof. Dr. Fred Wagner from the Institute of Insurance Science at Leipzig University spoke about the significance of sustainability in the market and in insurance companies: While it contains some opportunities and potential actions, it also poses challenges for the insurance industry.
”Sustainability is becoming a leitmotif and yet another core element of corporate transformation. From a strategic perspective, the insurance industry must therefore assign equal importance to sustainability aspects and digitization-related issues.”
Prof. Dr. Fred Wagner
Customers’ sustainability preferences as a sales consultation and cross-selling/upselling opportunity for insurers
In his presentation, Prof. Dr. Markus Warg, board chairman of SDA SE Open Industry Solutions, demonstrated that platforms and ecosystems represent an opportunity for more sustainability. He shared various examples of how platforms and ecosystems influence behavior, for example, through new value propositions such as AI-based stroke prevention or sustainability preferences in offers.
“With platforms and ecosystems, insurers can define rules together with partners such as BSI and, by providing new offers and processes, can contribute to making behaviors more sustainable in many areas of life.”
Prof. Dr. Markus Warg
Finally, Stefan Eversberg, board member of HDI Group DE, provided insight into the new normal in sales and outlined how BSI CRM creates the foundation for sustainable sales and customer communication at HDI. Beyond that, we showed specific approaches to supporting sustainability in sales and marketing in a live demo.
A customer’s sustainability profile in BSI CRM
How do you make the green transformation of the insurance industry successful?
I took away many valuable ideas from the presentations and the ensuing discussions. Here are my takeaways:
1. Sustainability consists of three dimensions: ecology, economy and social issues
Since a sustainable approach includes the equal pursuit of economic, ecological and social goals, dealing with this topic properly also opens up interesting market opportunities. For example, the mandatory inclusion of customer sustainability preferences in the sales discussion and product selection can create new opportunities for individualized communication with customers.
2. Platforms can drive the green transformation in the insurance industry
Platforms such as the SDA service platform define rules for coordinating the exchange of resources and skills between insurers, customers and partners, thus offering the opportunity to bring about changes in processes and behavior. Ecosystems arise when actors connect via value propositions, share rules and exchange resources. Prof. Dr. Warg asked: “Has the time come for a new industry standard on the subject of sustainability?”
3. Customer sustainability preferences belong in the CRM
Customer preferences regarding sustainability must be documented and be part of the consultation, e.g., when recommending products, which is what the IDD ESG regulations say. However, this is more than an obligation: Above all, it is also an opportunity for the sales team when they inquire about and “utilize” customer preferences intelligently.
On this note, a salute to sustainable customer relationships!
Neo-ecology – what exactly is it?
“The big neo-ecology trend describes the major social change process toward a resource-efficient, sustainable economy” (ZukunftsInstitut). It is about the often hotly debated topics of sustainable consumption, resource conservation and energy supply, which will be crucial for the future.
Essential aspects of the SDA initiative
Since 2016, SDA SE, the platform and ecosystem developer, has offered every opportunity, quickly and flexibly, to make the insurance business more personal and focused on added value. For example, it makes it possible to complement existing systems with suitable third-party services from partners and start-ups by involving external partners and while ensuring full data sovereignty. This approach allows insurance companies to provide new digital touchpoints and value-added services.