Continuing our InsurTech Leaders Summit series, the 2nd Annual Insurtech Leaders Summit held on 20th – 21st September 2023 convened thought leaders, experts, and innovators at ParkRoyal Collection, Kuala Lumpur. This year’s focus went beyond the conventional, steering discussions toward governance excellence, the evolution from financial products to value propositions, and the imperative of crafting personalized customer experiences.
In a bid to capture the invaluable insights shared at this summit, we had the privilege of sitting down with industry experts who illuminated the ongoing challenges encountered within the insurance landscape. Here’s a glimpse into their compelling perspectives:
Emnes Events: How do you ensure all automation techniques are successfully implemented and matrixes matter in digital transformation?
Boon Boon Lim, Head of Finance, Malaysia and Head of Finance Operations, Asia of QBE Insurance: You need to have a good business case, documenting all the benefits and cons for the implementation. Secondly, you need to have a good project timeline, ensure all deliverables are done on time. Thirdly, need to have change management leadership to verify the transition of current process to the future stage. If we are talking about matrixes, those are: operational efficiency, improving employee engagement and productivity, customer longevity, speed of innovation, and, lastly, agility.
Emnes Events: How does Metaverse promise to transform the way insurers engage with customers and employees alike?
Christian Glessner, Founder and CTO of Hololux: There is low engagement products and also time left for conversations within insurance industry. There is no connection between client and insurer. Price seems to be the only differentiator. With all exciting features Metaverse allows us to have engaging experience for the customers. For example, my daughter is Generation Z, she plays virtual games, and she represents the client of tomorrow. I think it is a chance for insurers to become more of lifestyle brands such as Nike, Gucci etc. Apart from functionality of products these brands provide value and allow everyone to express their personality. Insurers should become lifestyle partners and engage AI to provide clients with better suggestion of products. I was hesitant to work with insurers and bankers before as I recognized these industries boring. However, now I am seeing a positive transformation and have some insurance clients who are using Metaverse to get new employees.
Emnes Events: What are the key ingredients to make processes faster and cost effective while not compromising quality standards across different types of customers at scale? How to move from paperwork to paperless process and create paperlight organizations while reducing documentation?
Cristiano Pizzocheri, Chief Strategy and Digital Officer of ERGO Insurance Pte. Ltd., Singapore: Insurance can sometimes be very complex operation and usually is done by having many platforms and technology at the same time. The difficulty is to be normative and at digital transformation we are still relying on old system that cannot communicate to each other. So, I think the first key ingredient is to be able to replace those systems and streamline the processes to provide better service.
In theory, some processes already became paperless. But I think there are few aspects here: inside of the company where we still use paper and we should prioritize digitalization and on the other side, interacting with the customer by sending them forms online. In the second case, we are still getting some queries from less tech savvy population, and we accommodate by assisting them. However, generally, insurers are using a lot of digital forms which make the processes paperless.
Emnes Events: How to manage underwriting risk in the Digital and Data driven world? How is AI coming into the use of that data?
Lee Warner, CEO of HLAP Ltd: I think, end of the day, insurers will have their own philosophy on the product range they want and the way they will use that data to control the underwriting processes that they go through. The underlying thing is that everyone is data driven within the insurance. Therefore, they will set their own protocols for the underwriting data they want to use and the business they want to write based on projected profitability and that would be driven by projections of using data. AI is coming in very quickly on the most methodical simplified insurances but it comes to some of the greater diversified insurances with high protective risks then underwriters require a human element. So simplified risk will be very computerized going full. But it won’t rule out getting rid of people within underwriters and brokers in the long term because human element is here to stay because human touch is still quite important to many people.
Emnes Events: How to strengthen internal corporate cultures and enhance employee experience building more responsive workforce?
Yap Hsu Yi, Chief of People and Culture of Tune Protect Group Berhad: We are working in hybrid mode, in remote work one of the feedbacks we get is that the engagement level between managers and teams are probably not as strong as it used to be during pre-COVID time when everybody was working in the office together. It is all about communication. Which means taking every opportunity to tell the employees what is going on within the organization at every level from formal townhalls to WhatsApp messages for Adhoc announcements about good news, projects etc. What we are doing is we are getting managers to really engage their teams in a hybrid environment. The main challenge here is a lot of interactions with one another you have on screen. It is harder to build relationships and trust with a screen. We are getting all department heads to empower them to have more personalized interactions within their respective teams. It can’t be just an organic event such as grabbing coffee like it used to be before. Right now, it has to be more prescript and planned. It is not easy but is something that we have to consciously remind ourselves to keep doing.
Emnes Events: How to leverage digital platforms and social media in the customer acquisition game? What do you think the trends of the future are going to be?
Ragunath Murthy, Chief Client Officer of MCIS Life, Malaysia: This is something that every company is trying to do nowadays. Most of them have gone to the social media space. In fact, many companies now are spending more money on social media. Where they are finding out that to get younger people, they need to go to platforms like TikTok, IG. Furthermore, there is a question how to get those youngsters from social media and try to interest them and convert that interest into purchase. From the insurance perspective, I think, it works very well for Property and Casualty or General Insurance where you can buy travel or car insurance.
I think the trends of the future would mainly work on artificial intelligence, mental to reality, there will be a lot of offerings where people know you more than you know yourself. For example, the Apple watches. It knows more about me than I do, the number of steps I took throughout the day, how many hours of exercise I did, it is taking so much of data from me that actually I will not get surprised it knows more about myself. That is what will happen to trends of the future – because we are sharing a lot about ourselves in social media, all this information will be picked up and come back to you analyzed. That’s where you find personalized products for yourself.
Emnes Events: To what extent are P&C insurers revisiting their business models for climate risk?
John Spence, Managing Director of Asian Capital Advisors, Hong Kong: They are evaluating the risk that they want to take, that’s the first thing. So, there have been some P&C insurers who have withdrawn from the market because the risk is too high, whether it is fire/flood/hurricane risk – they have decided to remove themselves from the market. Secondly, for insurers that are staying in market, they have evaluated the risk and start thinking about repricing of that risk. What we have seen in the market over that last year is rates have hardened, that is they have got higher as a result of certain risk. You can see what is happening as the severity and frequency of weather related issues have increased, cost of the claims is increasing, premiums, as a result, also increase. Additionally, apart from products there are services. Rather than just doing insurance, they are helping their clients in risk mitigation, risk analysis, taking actions that would encourage good risk behaviour. Whether it is ESG related or preventive measures that a client can take to reduce the claims. Insurers have been proactive in the approach; they are managing the risk that they are taking on and then processing the risk they are absorbing.
Undoubtedly, technology continues to reshape our world, and the 2nd Annual InsurTech Leaders Summit was a testament to that transformation. The fusion of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and innovative approaches showcased at the summit marks the dawn of a new era in insurance. As we embrace these advancements, finding equilibrium between technological integration and human-centric values remains crucial. The summit served as a beacon, emphasizing the importance of leveraging technology to enhance client experiences, streamline operations, and cultivate sustainability without losing sight of the human touch.
This gathering of industry leaders, experts, and stakeholders provided an invaluable platform for collaborative discourse, setting the stage for collective action toward industry development. With anticipation and excitement, we look forward to reconvening next year at the 3rd Annual InsurTech Leaders Summit, where the conversation and progress continue to unfold.
20-21 September 2023
Park Royal Collection Kuala Lumpur