Product innovations in German life insurance
Increasing digitisation throughout all aspects of life is creating significant challenges for the insurance industry. It has fundamentally changed the behaviours, needs and requirements of the customer. The Internet generation – which, by the way, is already in its 30s – has grown up with computers, mobile phones and the Internet and is accustomed to communicating and shopping using smartphones. If digital natives are interested in an insurance product, they inform themselves on the Web via consumer and advisory websites, have a look at relevant blogs and search for the most affordable offers on comparison websites. Ultimately they conclude the contract online, for example by using an insurance app which they have downloaded to their smartphone.
And there is one more challenge to overcome: small and agile insurtechs are forcing their way into the insurance market with innovative ideas and concepts. They are creating new and exclusive ways of accessing customers and, in the process, are putting significant pressure on the often monolithic structures of insurers.
And customers are becoming more discerning: they now expect from their insurers the same convenient and simple shopping experience that they are familiar with from online shopping as well as the ability to quickly compare prices, services and products of all kinds. Information, advice, contract conclusion, claim reporting or contract administration – the entirety of contract management should be available in digital form round the clock. This is why, for the insurance industry, the extent to which changed customer needs and behaviours are understood will be of central importance, as will shaping products and processes accordingly.
Digital insurers must maintain digital ecosystems that deliver a digital customer experience, and they must create digital products and services. To be successful, all of the processes involved have to be automated to a great extent: the IT equipment and the systems on which products are developed, marketed and administered must work as seamlessly as in a factory. Digital insurers rely on processes designed especially for the Internet: 100 per cent trouble-free, no queues, automated and equipped with powerful analytical capabilities and artificial intelligence.
At its core, this means that the business model of an insurer is initially a question of IT. This applies across all segments and is completely independent from the market where insurers are active. The potential and opportunities associated with digitisation – for example as regards sales, communication channels, customer relationships and cooperation platforms – can only be fully taken advantage of with a modern IT infrastructure.
The same goes for another important topic which has been dominating the headlines in connection with digitisation: big data. Data is often referred to as the new oil . This means that it is one of the most important raw materials and is the fuel for entire value chains, industries and economies. It is not without reason that, for example, Google shares are outperforming many long-standing companies – and this is evidence of how desirable data-driven companies are to investors. In keeping with the metaphor, analytical information systems are often called refineries, and they refine the valuable raw material – i.e. create information and knowledge from the data. The insurance industry has an enormous amount of data on customers, products, claim developments and the like. With the help of intelligent analysis processes and tried-and-tested insurance-specific algorithms, these vast stores of data can be meaningfully structured and evaluated.
The information attained offers valuable insights for the company. This means more than just predicting general trends and developments; it also means having a 360-degree view of the customer. This knowledge is of inestimable value for all areas of insurance business – from product development, marketing and sales activities and price structuring through to value-oriented company management. Overall, data analysis can be used to minimise business risks and to improve products and services.
Digitisation is transforming IT into a cornerstone of successful insurance sales. With msg life, insurers have a partner by their side with experience around the globe. We understand that IT and data are the key to success and that customers today have different expectations of their chosen insurers. Digitisation, as we understand it, means the streamlining and automation of processes, the consideration of trends and the desire for greater flexibility in product development and – not least – remaining close to the customer and making insurance information available to them while on the go and at any time.
With our complete solution msg.Insurance Suite, digitisation even works straight out of the box. Our innovative, component-based complete system for the entirety of the insurance sales process offers continuous digital handling of core business processes across all segments – from life and health insurance through to property and casualty insurance.
The policy management system for the Life segment msg.Life Factory, for example, enables the fast introduction of innovative products and highly efficient handling of all business processes.
The solution supports not only classic business models, but also new digital forms of insurance through to portal-based B2C sales. With our portal solution msg.Online Insure, insurance customers can manage almost all relevant aspects of their insurance policies themselves. Self-explanatory technologies get customers actively involved in business processes – correspondence between insurer and end customer only takes place through digital means. Additionally, sales and other partners can be included in the communication with the customer.
The msg.Sales omni-channel platform automates all sales-relevant business processes – from offer generation and application processing through to issuing policies. You put the needs of your customers first and keep in contact with them seamlessly across all touchpoints – and across all products and sectors.
The standard software msg.Ilis, which is also integrated into the complete solution msg.Insurance Suite, offers the ideal starting point for the analysis of large amounts of data. msg.Ilis offers the framework for a central analytics solution which makes projections, analyses, etc. available. The solution also includes a procedure for cluster-based portfolio compression.
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