W.Will insurances be sold as part of a package for mobility, living or health in the future? Many managers in the industry believe in this. Digital technology, the cloud and the use of data analysis made it possible to take a more holistic view of the customer. Insurers would therefore have to prepare for partnerships with companies from outside the industry who offer services to customers in the same ecosystems.
“The customer doesn’t decide in the morning to buy insurance,” says Markus Zimmermann, who heads the Insurance Strategy department at Accenture. “You are traveling in different worlds, so insurers have to steer their thinking away from the product and towards the customer.” In surveys of insurers, board members have named care / everyday help, health and fitness and mobility as the most promising fields as the most promising ecosystems for their industry , in which the insurance industry should cavort.
“For insurers, the decisive factor is whether they build the ecosystem themselves or whether they are just a product provider,” says Frank Ellenbürger, long-time head of insurance at KPMG, who recently handed over responsibility for the German market to his successor Christian Schareck and is now responsible for the insurance business in Europe is responsible. “It’s about whether they get the cream on the cake or something else.” Those who orchestrate an ecosystem have the interface to the customer and can thus claim a larger part of the added value for themselves. Anyone who has built a good reputation in a subject area can also act as the main partner in an ecosystem.
Insurers do not need to operate Immoscout
However, from the point of view of Accenture consultant Zimmermann, insurers should not only look at the leading role. After all, they are used to being one consortium partner among several in other collaborations such as industrial insurance. “The insurer doesn’t have to run Immoscout right away, but rather think of good partner models for the customer,” he says. The typical customer does not think about what he needs for insurance in the real estate sector, but rather looks forward to a service package.
However, companies should not overestimate the importance of the topic. According to data from Accenture, the share of sales generated from ecosystem activities has risen from 2 to 3 to 8 to 10 percent of all sales over the past five years. But there is further potential, because digital technology makes it possible to design a continuous “customer journey” (literally customer journey) through a topic that does not stop at the boundaries of an industry. For example, elementary insurance could be part of a rental contract or the topic of fitness could be integrated into private health insurance.
In the past few years, insurers had decided to merge topics with few unique selling points, says Christian Schareck, Ellenbürger’s successor for insurance in Germany at KPMG. However, with companies in the same branch. “Many insurers are currently dealing with very similar concepts for ecosystems – a differentiation is to be expected here according to the individual starting position and future strategy,” he says.
Technology companies such as Apple, Google or Amazon have shown how good shopping experiences can be created by networking data and intuitive handling of IT interfaces, emphasizes Zimmermann. “Insurance customers would also like to have experiences like this.” The idea of ecosystems will also help the industry to overcome its own role as a payer of services. How can mobility be maintained, for example with a broken car, how can telemedicine be integrated into the offer of a health insurer? It is important to empower employees to think like this and to make IT cloud-capable.