What Are Major Insurance Themes Across Europe?

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We recently attended the Fleming Life Insurance Forum in Amsterdam. Although this was a LOGiQ3 first, the event has now entered its fifth year. The year's event welcomed a pan-European audience with the 90ish attendees coming from as far afield as Iceland and Sudan (yes, I’m aware that’s not in Europe – but the point is that many came a long way to attend).

We were eager to experience a pan-European conference, and compare the major themes that exist in the industry across the continent with those we see in the UK and North America. Surprisingly, or maybe not for some, many of the themes were consistent across all regions. Find out how below.

Innovation

While a wide variety of innovative ideas were discussed during the Forum, the conversation continually came back to one dominant topic. How can we as an industry drive innovation in insurance – before ‘outsiders’ (such as large tech companies) come and show us how it is done.

Customer Focus

As an industry, we’ve spent decades being focused on the products we create and all the great features these products have, without really connecting the dots from a customer perspective.

Martin Edixhoven, CEO of AEGON. covered both Innovation and Customer focus very well in his keynote presentation.  Within AEGON, a real focus has been placed upon customer feedback via Social Media using a ‘Net Promoter Score’ rather than traditional customer feedback loops.  Martin also shared the challenges of being innovative and the need to include input both internally and externally to really make it happen.

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A topic that really resonated with me from Martin’s presentation was the need for Insurers to find where to focus their efforts in the value chain. Since you cannot be all things to all people, insurers need to pinpoint where they can really deliver results in the value chain and focus on that one thing.  This is a common discussion throughout the LOGiQ3 Group  of companies, as we constantly define what we do well, what clients value,  and how we can do more of that.

Target Market within PRIIPS

Dieter Pscheild, Head of European Affairs at Vienna Insurance Group (VIG) did a great job of turning what can be a very dry subject – EU regulation – into an informative and useful overview of key EU regulation changes. Dieter's main areas of focus were Packaged Retail and Insurance-based Investment Products (PRIIPS) and the Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD), as he discussed changes that will be coming to the insurance industry in 2018 and beyond.

The key take away was the concept of the ‘Target Market’ within PRIIPS. You have to be able to demonstrate to everyone (regulators, distributors and insureds) who they are ‘targeting ‘ with a given product.  There are multiple factors (age/occupation/risk tolerance/financial situation etc.) used to create a ‘Target Map’ for a visual representation of a product.  All of this has a major impact on the creation and distribution of products across the EU. Dieter encouraged a multi-disciplinary approach to understanding how these changes will impact your business and also stressed the need to doing something NOW before it’s too late – 2018 isn’t that far away.

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Open collaboration & co-creation

Yours truly also had the chance to share experiences of industry collaboration and co-creation from the LOGiQ3 Group of companies. I shared first-hand experiences of industry collaboration from APEXA – the Canadian Life Advisor contracting and compliance business we’re currently rolling out - and our latest venture, Cookhouse Lab.

The conversation focused on how to leverage an open collaboration model, where diverse teams work together. This approach can truly change an industry. You can learn more about it here.

Get good quality data from the start

A fellow ‘Vic 20’ owner – Google it if you don’t know what I’m talking about – Anke Idstein, Head of Life Reinsurance (Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands, Nordics and Barbados) shared interesting examples of data analytics in insurance. This ranged from AI chatbots in Japan (Fukoku Life) to using machine learning and external data sources in a proactive lapse management programme.  The key to all of these innovations is getting your hands on good quality data from the start. 

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Engaging clients through health and wellness

Finally, one of the most entertaining presentations, with a colourful and forthright delivery, was by Pete Ohnemus, President and CEO of Dacadoo, a business that is looking to create a Health Score that is both calculated in real-time and leverages the latest medical research and technologies so that people are encouraged to become and stay healthy. Think of it as a health version of your Credit Score.

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Peter's presentation included a live demo which involved him hooking up to his app and getting the latest feedback from his recent activity, such as playing Tennis.  The angle for insurers/reinsurers is the product's ability to engage with both potential and existing clients, which is far more likely to happen around an individual’s health and wellness than by them becoming engaged with their insurance company.  Expect to see more of Dacadoo in the future.

Final Words

Overall, our first experience at a pan-European conference was enjoyable, informative and engaging. Everyone there was looking to learn something new and connect with peers. Being an intimate meeting of only 90 people, we were able to meet with almost all of the attendees over the course of 2 days. Big thank you to all of the speakers for sharing their expertise on prominent industry challenges and opportunities. 

 

Simon Bell

Written by Simon Bell


Topics: Innovation, EMEA

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