Just as in all other sectors, the route of the insurance sector is the digital world (web, mobile and smart tools and their apps, and the processing of large data pools). In my previous article (unfortunately it is Turkish only), I talked about the report of PWC and mentioned that starting from 2017, the “native digital” will become the major consumer.
Digital insurance applications have started in Turkey too. Even though Aviva was the first to have made the first move, the economic problems of the company seems to have slowed them in investing further in this area.
Generali has made the second and more effective move. I can not know how much sales they made through the direct channel and whether they have reached their target, but, it is for certain that, in the business model of the future, they have written their names in history, they have increased their brand awereness, and they have created a nice image on the youth. Especially when we think that this brand has been silent for long years, I believe the image has shined through modern style.
Besides these two companies which are easier to evolve into innovation and digital insurance in terms of systems and organization because of their small size, there are also other companies which make online sales and stand out in terms of production.
There may be different reactions to the developments in digital insurance:
1- Like “Insurance is a product which is sold through traditional channels. Digital channel can not succeed. In fact, it failed in Germany.”
2- Or, “Companies can not reach economies of scale, differentiate distribution channels and explore opportunities for profitable growth; therefore they can differentiate through digital insurance: it has succeeded in Britain, so, why not here?”
3- Even, “We like it or not, no sector player (companies, agencies, loss adjusters, repair shops, etc.) that finds itself a place in the digital world in one way or another will be able to survive; so we should also go digital instead of resisting the inevitable”
I get shocked when I read some statements from the insurance sector.
Companies who already sell online via their web pages, give messages saying “we will not be in online insurance”.
In mid 2000’s, these same companies were saying “we will not do bankassurance, insurance is sold through agencies” too, but within 5-10 years, we saw them offering and paying high amounts in order to use bank distribution channels.
I am in the opinion that insurance company executives should be the visionaries of the sector, and nobody has the right to misguide anybody else and say “let me stumble my rival in this way too”.
Insurance companies should especially act as role models for other market players and encourage them to take their places in the digital world. Agencies should adapt their organizations to this new game, or loss adjusters should be able to publish the status of the claim assessment online through their websites.
Sooner or later you do it, you will do it. Be a role model and let the whole market take its place in this new world. Those who are late will leave a bad taste in history.
PS: Look what the bankers are talking about: banking-in-the-digital-age