The year 2020 will be remembered by all players in the insurance world. Despite the health crisis, the insurance sector has continued to develop. Thus, throughout the year, the two lockdowns, in France, failed to overcome various mergers and acquisition projects. The year 2020 tested the relationship between insurers and their distribution networks, as well as with their customers. Particeep introduces to you an analysis of this year and of the post-Covid-19 prospect.
Second confinement: a different positioning
During the first lockdown, the insurance world managed to fit and implement telecommuting. Insurance companies, like AXA, have called on their distribution partners to close their sites.
At the time of the second lockdown, the insurance world split into two parts. On the one hand, Maif, Generali or Allianz who have adopted telecommuting measures, or at least, non-public access to premises, in opposition to companies such as Matmut, Maaf who have confirmed the opening of their agencies. AGEA, the national federation of general agent unions, has itself called on general agents to keep their sites open for business.
However, beyond the implementation of health protocols, it is the entire the distribution network support that has had to go digital. In order to, insurance companies have reconnected with those who themselves felt in danger less than two years before: the insurance inspectors.
The declaration “We are potentially in danger” by Francky Vincent in May 2019, president of the National Union of Insurance Inspectors (Snia) seems to be a distant memory during the conference “Inspection has a future” organized in October 2020 by the union. He says insurance inspectors were a big help during the first lockdown for insurers. Comments confirmed by Norbert Girard, secretary general of the Observatory for the Evolution of Insurance Trades, attesting that the work carried out by insurance inspectors has enabled distributors to feel followed and supported.
In the insurance field, digitalisation is therefore not only relevant in the relationship with the end customer, but also in the context of the commercial relationship with the distribution network.
However, will this revival be long lasting? According to Francky Vincent, new jobs should be created in the years to come.
Insurance forecast 2021
Many, if not all sales agents and brokers, will tell you that human contact is the heart of their business. However, for several years, these professions have been subject to stiff competition: online comparators.
It should be noted that more and more, the latter are diversifying and going beyond comparison by making it possible to subscribe online, in particular thanks to distribution digitalisation solutions such as Particeep Plug. And although many insurance agencies, general agents and brokers remained open during the second lockdown because “Insurance is one of the activities essential to the economy of the country”, as the Agea asserts. Also, several studies show that consumers are looking and will continue to look for digital solutions.
36% of consumers have found a new banking and / or financial provider during the lockdown and they will stay with that provider in the future. – Capgemini “Covid19 and the financial services consumer”.
Obviously, this digitalisation does not mean the absence of human contact, but the technology-human experience must be rethought in a more natural way, as we talked about in an infographic dedicated to banking in the post-covid era19. Thus, all of the insurance value chains will go digital.
So what should insurance look like in 2021?
Towards more micro-services
First, more and more micro-services will appear for end customers. Sometimes invisible to the end customer, these services will improve processes from fluidity to pricing customisation. We can quote, for example, Luko and Generali which use satellite data in certain products.
Artificial intelligence (AI), which is developing more and more, will still be present in innovations in 2021. As AI can be applied to every link in the value chain, it is almost impossible to predict an innovation before it is being released. As an example, AI is effective in the business relationship by telephone, Deloitte has developed a system called True-Voice which, during the telephone conversation, interprets the discussion, as well as the voice of the customer to help understand the customer, his feelings, his need and thus guide the counsellor’s responses. The use of such technology could be developed to pre-fill various documents, in the event of damage for example, by reducing the time of creation and processing of files. Fraud detection also has great strides forward with AI.
Of course, innovations are not limited to artificial intelligence. Sia Partners believes that by 2030, the distribution of financial services will be open and platformized. Thus, more and more insurance product’s subscription will be integrated into the purchasing process of the product to be insured. For example, this is what Amazon offers on many technology products.
These systems are enabled thanks to the implementation of APIs by insurance companies. Distributors, whether specialised or non-specialised, are free to integrate these APIs with internal development or to rely on white label solutions such as Particeep Plug which allow the integration of subscription paths to insurance products without development only by copying and pasting code such as a widget. In addition to facilitating the deployment of the subscription path, Particeep Plug references various insurance solutions, allowing distributors to expand their range without constraint and to easily request access to a new product.
Towards more services
In the quest for customer satisfaction, the diversification of services becomes a capital step. 2021 should be the year in which ancillary services will experience strong development. Personal services, sports and health, job search, in recent years and especially in 2020, initiatives have multiplied both in insurance and in the banking world. We can still see that the business model is not yet fully defined with some initially free offers which subsequently become paid.
However, institutions must adapt and quickly. Indeed, although the study “The French and the new financial services” by Deloitte published in February 2020 shows that 78% of French people are interested in at least one extra-financial service and that 45% of French people prefer a single point of contact between financial services and extra-financial. The Capgemini and Efma “World Retail Banking Report” study of June 2020 estimates that 30% of customers are ready to switch to a BigTech/Fintech, because they are not satisfied with the experience of their main bank. Insurance companies therefore have every interest in adapting and proposing new offers from 2021, because between banks, insurance companies, GAFA, Fintech, competition will quickly intensify. Within Particeep, we are convinced that 2021 will be driven by digitalisation. Numerous reports show the increase in investments in new technologies. We can predict with certainty certain advances such as APIsation in the field of insurance since, although not constrained by regulation, projects have been launched in many insurance companies, other revolutions remain to be discovered through the creation and the emergence of new Assurtechs.