Jul 20, 2022
Insurance Innovators: Summer Festival 2022 brought together more than 250 industry thought leaders to talk about trends, technology, and the future of insurance. The conference featured an unmissable speaker line-up, engaging conversations, and lively debates, including a panel focused on building truly digital-ready insurance organisations.
Moderated by Esther Eva Prax, Program Director of InsurTech Hub Munich and innovation strategist and consultant, the panel focused on what successful insurers are doing today to build agile businesses of tomorrow. Panellists Danilo Raponi, Group Head of Innovation of Generali, Dr. Alexander Bockelmann, Group Chief Technology Officer of Baloise, and Boris Bajic, Chief Executive Officer of Adacta, covered a broad array of topics, including partner readiness, cloud migration strategies, culture and low-code developments and shared their experience with innovation and vision for the future. The silver lining and a catalyst for change? Technology.
Taking a closer look at the role of technology in insurance, Prax asked how technology needs to evolve further to allow digital transformation.
Boris Bajic believes in the need of opening up systems to embrace the modern world fully: "Simply put, insurers need to be more open to compete in the modern world. While legacy solutions may be rock solid, we need open systems to capture the value of the new age. This means getting on board with connectivity and participating in ecosystems. Every insurer already has ecosystems in their IT landscape but is not necessarily connected to them. By opening up, businesses can tap into a wealth of opportunities for growth and success."
Alexander Bockelman agreed with Bajic: "We are huge fans of opening up and even taking the next step to open source: sharing and collaborating and using solutions together." He emphasized the importance of cooperation in insurance: "We have several successful partnerships with our market peers and I think differentiation isn't about which IT you are using but which services, products, and experiences you are providing. But I do agree we need to modernise IT to play in the digital world. Furthermore, I encourage everybody to go beyond their boundaries: why does everyone need their own policy system in the first place?"
Danilo Raponi agreed with both his colleagues on the importance of cooperation: "Whenever we talk about innovation in insurance, the reality is you can't do it alone. In fact, it is better if we don’t do it alone. So the future of insurance is building ecosystems and accessing as many partnerships as possible." However, he pointed out the possible challenges related to cooperation: "There are a lot of companies out there, young companies with very talented people, that are ready to connect, and this partnership makes a winning solution. There are times when it's difficult from a cultural standpoint – there are clashes in ways of working and approaching problems and setting goals, but I think many companies understand and balance both viewpoints."
On the question of the future of insurance, the three panellists shared their outlook. “Insurance will branch out and become part of other industries. However, they will provide their core capabilities while the boundaries between them become blurred. Insurance will shift from being a product to being a service,” said Bockelmann about the shift allowing insurance companies to provide a broader range of services to their customers and consequently tap into new markets.
Raponi, on the other hand, remembered a trending tweet which stated insurance is cool. Even if you have it, it kind of feels like you don’t.': “My mission for the future of insurance is that we change how people feel about insurance. Obviously, we will not reach the point where people say in the morning: 'I’m going to buy myself an Apple Watch and an insurance policy', but at least they know there is insurance they can rely on."
As the panel came to a close, Bajic shared his final remarks: "In three to five years, I believe we will all get on the same page about what digitalisation is and what every individual in the insurance industry can do. And we will continue to leverage the technology and empower people in insurance. They need to feel valued and understand there will still be a place for them in this new age. After all, insurance has been around for centuries. And while there hasn't been a ground-breaking change in the industry itself, insurance has a way of jumping on the bandwagon of whatever the current trend is. Without a doubt, insurance is here to stay, and it will evolve and bring even more value to the society."