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Innovation in Insurance – Accenture and the Polish Insurance Association

Article Synopsis :

Why innovate in insurance?  This report, “Innovation in Insurance”, from Accenture and the Polish Insurance Association, gives three reasons, which follow sequentially: 1) Because we have the technical ability, 2) our customers expect it, and 3) what they don’t get from us they will find somewhere else.

 The Digital Insurer reviews Accenture’s Report on Innovation in Insurance

Innovation in three steps, 1) find a new way of doing something, 2) implement, 3) scale. Incumbents often struggle with 3).

The report explores seven specific emerging areas of insurance innovation with associated case studies:

  1. AI is the new UI: AI-powered multi-channel roadside assistance app from Europ Assistance of France.
  2. Virtual advisor: Digital virtual assistant with easy-guided assistance from USAA of the US.
  3. Everyday coach: Vitality – a shared value approach from Discovery of South Africa.
  4. Plug & play insurer: Same as 3. above.
  5. Real-time protection: Blockchain – trust your digital documents from KBC of Belgium.
  6. Sharing is caring – Homies, a simple IoT based home security system from Achmea of the Netherlands.
  7. Empowering workforce: Wise Up from RSA of Canada; The Genesis from Standard Bank of South Africa, and Digital Driving License from Belgium.

The report defines innovation as “a new way of doing things that adds value.” Insurers seeking to accelerate innovation are advised to:

  • Have a clear innovation agenda
  • Seek opportunities to deliver value
  • Know your customers
  • Accelerate time-to-market
  • Be flexible and open to ecosystems
  • Create a culture of innovation

Digital Insurer's Comments

This report does a nice job breaking innovation down to its component parts. First, you find a new way of doing something—a way that’s not always radical. Then you implement, putting the idea into action. Finally, you scale the idea, which is where true value is realized.

Most incumbent insurers, for a variety of reasons, usually related to siloed operations and rigid legacy technologies, struggle with the third step: scale. And out of frustration, the pace of innovation slows or even stops. On the other hand, smaller players and digital-native InsurTechs, operating seamlessly with infinite computing resources in the cloud, are built to scale. For them, the challenge is finding and implementing the right idea.

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