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Ben Bolton, managing director of Gracechurch Consulting, took part in a quick-fire presentation on the Innovation stage at The Insurance Network’s TINtech London Market conference in February. He discussed the challenges the insurance market faces, how technology is playing an ever greater role in growing insurance brands, and the opportunities and pitfalls in developing ecosystems.
Insurance brands today are facing numerous, often interconnected, challenges – and opportunities. The marketplace is consolidating, and competition is fierce. There’s an ever-growing focus on customer service – driven by stakeholders and regulators alike. Cost efficiency is under the spotlight. The market is facing a talent crunch, and the need to attract and retain employees is a top priority. Projecting a brand and embodying its values has never been more important. Against this backdrop, technology is playing an increasing role as an enabler. And as insurance marketing continues to grow in sophistication, and harnesses the cost-effectiveness of digital channels, insurers are putting a greater focus on the technology they use, the tech partnerships they enter into and the ecosystems they create.
Technology is now a visible brand attribute, but often one that relies on effective partnerships.
“With so many vendors, brokers, carriers and other third parties bringing trading platforms to the market, is it saturated? Has it become inefficient to have so many different mechanisms to fundamentally do the same thing, or is it a good thing to have many options?”
Growth and success in the insurance market is now about more than the technology for budding Insurtech brands. We’re observing that Insurtech partnerships have hit a record high – increasing by more than 300% in the last five years. This shifts our attention towards ecosystems and how insurers can use these partnerships to help them grow.
What is an ecosystem?
An ecosystem is an open, multi-sided collaboration between different parties. These parties can include the internal units of an organisation, current and future business partners, and customers. Successful ecosystems can help generate new ideas, drive innovation, expand offering, increase reach and grow revenue – but beware, they are a big deal for your stakeholders and highly visible: failure will negatively impact the brand overall. In recent months, many ‘big brand’ insurers have announced co-branded technology partnerships where the brands look either well-matched or not, (you decide):
• Chubb x Revolut – the partnership programme provides a wide range of coverage for Revolut’s customers, including purchase protection, refund protection and ticket cancellation.
• Sompo International x Flock – this partnership supports the future of unmanned aviation by increasing the availability of critical insurance needed for emerging use-cases, like drone cargo deliveries, flying taxi passenger flights and drone swarm shows.
• Hiscox x Digital Fineprint – investigating how social media data can be used to better educate the smallest businesses on the risks they face and the insurance solutions available to help mitigate them.
• Chaucer x Concirrus – deriving new behavioural factors that can be used to look at marine risk in a more targeted, intelligent way.
• Mosaic x DXC Technology –
“From Mosaic’s launch a year ago, we set out intentionally to highlight our partnership with DXC Technology as a critical piece of our brand story. We see it as an obvious and genuine way to differentiate Mosaic as a next-generation insurer with zero tech legacy and a vision for a more agile and transparent way of doing business. Telling the story of our Insurtech platform, the pieces we’re building—AI, real-time data access, straight-through processing—and how those assets benefit our team, partners and clients, is core to all our communications and marketing, including the fact Mosaic is now the prototype for DXC’s innovation at Lloyd’s itself. Tech has been so important to us, it even shaped our corporate tagline, Partnership with purpose.”
~ Rosemary Jones, Chief Communications Officer, Mosaic Insurance
Technology partnerships are potentially a fantastic way of gaining competitive edge for both insurance organisations and Insurtechs. When done well these can be truly value-building partnerships, each enhancing the brand of the other. But this isn’t as simple as just teaming up, slapping your logos together and doing a bit of publicity; the brand benefits and downsides need to be thought-through, clearly explained in terms of the value proposition…and delivered.
To be successful, technology co-branding also needs to align with your brand values. So, before entering into any partnership, it’s important to review your brand, client needs and question whether your Insurtech partner will be able to support the customer experience you want to deliver. These partnerships need to be about enhancing your brand, not diluting it. The same applies for tech companies entering into partnerships with insurance orgs.
If you want to learn more about effective tech co-branding or just have a chat drop us a line.
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