On Thursday 12th October, the TAS executive team attended the Australian Insurance Summit at Amora Jamison Hotel in Sydney, where TAS CEO, Shane Baker, was one of the key speakers on a panel called, ‘Where Tech and Innovation Meet’.
The panel also featured industry executives James Orchard, Executive General Manager, Innovation, IAG; Jonathan Buck, Co-founder, Huddle Insurance; and Brenton Charnley, Co-founder, InsurTech Australia.
During the panel, Shane discussed disruption, innovation and the customer in the insurance sector, drawing on insights from TAS’ recently-launched Insurance Industry Report 2017.
“We launched the Insurance Industry Report to provide an industry-wide view of how organisations are resolving key challenges at a time of heightened regulation and disruption. The report canvasses market trends, and highlights how insurers, InsurTechs and regulators can work together to become customer-led and innovative,” he explained.
“By launching this high-level report, our aim was to place insurance innovation on the boardroom agenda. We wanted to emphasise why organisations should adapt quickly to change and move away from legacy systems and processes that are not complimentary to innovation.”
Shane also discussed why organisations should move away from a ‘head-in-the-sand’ mentality that technology will simply ‘go away.’ With the rise of the millennials as a strong customer base, Shane believes digitalisation will be more important than ever in ensuring business success.
“Insurers should start implementing flexible and agile systems, with skilled people to oversee digital transformation. Today’s customers – especially millennials – want to engage with an organisation via digital and social channels at the touch of a button. Organisations who don’t deliver this omni-channel and seamless customer experience risk losing customer loyalty,” he said.
“However, organisations shouldn’t be too quick to jump into technology implementations without having the right strategy and culture in place first. Leaders should think tactically about how to build a culture of innovation, and base all decisions around that core strategy.”
Shane concluded by sharing advice on how organisations can remain competitive and cutting-edge in a disrupted world.
“The reality that businesses are facing is that if you don’t disrupt yourself, you will be disrupted. In a sector that has long relied on legacy systems, the integration of technology can be a challenge. Ask yourself: how can I change my people and processes to enable innovation? Disrupting internally is just as important as implementing more innovative technologies,” he explained.
“It’s so important for the industry to have high-level conversations like the one we are having today. To become innovation-led, we should work together to drive a fundamental shift in culture and mentality. Through collaboration and education, we can adapt to disruptive forces like the IoT and streamline processes with smarter technologies.”
James Orchard, Executive General Manager, Innovation at IAG discussed the importance of leveraging innovation to ensure organisations can cut through the digital ‘hype’.
“In the digital age, insurers must ensure they have the ability to cut through all the ‘hype’ and adopt more agile ways of working. Some strategies for achieving this are thought leadership; building and testing processes before implementation; driving greater transparency with the regulator; and data profiling customers.”
Jonathan Buck Co-founder of Huddle Insurance, spoke about the positive community impact of insurance and the importance of customer trust.
“We all know that customers mistrust insurers, so it can be easy to forget that insurance actually has a positive impact on the community. Customers tend to treat insurance as a ‘grudge’ purchase – but without it, they would struggle to recover from crisis. A key focus for us at Huddle is how we can go above and beyond to bring back that customer trust and community feel. We want to make insurance more personable, transparent and accessible for everyone.”
Brenton Charnley, Co-founder of InsurTech Australia spoke about the pivotal role of InsurTechs in progressing the industry.
“The success of an InsurTech ultimately relies upon collaboration with the wider industry, including insurers, reinsurers, other InsurTechs and so on. So why now for InsurTech? FinTech has cooled, yet customers are still asking for new experiences in this space. We founded Insurtech Australia to create a holistic sense of community and help companies ‘speak both languages’, engaging with people from both the tech side and the insurance side.”
You can download TAS’ full Insurance Industry Report here.