Covid-19 has driven rapid technology adoption in the insurance sector, from buying and selling houses online to having cars delivered to our doors and our health diagnosed over the phone or video call. But how has this changed the way insurance companies quote, forward-plan and pay out? This webinar looks at what technology is adding to the sector, and how it might affect the bottom line. Plus, a look forward to any potential liabilities from tech advances to watch out for.
Moderated by Mark Walker, Editorial Director at The Fintech Times, the panellists were; Ori Blumenthal, Co-founder and CTO of VOOM Insurance; Steve Dukes, COO at Confused.com; and James Buckley-Thorp, Founder of Bequest.
To watch the webinar in full, click here.
With the panellists providing a number of insights about insurance and insurtech, here are 4 ways that the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the industry:
1. Digital adoption has increased
Like with many other industries across the globe, digital adoption in the insurance industry has boomed, with onboarding to insurtechs and other digital channels increasing.
“At the start of lockdown, where consumers had lots of questions or wanted to speak to their insurance, they weren’t able to get through due to big insurance businesses being unable to get their call centre operations up and running quickly for the situation,” said Steve Dukes. “So a lot of consumers had bad phone experiences that drove them online, where they had good online experiences. We’ve seen that time and time again when that happens consumers don’t tend to go back, so I don’t expect that to reverse.”
Ori Blumenthal added: “This has definitely been in the making all along, but I would definitely say that it has had significant acceleration effects.”
2. Consumer awareness of insurance has increased
With the Covid-19 situation concerning people about their health and the health of their families, many insurance providers found an increased interest in products like life insurance, particularly in younger generations.
James Buckley- Thorp said: “The life insurance industry before the pandemic always had an uphill battle of trying to get people to understand that getting life insurance younger is actually better for you, your family and your finances. That’s always been a very hard and ongoing marketing campaign that this industry has never stopped doing.
“What the pandemic has done is is shaken us all across the world of our own mortality. We’ve been able to track is that for 30-45-year-olds in the UK, this has been the biggest educational awareness campaign that they’ve ever needed in their lives. At Bequest, we’ve seen a rise of 4050% in UK people seeking out life insurance.
“People are really starting to now educate, learn more and get their life admin in order. The rise in life insurance has been the largest its ever had in its history.”
3. Usage-based insurance is on the rise due to consumer behaviour
With the world forced to stay at home due to various lockdowns and Covid restrictions, people were leaving the house a lot less and therefore driving a lot less, with The Guardian reporting that UK road travel fell by up to 73% in March 2020, levels not seen since 1955.
According to Blumenthal, this change in behaviour caused the need for usage-based insurance to rise even more. He said: “People realised that they were paying the same for their car insurance, but hadn’t used it due to lockdown or changing commuter behaviour – so they don’t want to pay as much and opt for usage-based insurance, which makes sense with our platform.”
Dukes added: “People are driving 40% less, with fewer miles covered than they were pre-pandemic, and that’s starting to come through in lower claims rates as well, leading to lower premiums. People are also driving at different times, there’s less concentrated traffic at rush hour, driven by increasingly flexible working.”
4. People are spending more time shopping around
With peoples economic situations being more uncertain than normal, due to the pandemic causing unemployment, furlough and other money issues, consumers are willing to spend a lot more time shopping around in a bid to save money. As people were at home and unable to go out, people had the time to consider what products they actually wanted at a price that suited them.
Blumenthal said: “The appetite for savings has increased. Personal finances are tighter so people are prepared to spend a bit more time shopping around to make sure they’re making their money go as far as possible.”
To find out more and watch the webinar in full, click here.