The REAL innovations in insurance. Next-gen strategy unpacked in Europe


Connected insurance set to transform the industry

Graham Proud, head of European Project Delivery, Insurance Nexus, says next-generation products and services are partners in risk prevention, with connected insurance representing the biggest potential for transformation the industry has witnessed since the invention of the computer.

The current focus on connected product development is rooted in the need to achieve customer-centricity. In an increasingly competitive, technology-driven market, insurance carriers must continually innovate to deliver connected products and services that resonate with customers and provide what they need, rather than what the insurer can offer. Likewise, as technology develops and the digital distribution of insurance products increases, product development itself must become similarly agile and responsive.

Squeezed between decreasing profit margins, increasing customer expectations and greater competition, however, all insurance companies find themselves in a potentially make-or-break position: innovate or die.

Yet, while technology represents insurers’ best chance at outstripping competitors in terms of product development, efficiency and customer experience, with so many new technical possibilities available (many of which are relatively unexplored), there is also ample opportunity for them to overspend and under-deliver. Insurance Nexus recently interviewed over 300 executives to understand where insurance companies are concentrating their efforts to improve connected product and service innovation, who is responsible for these projects, and how things are expected to progress in the future.

In the course of our research, it was striking to note the degree of importance with which executives are now viewing connected insurance innovation. Nearly 50% of respondents believe CEOs and heads of strategy must take the lead in connected product development; a clear indication innovation is rightly regarded as an enterprise-wide undertaking.

Our results also suggest insurers recognise the scale of these projects and, in many cases, they do not have the required competencies in-house; 54% confirmed that leveraging the expertise of external technology partners and insurtechs has been of greater value than relying solely on in-house talent.

On the subject of departmental collaboration, the results show data and analytics departments feature heavily in connected product innovation. This is significant principally because the success of the AI and machine learning systems which underpin so much of connected products is predicated first and foremost on data, both volume and quality. If insurers can maximise the potential of the data they already possess and then intelligently insert aspects of AI (as opposed to hastily implementing an AI system and feeding it on poor quality, invalid or disparate data), they will see the greatest results.

One particularly eye-catching statistic was that over half of respondents claim their most successful channel for communicating product development and new services is by word of mouth. Although initially surprising to us in the digital age, this will be of great comfort to marketing teams everywhere, since it tends to support the idea that product development should begin with the customer and their needs. If those needs are met, customers are showing themselves willing to become brand ambassadors themselves, a particular boon to insurers in such a saturated marketplace.

  • Which technologies are insurers embracing and actually integrating into their everyday procedures and products? Including AI, ML, Data Analytics, Automation and IoT
  • Where are insurers prioritising investment? Operational efficiencies and internal procedures or customer-facing UX technologies?
  • Proven internal blends of skill sets that drive transformation including leadership buy-in and recruitment initiatives in IT and data analytics
  • The incorporation of external technology experts and insurtech that supercharge what you can offer your customer

Download the infographic now

This infographic was created in association with our friends over at Insurance Nexus. The upcoming Connected Insurance Europe Summit is taking place from 15‒16 May 2019, at the Novotel Amsterdam City Hotel, Amsterdam, Netherlands. We will welcome over 350 senior executives . The event will provide participants with access to the lowdown on next-generation strategies the most important industry leaders are using right now to transform product development and innovation.

Zurich, Allianz and AXA Join Europe’s Leading Insurers at Connected Insurance Europe 2019 – will we see you there?

In a few short years, on-demand has quickly become the norm. From getting our fix of food, entertainment, shopping or even dating, the majority of our interactions have gone one way: personalised, instant, easy. So, why not insurance? Innovative insurers and agile start-ups have shown that customers are responding to customer-centric models of product delivery and services, available when and where they want them.

And yet, creating this powerful combination of personalised products, engaged customers and digitally-mature, efficient (and profitable) insurers is nothing short of a huge undertaking for the majority of legacy insurers. No department can achieve this single-handedly, and so it essential that all departments come together to implement the proven, holistic strategies that will bring success.

Bringing together Europe’s leading minds of cutting-edge insurance innovation, Connected Insurance Europe heads to Amsterdam, 15-16 May, welcoming over 350 senior attendees to realise the next generation of insurance products and services.

Download the 2019 attendee snapshot here

A truly pan-European event, the Connected Insurance Europe audience comprises over 70% incumbent insurers from a host of Europe’s market leaders, including Zurich, Allianz, AXA Insurance, Generali, Vitality and NN Group. As a senior engagement focusing on the core pillars of insurance management, attendees represent the latest in innovation and strategy, product, underwriting, marketing and customer engagement with 95% of attendees holding decision-making positions.

Confirmed attendee job titles include:

  • CEO
  • Chief Innovation Officer
  • Global Innovation Director
  • Vice President, Innovation,
  • Chief Underwriting Officer
  • Managing Director

In order to create the most valuable content, and construct events that are on the cutting-edge of market trends, Insurance Nexus regularly consults a board of industry experts. Each member contributes invaluable market analysis so that we are able to deliver only truly relevant content to the industry. For more information about Connected Insurance Europe, including about the agenda, speaker line-up and advisory board, please visit the website at or get in touch with me:

RiskAFRICA subscribers get a 200 Euro discount when registering for this premium insurance event, to be held in Amsterdam on 15 and 16 May. RiskAFRICA will be at the event and we are eager to connect with South Africa attendees to garner some insights that we can share with our readers back home. Please reach out to us before you travel so we can arrange a meeting at the event. The discount code is RISK200 for delegates booking online.