Leistungen // Laterales Management

digital trans-formation at insurers?
it's not happening yet

That was typical of them. There were initial attempts to do what has already been happening for a few years in the automotive industry: Turning up at the DMK insurance brokers trade fair in Dortmund at the end of October 2016 without a tie. Only a few like Ralf Berndt, a director at Stuttgarter Versicherungen, an Allianz subsidiary, dared to do that. But something is happening – even in the insurance sector. Read about it in our book "Laterales Management" where we describe the ideas about cultural change put forward by Oliver Bäte of Allianz AG.

Why is this industry finding it so difficult to change? In recent years there have been three stages of announcement of digital innovations in the insurance world. The first two were not a disaster for the parties involved: In the first wave at the end of the 1990s, new players appeared such as Check24 which made insurance quotations more transparent on the internet. However, at that time personal advice by agents still provided an advantage in the selling process because quotations were too complex to be set up online. The second wave was characterised by apps which managed and structured the insurance products. Here too, personal advice was still superior. But now the insurance sector is faced with a frontal assault: The first InsurTechs are applying to the German authorities for insurance licences.

A lot of effort without a quote

These new insurance companies are taking the business models apart from the customer's perspective. The founders of Getsurance, Viktor and Johannes Becher, for example, have discovered that many employees are unable to take out occupational disability insurance. Their solution: taking the existing products apart and allow the customer to decide which cover he wants. Anyone who has nothing to do with the business will wonder what is so complicated about that. However, insiders are aware of the paperwork entailed in a proposal for an insurance policy. This is how the current process works: The insurance company opens an enquiry about cover in the case of invalidity, which it may then reject. The result: Not just an unhappy customer but also a lot of work without an insurance quote. But not at Getsurance. Because they offer customers alternatives.

If this newcomer in the insurance sector is successful, many new possibilities may be brought about by the digitalisation of business models in the insurance industry. Insiders say that on average management work for every euro of insurance costs 35 cents. If that is correct, the insurance industry needs to get ready – and take the third wave of digitalisation seriously. Because a large number of jobs may be transformed here in the coming years.

In the meantime offers such as those provided by Deutsche Familienversicherung AG have proved successful. After all, this group has frequently been a test winner for the price/performance ratio in the sphere of private health and nursing care supplementary policies. An entire sector is being churned up here at the moment. And taking off ties will be the tiniest cultural exercise here.