Connecting Insurers, Brokers, Lawyers & Claims Professionals
STRATEGY: take a fresh approach
Adapting to the future Matt Cullen, ABI
Friends in the North
Adrian Furness, CovĂŠa
Executing your customer strategy
Ian Hughes, Consumer Intelligence
Industry Innovators Interview: Cathal McGloin, ServisBOT
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good strategy can be difficult to formulate. Why are they so hard to get right? Is it the strategy or the execution? Are we communicating with our customers regularly enough, and are we asking them the right questions? How critical do we need to be of ourselves and our peers? These are some of the questions that have been answered by our experts in this edition. They have described some of the principles that strategists should keep in mind if they want to ensure their strategic-planning processes embodies the spirit of debate and engagement, and puts them on the road-map to success. As we know, the insurance industry is undergoing a period of upheaval, disruption and change, and the industry needs to be able to respond to these new challenges and opportunities, and utilising strategy and structure will be a huge part of that.
(Left) Poppy Green, Editor, (Right) Rachael Pearson, Project Manager
Expect articles and interviews from Matt Cullen, Assistant Director and Head of Strategy, Data and Analytics, who enlightens us on how the technology revolution is shaping the insurance market, and how the digital revolution is offering the industry an opportunity to better understand consumers’ wants and needs more than ever before. Ian Hughes, CEO of Consumer Intelligence, continues with the topic of the consumer and discusses customer strategy and how best to execute this with the rise of four key trends which insurers needs to be on the lookout for. We had the pleasure of meeting Martin Lindstrom at the World of Business Forum 2019 in London this year, who shared with us the importance of small data as well as big data, and how marketing needs to be considered when forming your strategy plan. Accompanying this edition is a very special Modern Insurance Navigating Risk Supplement – the result of a fantastic collaboration with Airmic and a range of key voices from the industry. We are facing a wave of new risks and these need new solutions, and it is the risk manager who will be the key to developing answers for companies. You can find an interview from John Ludwig, Chief Executive at Airmic, who explains that we need to be open to change and embrace it as we are unleashed into a new field of risk management. The third annual UK Customer Service Excellence Awards will be taking place on Wednesday 22nd April 2020 at Café de Paris in London. This unique event is the perfect opportunity to celebrate outstanding customer service within the industry. Look out for nominations opening in September 2019. As always, we have our panel of experts featuring their columns on the editorial board. I hope you enjoy this issue, and if you have any comments or feedback, then please do get in touch via the details below.
Poppy Green, Editor, Modern Insurance Magazine. 01765 600909 @Modern_Poppy firstname.lastname@example.org
Co-Editor Poppy Green Project Manager & Events Sales Rachael Pearson
ISSUE 39 ISSN 2515-3803
Modern Insurance Magazine is published by Charlton Grant Ltd ©2019 All material is copyrighted both written and illustrated. Reproduction in part or whole is strictly forbidden without the written permission of the publisher. All images and information is collated from extensive research and along with advertisements is published in good faith. Although the author and publisher have made every effort to ensure that the information in this publication was correct at press time, the author and publisher do not assume and hereby disclaim any liability to any party for any loss, damage, or disruption caused by errors or omissions, whether such errors or omissions result from negligence, accident, or any other cause.
M A G A Z I N E
09 Adapting to the future: How the technology revolution is shaping the insurance market
12 Executing your customer strategy
Matt Cullen, Assistant Director and Head of Strategy, Data & Analytics, at the Association of British Insurers (ABI), discusses the digital revolution and the unprecedented opportunities it presents for insurers.
Ian Hughes, Consumer Intelligence’s CEO, reflects on the industry’s customer strategy whilst exploring the four emerging consumer trends insurers need to know.
16 The way we do business has changed
One of the world’s premier brand building experts, Martin Lindstrom, advises companies on how to build future-proof brands. In a world obsessed with big data, Lindstrom discussed the small data revolution, explaining to Modern Insurance how we can better utilise human observation in order to reveal the needs and impulses of consumers and therefore drive business strategy and culture transformation.
21 Find out what our editorial board panel of experts have to say in this edition of Modern Insurance Magazine. EDITORIAL
F E AT U R E S 42 Sector Soapbox
Modern Insurance’s panel of resident associations outline the burning issues facing the claims sector.
46 Industry Innovators Interview: ServisBOT
Transforming customer and employee engagement using chatbots and natural language software solutions, ServisBOT helps insurance providers tie natural language conversations to meaningful actions across multiple channels. Modern Insurance spoke to Cathal McGloin, CEO, about the ideas behind the innovative chatbot platform and his plans for the future.
50 Friends in the North
Modern Insurance chatted with Covéa’s Claims and Operations Director, Adrian Furness, about the company’s Halifax base.
M A G A Z I N E
F E AT U R E S 52 Carpenters Group 25th Anniversary
Carpenters Group’s Executive Team reflect on the past twenty-five years, delving into their business strategy and what’s next for the Group.
57 The Auto Windscreens Strategy
54 Who’s up for a Jaunt?
Opening up opportunities for drivers, Jaunt enables you to get insured on a car, van or motorhome for as little as an hour, up to a full thirty days. Mark Townsend, Managing Director (Motor & Home) at BGL Group, tells us why ondemand, short-term insurance will be the way forward.
56 InduSTry Insights Connected Solutions
Partners meeting and inaugural ‘Insights & Canapes’ event. On Thursday 13th June, leaders from InduSTry Insights and Connected Solutions (CS) businesses met in London for a comprehensive sales review of the 23-partner strong motor claims supply chain solution ahead of the first in a series of biannual insight sessions hosted by InduSTry Insights, called ‘Insights & Canapes’.
60 Dive in 2019
James MacBeth, Managing Director for Auto Windscreens, talks strategy, specifically how Auto Windscreens will be achieving their goals of growth, adding value via technology and creating the best possible customer service.
59 At the cuttingedge: tackling fraud with realtime data
With up to 90% of motor insurance sales originating online, quote manipulation has become a growing challenge for the insurance sector. Now, companies are finding solutions in big data, and the industry is coming together to benefit from shared insights. Nick Jackson, Partnerships Director at technology firm, CDL, reveals how these insights are helping to stop fraud before it happens.
The Dive In Festival, which promotes diversity and inclusion in the global insurance sector, marks a milestone as it reaches its fifth year, with a record number of countries expected to host events. Events will be spread across three days from 24th – 26th September in 33 countries, with events hosted in Nigeria, Bahrain, Turkey, Oman and Indonesia for the first time.
10 MINS WITH 62 Olly Savage
E D I T O R I A L
B O A R D
21 Developing future talent
David Williams, Managing Director, Underwriting and Technical Services, AXA Insurance (UK)
27 Weighing up the benefits of BTE legal expenses insurance
21 Harnessing the power of our people
Marc Lafferty, Chief Revenue Officer, EDAM Group
27 Securing your repair capacity
23 Green parts
Robin Challand, Claims Director, Ageas Insurance
23 The key differentiator
Jason Tripp, Managing Director, Coplus
25 Strategic partnerships
Vincent Bonnet, Senior VP Revenue and Sales, Octo Telematics
25 Investing in digitisation
Kieran Rigby, Global President, Crawford Claims Solutions
Mike Wildy, Senior Business Developer, Allianz Legal Protection
Miles Keeble, Senior Claims Consultant, Nationwide Vehicle Assistance
29 Recognising and developing talent
Donna Scully, Director, Carpenters Group
29 Preparing for retirement
Alistair Wilson, Head of Retail Platform Strategy, Zurich
31 Capacity issues on the horizon
Neil Marcus, Marketing Director, Selsia
31 Donâ€™t wait to collaborate
Paul Sykes, Regional Managing Director, ControlExpert UK Ltd
E D I T O R I A L
B O A R D
33 Is your business robust?
Hugh Koch, Professor and Director, HK Associates
33 Adding insurance as a feature of an underlying product
David Ovenden, Global Director, Pricing Product Claims and Underwriting, Willis Towers Watson
35 Digital transformation - it’s not all about technology!
Stewart Steel, CEO, Sedgwick UK
35 ‘Old world/analogue’ to ‘new world/digital’
39 The bodyshop and insurer relationship
Nik Ellis, Managing Director, Laird Assessors
39 Re-building the digital bridge
Trevor Lloyd-Jones, Senior Marketing Manager, Insurance, LexisNexis Risk Solutions
41 Securing repair capacity
Steve Thompson, Director, InduSTry Insights
41 What happens when AI goes wrong?
Pablo Liñares, Director of Consulting and Innovation Services, GT Motive
Michael Lewis, CEO, Claim Technology
37 Supply chain as a source of competitive advantage
Andrew Chandler, Sales Director, FMG
37 Technology is there to make life easier
Stephen Marshall ACII, Managing Director, Insure Apps
right people. right skills. right technology.
END-TO-END COMPLETE CLAIMS & LEGAL SOLUTION
Adapting to the future: How the technology revolution is shaping the insurance market Matt Cullen, Assistant Director and Head of Strategy, Data & Analytics, at the Association of British Insurers (ABI), discusses the digital revolution and the unprecedented opportunities it presents for insurers.
e live in a time of profound uncertainty and change. This change is happening across all elements of our society – accelerating demographic trends, political upheaval, evolving economic norms, but underpinning everything is the rapid evolution of technology. We are experiencing a digital revolution that will be as transformative as the agricultural revolution – which catalysed the creation of permanent human settlements 12,000 years ago, and the industrial revolution – which mechanised whole swathes of human endeavour and transformed living standards.
The digital revolution presents an unprecedented opportunity to understand consumers’ wants and needs better than ever before and tailor products and services accordingly
NEWS An explosion of ‘big data’, the growth of connected devices, the rise of social media and the mainstreaming of machine learning, are all changing society hugely, and, in line with these broader dynamics, insurance companies are fundamentally shifting the way they operate too, right across their businesses. Any kind of flux creates opportunities to steal a march, and threats to stave off. This technology revolution is no different.
Opportunities: driving efficiency, understanding our customers and improving our offerings While the exciting world of products and customers’ garners generates excitement, it is easy to overlook the potentially transformative impact of tech on insurers’ operations. Process automation and other efficiencies promise to reduce the cost base significantly over the coming years, at a time when this is a real priority due to high competition and low investment returns. Beyond this, the digital revolution presents an unprecedented opportunity to understand consumers’ wants and needs better than ever before and tailor products and services accordingly. In a time of such change, those wants and needs are diverse. Whether this is a desire to manage a claim online with no human contact versus a desire to hear a friendly voice on the phone; or a willingness to share sensitive personal data to receive more tailored underwriting versus a fear of data being used to exclude. The industry has an opportunity to ensure that customers from all backgrounds feel that the insurance industry offers them something that works for them, through a diverse range of solutions and specialisms.
Challenges: competitive threats, dealing with legacy systems and cultures, and avoiding reputational pitfalls Competitive threats to insurers could come from three places. First and foremost, insurers that fail to get ahead of the game will find themselves falling behind their existing competitors who do a better job. But disruption from outside is a challenge too, either from emerging InsurTech start-ups, coming from a small base, but wholly geared towards disrupting the market, or from large incumbent firms in adjacent industries – tech giants, vehicle manufacturers, healthcare providers, utility providers and so on. While it is entirely possible that one or more start-ups will make it big in the coming years, it is this latter category of firms, with existing capital and ready-made customer bases, that should be considered most carefully.
Insurers need to keep flexibility front of mind
As insurers understand customers and their risk better, opportunities for new offerings emerge. Firms are increasingly making use of the Internet of Things to become ‘more than insurers’ – to diversify the business model away from just financial risk transfer towards becoming a real-time risk management partner. We are already seeing this across personal and commercial lines general insurance – from health monitors to warehouse sensors to home security systems. The potential reputational benefits for the sector of this shift should not be underestimated, given the raft of ongoing, positive touch points it can create. Real time flows of data also make more flexible offerings viable. Real-time car insurance that is priced, and paid, by the hour or the mile, or home insurance where additional cover for paying guests can be switched on and off daily.
Insurers that fail to get ahead of the game will find themselves falling behind their existing competitors who do a better job
To thrive against this backdrop, insurers need to keep flexibility front of mind. This means flexible systems. We can’t have insurance companies of 2019 burdening themselves with the legacy system problems that the insurers of the late 20th century stored up for themselves. It also means flexible culture. Insurers need to be prepared to move fast and fail fast, whether alone or in partnership with tech solution providers. It’s fair to say that this doesn’t fit too well with many of the historical business cultures in the insurance industry. Ownership of flexibility needs to come right from the top.
Finally, insurers need to be very careful to avoid the reputational pitfalls scattered around the tech world. Data handling and privacy have been significant public concerns for years, only exacerbated by the Cambridge Analytica scandal in 2018 and numerous highprofile data breaches in other sectors. Furthermore, what insurers do with granular data and sophisticated techniques creates worries for many stakeholders – that a detailed understanding of risk could create widespread insurability problems, or that insurers will use algorithms to unfairly discriminate or exclude certain groups. Some of these issues are overstated, but there is no doubt they could exist to a fair extent if insurers fail to act sensibly.
Takeaways for insurers To conclude, here are my three key takeaways for insurers looking to maximise opportunities and stay one step ahead: 1. A point will come where insurance is only credible when it helps customers manage their risks in advance of a loss as well as providing financial support in the aftermath. 2. Remember that the best protection against uncertainty is flexibility. Don’t get caught in situations that may hold you back longer-term. 3. Think about ethics and reputation. The opportunities to use tech to do sophisticated things are vast, but always consider, “what should I do?”, not “what can I do?”.
is the Assistant Director and Head of Strategy, Data & Analytics, at the Association of British Insurers (ABI).
EXECUTING YOUR CUSTOMER STRATEGY Ian Hughes, Consumer Intelligence’s CEO, reflects on the industry’s customer strategy whilst exploring the four emerging consumer trends insurers need to know.
How did you get to where you are today?
I have always been passionate about what data does and how it can help inform us. I started out in the retail sector as a Programmer at Marks and Spencer PLC, so from the very beginning of my career I have been conscious of customer-centric strategies. In 2001, I started to build Consumer Intelligence, a data analytics company aiming to help businesses execute great customer strategies. I created Consumer Intelligence because I wanted to use data to understand the world through the customer’s eyes, and what you get is a fascinating insight into financial services and the insurance market. The insurance industry is experiencing a time of unprecedented change, impacting across the entire value chain. It is a world that has extraordinary uncertainty and at Consumer Intelligence we want to bring confidence to our clients, ultimately helping them to make decisions during this time of change, plus I never cease being excited about what consumers are saying!
What can the insurance industry do differently? It starts and ends with customers and not starts and ends with what you want to sell 12
What are the key areas of Consumer Intelligence?
We are especially focused on financial services, especially the insurance space, where we are mostly known and loved. Our approach is different. As boutique financial services advisers, we only focus on you and your world. The research that we undertake is designed to help you see the world through the eyes of the consumer, negotiating regulatory hurdles and ensuring solutions are built to last, not for short-term gain. We don’t just do it in the UK either, we operate across 13 countries around the world. This worldview means that we can see challenges in context. As a result, we can help to refine and optimise strategies and help all players understand the competitive landscape, globally.
How can Consumer Intelligence better support insurance businesses decisionmaking and strategy plans?
We enable the industry to see the world the way a consumer sees it. Even though many insurers can see the stats for how many policies they did last week, or the percentage of claims they had, or what claims satisfaction they had last month, they can’t see the context of those stats. We gather unique data and intelligence about consumers and companies in order to give that context and help clients understand their customers. With most of our clients, when we go and see them, we know what a large part of their issues are before we even walk through the door and so it is really just a question of how we can help and resolve those issues, get a better insight, and get them to feel more confident about the decisions that they are making.
Ping An is way ahead already. They are deploying with a capital base and a pace that we can only dream of
How would you say buying habits are changing?
I have seen some interesting change during my time in the industry and I believe it is driven on one side by the industry and on the other side by the consumer. In the case of the industry, I donâ€™t think that in the 15 years I have worked in or near the insurance world have I seen as much internal change within companies across the market as we are seeing right now. You are seeing new CEOs, mergers and acquisitions, and new restructurings, these are not small changes, these are tectonic plates that are moving and creating change in the industry. These changes are coming from the companies themselves, but they are being driven by the FCA,
CMA, competition within the market, and dual pricing. There is more pressure on the industry than ever, plus you have got the ever present digital hand on the shoulder saying that you either need to make changes yourself or some insurtech company will eat your lunch. On the other side of the coin are consumers. They have got less cash to spend at this point in time, so they are fundamentally changing what they buy and the reason behind why they are buying it. There are new patterns of insurance and new patterns of living which insurers have to support. Consumers are moving away from the traditional way of insuring themselves and looking to on-demand insurance. They are being influenced by apps and services such as Uber and the industry needs to start managing those pressures and delivering new solutions.
What changes do you predict for the future? What trends do insurers need to plan for?
We think there are four big trends that insurers need to plan for you. The first trend is about the squeeze on consumer affordability. I have heard people call this the death of capital. People have less savings and are potentially financially vulnerable. These financially squeezed consumers want more flexible products. They are interested in renting vehicles or buying insurance fractionally because they only want to drive for two hours a week. Consumers being in control rather than companies being in control. We as consumers are more and more used to being in control of our own destiny. If you look at a company like Netflix, ten years ago it didn’t even exist in its current form and it was all about DVDs, but now you can go onto Netflix and it can suggest what you might want to watch – if I want to binge watch an entire season of Game of Thrones then I can do that. Consumers are used to being controlled, but companies like Netflix are putting the consumer firmly in the driving seat. These on demand and subscription services are reinventing the end-to-end consumer experience. Consumers are becoming used to having frictionless operating environments so it makes no sense to them when they can’t do that in the world of insurance. Changing mobility within the market. There are 100% more Uber drivers in London then there was six years ago. You no longer need to own a car, you can rent one, get an Uber or take public transport; there are car clubs, shared cars, driverless cars, electric vehicles, and more. Consumers no longer view mobility as necessarily owning a car and insurers need to plan to work around this new trend of mobility. Personalised everything. When you go onto Amazon it says, ‘people like you have read this’, or on Netflix is says ‘based on your previous viewing here is something you might enjoy’. You no longer need to go hunting for content because it is served to you on a plate. The rise of data and artificial intelligence is resulting in a personalised journey for the customer, and that is something insurers need to consider: how can you deliver insurance on a plate? In China, if you are a customer of Ping An and you have an accident in your car, it is highly likely that Ping An’s insurance loss adjuster will show up before the police or ambulance because their technology and data is so advanced. Ping An are able to predict six weeks in advance what strand of flu is going to break out and in what area, so they can get the vaccine to that area so that that strand of flu does not break out – that is called claims avoidance. This is
Trust is the foundation to all good customer experiences, and there is a strong correlation between customer trust and customer loyalty not tomorrow’s world, this is today’s world. They are doing this now. China has an advantage because for them ‘data is the new oil’ and China has lots of it. We unfortunately don’t have quite as much in the UK as they do when it comes to data. What we see in Asia is that they are able to use data to build artificial intelligence and engines that we wouldn’t be able to do here. For example, Aviva is 150 years old while Ping An is 30, yet Ping An is way ahead already. They are deploying with a capital base and a pace that we can only dream of, they actually consider investment in insurtech to be as good a use of their capital as putting it into buildings.
What can the industry learn from other sectors about customer engagement and satisfaction?
The critical thing that we are seeing is that companies are starting with the customer and then building backwards. They aren’t attached to an operating model or company structures that has been built up over a number of years – they are able to strip it back. If you take an insurer like Cuvva, they have built a fractional insurance product that means if I need some quick cover for a couple of hours, I fire up the app, buy two hours’ worth of car insurance and off I go. They are not hampered by previous structures, they started by asking what would make people’s lives easier and then they work to that.
trust is broken you have to fix both ends of the street. We talk about consumers not trusting insurers but insurers don’t trust consumers. Almost from the get go, you are being made to feel like if you answer your policy questions wrong that you will invalidate your cover etc. I understand that procedures have been put in place to deter the fraction of percentage of fraudsters, but it is having a negative effect on the majority of customers that aren’t fraudsters. There appears to be a misunderstanding between insurers and consumers, and it is not helped by the fact that insurance is complicated and full or jargon. Trust is the foundation to all good customer experiences, and there is a strong correlation between customer trust and customer loyalty. Consumers need to feel engaged with their insurance company and trust in their brand and promises.
What would you suggest be at the top of the agenda for insurers this year?
What would I suggest to insurers in order to better understand customers? Go to China and immerse yourself. You are going to see a totally different framework of insurance. It is extraordinary the change that is going on in Asia and the level of fuelling of a new wave of insurer, and eventually, that will be coming here.
What can the insurance industry do differently? It starts and ends with customers and not starts and ends with what you want to sell.
One of the big challenges for the industry is the changing nature of trust – how can this be improved between customers and insurers?
One of the interesting things about this is that individuals forget that this is a two way street, and when
is the Chief Executive Officer of Consumer Intelligence.
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The way we do business has changed One of the world’s premier brand building experts, Martin Lindstrom advises companies on how to build future-proof brands. In a world obsessed with big data, Lindstrom discusses the small data revolution, explaining to Modern Insurance how we can better utilise human observation in order to reveal the needs and impulses of consumers and therefore drive business strategy and culture transformation. “The way we do business has changed.” A profound statement, advocated both by Lindstrom and his business, Lindstrom Company. Watching his session at the first-ever World of Business Forum 2019, London, was unlike any other conference seminar Modern Insurance have attended before – his energy was infectious and his ideas were innovative. He explained that as technology became more familiar and began to automate the daily drudgery and intangible complexities of our systems and processes, it should have enabled our people to become efficient yet our people became even more challenged, swamped by the minutia of maintaining the system. We needed to rethink and therefore repurpose. Reiterating that the customer is at the heart of everything that we do, Lindstrom showed us how brand is every touch-point with which the client comes in contact with over the entire span of a company’s existence. He showed us how important the small data is. Big data is about finding correlations, while small data is all about finding the reason why. His performance was inspiring and engaging and in a small amount of time he was able to speak about many different issues and provide us with a range of insights and case studies.
Small data points towards unmet customer needs and is the foundation for breakthrough ideas
Let’s talk about small data – what is it and how can it change our approach to business?
I define small data as seemingly small observations we make every day in our lives. They are the small gestures and the small signals which at first you may not find relevant, but they are the ones making the whole world of difference. Small data are the reasons why things are happening and once you identify that, you will understand the world a lot better. Businesses need to master the basic small data in order to mine and find correlations. Small data points towards unmet customer needs and is the foundation for breakthrough ideas. My message is very simple, you need small data in order to make things happen.
For me, an ideal customer experience and journey is when you can predict all of the issues that could happen before they have even happened
Can you explain the concept of H2H, and how would you make a B2B team into a H2H team?
We are in a new age of marketing and that is Human-toHuman marketing (H2H). In our current global marketplace, we are driven largely by technology, but the concept of humanising is a key strategic opportunity for businesses wanting to move forward. Customers are human beings who function logically and emotionally and they thrive from human connection and engagement. My advice to businesses is that your employers spend two days out of the year engaging with customers in their homes and getting to know them on a personal level rather than on a transactional level.
The brand of a company is at every touch point that the customer/client/consumer comes into contact with â€“ what are your thoughts on the ideal customer journey and how does brand feed into that?
For me, an ideal customer experience and journey is when you can predict all of the issues that could happen before they have even happened. So you are almost always one step ahead. A customer journey should be mapped down as a green and blue script. The green script is the emotional journey while the blue script is the rational one. Quite often when we talk to companies about customer experiences and journeys we decide to identify images that are depicting emotion and that that company would like to convey across their brand. We find that it helps to focus on exactly what emotional journey a company
wants to take their customers on, whether that be trust, family oriented or caring. In terms of insurance companies, I feel that they are being suffocated by compliance. The issue with insurance is that they have two things in mind, firstly, cost, and secondly, the avenue of trust between the consumer and themselves. If I was in an insurance company I would do reverse engineering – the process of working backwards from the conclusion of something to understand how that end point was reached. I would ask myself where I can identify opportunities where insurers treat the consumer as a human being rather than a number and work from there.
How would you suggest trust be rebuilt?
The base principles of what an insurance company is needs to be communicated better. I don’t think young people truly understand its core message – to them it’s just a black box that costs a lot of money. Insurance companies need to convey their principles of what insurance really is, and give people the option of creating and building their insurance based around what their true needs are rather than being squeezed into a box where there is a solution but only half of it is needed. We have custom medicine, why don’t we have custom insurance? Let’s create insurance programs which are following you for life rather than a one off. People need insurers the most when they have a crisis. A good example is Nima Risk Services in Australia. They realised that when you as a customer are dealing with an insurance company and you are in crisis, like a bush fire, when you call a call centre you feel like you’re speaking to someone who couldn’t care less and you feel like they have no sympathy or empathy. So Nima set up stations and go out to crisis points now because that is what their customers need and it is the best way for them to truly understand how their customers are feeling. That empathy is missing for insurance companies so I would build that into the program from the very beginning.
What other advice would you suggest for businesses looking to align more with their customers?
Step number one – if you want to be a zoologist, don’t go to the zoo, go to the Amazon. It means moving with your customers. My advice to insurance companies is to spend time with your customers in the real world, and understand what a crisis feels like. Insurers need to understand all the emotions a policy holder might go through in order to offer a better and more personalised service.
is the Founder and Chairman of Lindstrom Company, a best-selling Author and Brand Expert.
The concept of humanising is a key strategic opportunity for businesses wanting to move forward
Martin Lindstrom is the founder and chairman of Lindstrom Company, the world’s leading brand and culture transformation group, operating across five continents and more than 30 countries. TIME Magazine has named Lindstrom one of the “World’s 100 Most Influential People”. And for three years running, Thinkers50, the world’s premier ranking resource of business icons, has selected Lindstrom to be among the world’s top 50 business thinkers. Lindstrom is a high profile speaker and author of 7 New York Times best-selling books, translated into 60 languages. His book Brand Sense was critically acclaimed by The Wall Street Journal as “one of the five best marketing books ever published”; Small Data as praised as “revolutionary”, and TIME Magazine wrote this about Buyology: “a breakthrough in branding”.
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Developing future talent How can you add value to your business using external strategic advisors or experienced ‘leaders’ in the insurance industry? Having worked for some time with someone who appeared quite ‘anti’ external consultants, the arrival of a new CEO with different ideas has made me rethink this whole area. Maybe they don’t just “Ask you for your watch and then charge you to tell the time”? We are doing a number of really quite interesting and challenging things currently, and the first and most obvious reason for getting extra help in is capacity. With so many things going on, not forgetting business as usual (how many firms have we seen lose focus when they have become too internally focussed on some massive transformation programme), getting external consultants in to make sure we deliver on specific dedicated projects makes a lot of sense. The important thing from my perspective however, is no matter who you have helping you with your strategic goals, make sure you still own them, and take every opportunity to make use of your own staff in design and delivery. Management 1.01 I know, but as well as gaining experience by working alongside the consultants, helping in this way makes what can be quite a dramatic change feel less like being ‘done to’ than if you are just presented with a fait a complis! Quite a lot has been written about the AXA approach to ‘Open Strategy’, but that is probably something for another month!
Using experienced leaders is something I’m massively in favour of, and not just because I find myself rapidly heading that way! Again, I’ve worked in organisations where there has been an ‘elder statesman’, sometimes described as COO or something else, but frankly more a deputy CEO, Minister without portfolio, free to dip in and provide invaluable advice across a wide range of things. Why make mistakes all over again when you can learn from someone else’s experiences? The other advantage is that with someone in their later stages of their career, hopefully the people they are helping won’t feel there is any competition, they aren’t looking to take that younger persons role, they’ve been there and done that! They are also usually considerably cheaper than the big consultancy firms! The other thing these people can help with is bringing on and developing key members of staff who represent the future of your organisation. Whether through mentoring or something more traditional, we need to capture these peoples’ expertise, too many times as an industry we have let great people go, leaving massive gaps in capability and expertise. Yes, some experienced heads just want to hang up their suits and retire, but others are keen to help develop future talent, so let’s use them not lose them, and remember as Aaliyah said “Age ain’t nothing but a number!”
Managing Director, Underwriting and Technical Services, AXA Insurance (UK).
Harnessing the power of our people How can employees drive the performance of a business, and as a result increase profitability?
our employees work tirelessly to ensure a seamless end-to-end customer journey. Why? Because they genuinely care about our clients and our business.
Successful businesses with a vision for continued growth, despite the current economic climate and a strategic plan for how to achieve it, are those which harness the power of their people. As such, recognising that your company culture has a direct impact on your bottom line is a lesson best learned and applied quickly.
On a practical level, we continue to make a huge investment in our team and their learning and development via our two centres for training excellence; The EDAM Group Claims Academy and Recovery Academy, alongside numerous internal schemes and incentives, encourages staff to do their best by themselves and by the customer.
Creating a fulfilling and nurturing office environment where team members can thrive is essential. The individual and collective wellbeing of the workforce should sit at the centre of a forwardfacing organisation – ensuring your employees are happy has a knock-on effect for your customers and for your profits.
We’ve won awards in recognition of our endeavours, most notably achieving a coveted two-star accreditation from Best Companies and being ranked 69th in The Sunday Times Best 100 Companies To Work For in recognition of our outstanding levels of employee engagement.
In our line of work as a specialist provider of credit hire services, we’ve seen first-hand the impact that investing in our 400-strong team has. Our Net Promoter Score (NPS) is currently 87; an all-time high for EDAM and concrete evidence that our people are doing a great job. We stand apart from the competition because of our exemplary customer service and that’s thanks to our team. Employee engagement underpins our intentions for strategic development and growth for the future. Our ambitious 2020 vision to double the size of our business hinges upon it and will no doubt be exceeded because of it. Customer service is our lifeblood and
We’ve been rewarded fiscally too. Our annual turnover shows a year on year growth of more than 25%, earning EDAM a place in the Sunday Times Fast Track 100 - proof that valuing your workforce is profitable. Keeping people at the heart of all we do, with a firm focus on our core values of innovation, respect, integrity, passion and fun, whilst always working as one team ensures happy employees, happy customers and a happy CRO. I can highly recommend it.
Chief Revenue Officer, EDAM Group. MODERN
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MODULAR MOTOR SUPPLY CHAIN SOLUTIONS
“Greater than the sum of our parts”
Green parts How can we put more of a spotlight on sustainability and make sure it is on the agenda? Following the shocking scenes in Blue Planet, we are all aware of the detrimental environmental impact of single use plastics. While the conversation is currently focused on water bottles and carrier bags, I believe it’s now time to think about the way we use and reuse plastic, particularly vehicle parts. Every year Ageas Insurance deals with around 40,000 cars that have been damaged in crashes, requiring an estimated 400,000 plastic and metal parts to get them back on the road. Ageas Insurance, the UK’s fourth largest motor insurer, is now working with its car repair network to give customers the chance to have their car economically repaired using a green, or recycled, car part that’s been saved from another car. The parts are all quality controlled by a specialist supplier, given a 12-month guarantee and checked by the repairer before they are used. Of course, safety is paramount and green parts aren’t used when a safety-related car part needs replacing
There are not only environmental benefits with re-using parts; as new parts can cost more than the value of a car, perfectly repairable and much-loved older vehicles are sometimes condemned to the scrap heap after very light accident damage. Using reclaimed car parts has other benefits. For example, sourcing a green part for an older vehicle may be quicker than waiting for a new part to become available. “These parts are called ‘green’ because they save a car from being written off and prevent a new part from having to be manufactured. It is better than recycling; it is reducing demand for precious resources, reduces the amount of plastic and mental we throw away while giving new purpose to good parts that would otherwise be discarded,” said Robin Challand, Ageas’s Claims Director. “With customers choosing vehicles that reduce their impact on the environment, I think the demand will also increase for insurers to offer an environmentally responsible solution when their vehicle is involved in an accident. I’m proud we can now do this,” Robin added.
Claims Director, Ageas Insurance.
The key differentiator How can you work strategically with other businesses to enhance your offering? A strategic partner can provide real benefits for companies, especially where there is a strong fit in the goals and motivations between the businesses. At Coplus we operate as a strategic partner to deliver services on behalf of others, and also work strategically with partners acting on our behalf. These relationships are vital for us. In fact, we view strategic partnerships, and our ability to develop and sustain these relationships, as a key differentiator for our own business, and consider it in itself an important capability. Of course, all relationships require mutual understanding and trust; no-one wants to work with a person or company which they feel doesn’t represent their interests, but for us, the strategic partner relationship is deeper and more intrinsically linked than a typical supplier-customer relationship. In a strategic relationship there is alignment of goals and a coordinated approach to delivering on those goals. The factors in developing strategic partnerships we consider most important are: What are your unique capabilities? Conducting an honest appraisal of your company’s strengths and weaknesses and understanding of how you differ from the rest of the market.
Where do you want to go and what do you need to get there? A strategic partnership could be a solution to expanding your capabilities but you would equally consider if the capabilities could be built from within your existing operation. Do you have current supplier relationships that could be developed further? You can build on the existing understanding and trust between your companies. If it’s a completely new focus, then which companies in the market share a similar culture and have the necessary skills and capabilities to enhance your offer? Sometimes you may set out in this way to find strategic partners, or perhaps these develop over time. At Coplus we’ve been fortunate to have worked with some of our partners for over ten years. Strategic alignment has materialised from these relationships, with new services being developed by Coplus which benefit not only our partner and us, but our other customers too. However, new relationships can be just as successful if a shared understanding and trust exists. For us this is about really understanding what we are good at, and then working with similar businesses equally competent at their specialism to make the overall offer very compelling.
Managing Director, Coplus.
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Strategic partnerships How can you work strategically with other businesses to enhance your offering? Strategic partnerships are essential to an insurer’s success. Just 20 years ago insurers tried to be as self-sufficient as possible using “suppliers” for delivering non-core services. Some of the “legacy system” problems that inhibit the industry come from that type of thinking. Complex IT systems developed ‘in-house’ rather than leveraging specific external IT expertise. We are part of an InsurTech revolution, with a vast range of consumerfocused ideas from new innovative partners from outside the traditional industry. We are also seeing growth in external platforms. These not only take away the “heavy lifting” from insurers but allow them to broaden their reach to meet the new needs of consumers. ‘Insurtech’ was originally seen as a “challenger” to the insurance world with new products or distribution models, for example, Lemonade or Cuvva seeking to disrupt the traditional insurer. ‘Insurtech’ has shifted to ‘enablers’, companies and platforms that focus on assisting established carriers to improve and innovate and grow often using techniques developed outside the insurance industry. The next trend we predict is for a platform to platform ecosystems bringing services and use-cases together to meet changing
consumer needs. Today’s consumers want flexibility, and personalisation, and are shifting from “owning” to “using”, for example, the shift to mobility. In the mobility use-case, we should be thinking of products beyond coverage and more about solving, for example, how to get from A to B in the most convenient, eco-friendly and flexible way. If a car insurance customer chooses to use an Uber, a scooter or even walk, we should consider how we deal with their needs even if it’s not based on a traditional motor insurance product. Today’s product and systems boundaries disenfranchise the car insurance customer every time they choose a different mode of transport. To meet the needs of this socio-economic phenomenon, insurers need to support insurance use cases and a high-quality mobility experience with added insurance protection. Octo has developed strong strategic ecosystem partnerships with best of class software companies, analytics providers, CRM specialists, and niche service providers, allowing our insurer partners to constantly innovate via our IOT4Insurance platform ecosystem to boost the offering to their policyholders.
Senior VP Revenue and Sales, Octo Telematics.
Investing in digitisation How is industry competition changing regarding new entrants into the market such as mobile companies and internet providers; and is this having an effect on business strategies?
We have invested a huge amount in the digitisation of our data and transformation of our business processes. That means introducing speed and efficiency at every stage, using API technology, for example, to reduce first notification of loss times and robotic processing to automate numerous parts of the claims lifecycle.
While there was much talk about the potential for data-led, technology-driven entrants to disrupt the insurance market, the recent wave of insurtech firms have proved to be valuable enablers rather than threats to established market practitioners.
It also means capitalising on innovations such as the Internet of Things and sensor technology to be much more responsive. For example, we’re using water detection sensors linked to an alert system to reduce the severity of ‘escape of water’ claims. We are also piloting an app that enables loss notification via Alexa.
Of course, the potential for information behemoths such as Amazon and Google to alter the insurance sector still exists; however, insurance carriers have made up significant ground and they are now much better equipped to compete in the digital ‘arms race‘ by capitalising on new technologies and forging partnerships with insurtechs. From a loss-adjusting perspective, while these data giants clearly see potential in accessing the insurance market, there is limited appetite to take on the claims function. While existing online platforms lend themselves to insurance product development and distribution, several have baulked at spending on a claims infrastructure. For Crawford, therefore, this new form of competition creates opportunity, but to capitalise on that we must be able to provide a claims experience that offers self-service capabilities, customer straight-through processing, automated triage etc. in a highly controlled and efficient environment.
The centre of this transformation is our digital platform and data. By centralising collection and analysis of data and integrating our services through a unified platform, we are creating the digital infrastructure to deliver market-relevant insight both to our teams on the ground and to our clients. By developing this data-driven environment to support our specialist claims teams we can deliver a business environment not only to serve the potential demands of these new entrants but also to meet the rapidly evolving needs of the existing market. As part of our investment, we can fulfil the needs of any new entrants, including the provision of digital FNOL, auto triage, customer self-service portals in a digital platform and the collection and analysis of all related claim and service data.
Global President, Crawford Claims Solutions. MODERN
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Weighing up the benefits of BTE legal expenses insurance BTE (Before the Event) insurance is often purchased as an ‘add-on’ to a motor, home or commercial lines policy. It covers the legal costs associated with bringing or defending a legal action and can be a valuable addition to the primary insurance, saving customers time, money and unnecessary stress in the event of a legal dispute. The BTE market is well established in the UK; however, there still appears to be a lack of wider public acknowledgement and understanding of the comprehensive range of covers and legal support that’s available to consumers and businesses. This could largely be down to the add-on nature of the product, where the customer’s initial purchasing mindset is for the primary motor, home or business related insurance. However, with recent legislative changes, including the Civil Liability Act 2018, BTE should at last be recognised by individuals and businesses alike as a cost effective product of choice to ensure access to justice.
Insurers and distributors of legal expenses insurance play an important role in ensuring that customers are adequately educated to understand the range of covers provided by legal expenses policies, as there are very different cover elements depending on whether the purchaser is a consumer or a business. This includes not only the indemnified sections of cover but also some of the additional services provided, such as legal advice helplines and online document support. Through improved knowledge and education, BTE legal expenses may at last be able to rid itself as being seen as a low cost commodity add-on product. It should be appreciated as a real value added solution to protect customers against the uncertainty of costs (and legal expertise) when bringing a legal action independently.
Senior Business Developer, Allianz Legal Protection.
Securing your repair capacity With the number of bodyshops on the decline, what strategy do insurance companies and claims solutions providers need to adopt in order to secure repair capacity in the coming years? Clearly the body repair industry has a number of complex issues that it will need to address over the coming years: a skills shortage, a huge number of new vehicle models more complex to repair, including electric vehicles and the issue of capacity versus price. Historically, insurers and claims solutions providers have found it relatively easy to obtain the capacity they need, whether their driver was reducing cost or generating additional revenue. Of course, improving customer service was always a pre-requisite to such procurement exercises. As the bodyshop industry continues to consolidate, it feels like it won’t be long before the boot is firmly on the other foot. The ability for an insurer to travel a few hundred metres down the road to a rival in order to procure the same service at a more competitive price has long gone. Customer expectation is also changing, manufacturers are becoming more vocal about the “need” to return to an approved bodyshop. This has the potential to impact approved repair conversion, a key performance indicator for the majority of insurers, which leads to a detrimental effect on overall spend.
The key to securing capacity in the coming years boils down to something relatively simple, on paper; trust. Insurers and claims solutions providers need to look at the cost of the process overall and look to remove cost elsewhere in order to secure capacity at increased rates. Increasing auto authority levels will reduce engineering spend and giving the repairer the ability to self-audit reduces the current internal spend. There is enough talk of technology in the industry and this is a significant investment continually being made by bodyshops. Insurers and claims managers can do the same, using it to reduce the number of touch points a customer has with the repairer or undertaking something more simple such as a customer survey without any human intervention. Alternative mobility solutions and collection of the damaged vehicles can also be owned by the insurer or accident managers. Nationwide Vehicle Assistance are already working with a number of bodyshops and insurer customers providing these solutions. Taking the hassle out of the process whilst removing direct and indirect costs may just be what it takes to secure your repair capacity tomorrow.
Senior Claims Consultant, Nationwide Vehicle Assistance.
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Covea Insurance plc Registered Office: Norman Place, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 8DA Registered in England and Wales No. 613259 Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority No. 202277
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Recognising and developing talent How should organisations adapt and invest in new capabilities in order to take advantage of rapidly developing talent opportunities? The customer claims journey is evolving fast and it is a business imperative to have the right people, skills and technology to perform whenever and however the customer chooses to interact with us. Customers are increasingly benchmarking their experiences with that of larger retail services who provide first class customer service, expecting comparable levels of service when pursuing a claim. They demand a claims service that is easy to navigate in a way that suits them, with support when needed. If they can track a parcel online, why can’t they track their vehicle repairs or replacement goods? Customers’ expectation to communicate instantly means live online chat, instant messaging or easy access to someone with the skills and knowledge to help in the first call. A claim, and certainly an accident claim, is a very personal thing and customers will often want the option to talk to someone, so we will likely always need someone at the end of a phone line with the right people skills. To satisfy customers’ increasing expectations inevitably means investing heavily in the latest technological advancements. With the need to handle large amounts of data ever more efficiently, software
engineers, data analysts and AI experts are going to be in high demand. Of course, the need for people with advanced technology skills is not unique to the insurance and claims sector, and we are going to be competing for the best people with a range of other sectors. Investing in talent is not just about new hires but developing staff to the best of their capabilities, regardless of gender, age or any other factor. Our business would struggle without a diverse, balanced and inclusive workforce. One of the reasons Carpenters Group has such a high proportion of women is flexibility. Allowing people flexibility in both experience and training allows us to keep staff in the business and directly facilitates career progression. In doing the right thing for our people and supporting each other while offering a wide range of employment options; we become an attractive employer to most backgrounds and circumstances. The expectations of customers, the technology and the skills required may be changing, but we hope that by recognising and developing the talent that we have, we can approach the future with confidence.
Director, Carpenters Group.
Preparing for retirement When preparing for retirement, how best can you prepare, and how can your business best prepare?
living too frugally. You will have to get used to a different pattern of income and spending in retirement, so it can be worth doing a trial run before taking the big leap. This provides the best reality check for your retirement plans and budget before you kick-up your heels.
A person retiring at the age of 65 can typically expect to live for another 20 years. Stretching out your savings over a lifetime can be a challenge which is why it’s important to prepare for retirement as early as possible. It can be a good idea to set a target retirement age, which gives you a savings goal to work towards. If you’re not already saving as much as you can into your pension, it also makes sense to increase your payments. Many company schemes will match an employee’s contribution which, together with pensions tax relief, can turbo-charge your savings.
You also need to give careful thought to how you want to start drawing your pension income. Retirement has changed radically in recent years, with over-55’s now free to use their pension savings flexibly, like a bank account. Instead of fully retiring, you might decide to work part-time and use your pension to plug the income gap. It can be worth having an early conversation with your employer to ask if you can reduce your working hours, instead of fully-retiring. Employer benefit by retaining skilled staff and employees can avoid a cliff-edge retirement. While savers have more flexibility over their retirement income, with choice comes greater complexity. As ever, having a conversation with a financial adviser can help you to avoid potential pitfalls and achieve the retirement you desire.
As retirement nears, get a state pension statement, work out how much you might receive from a defined benefit scheme, and add up your other pensions, savings and investments. At the same time, consider any debts and how you can pay them off. This will give you an overall picture of what you will have to live on. Although it can be difficult, at this stage you also need to think about how long you might live for. Underestimate your longevity and you could face a savings shortfall in later life. Overestimate it and you might end up
Head of Retail Platform Strategy, Zurich.
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Capacity issues on the horizon With the number of bodyshops on the decline, what strategy do insurance companies and claims solutions providers need to adopt in order to secure repair capacity in the coming years? In the last twenty years, we have seen a decline in bodyshop numbers to around 3,000 primary bodyshops of which only around 900 of them are PAS125/BSI Kitemark approved. With the increasing number of vehicles on the UK’s roads, it’s no surprise therefore, that there are some serious capacity issues on the horizon for insurers and other claims solutions providers. This decline happened because of rising costs and inadequate income to generate acceptable operating profits, so bodyshops went out of business or sold their freeholds due to poor returns. The new technology being fitted as standard on new cars means many bodyshops have been unable to invest in new equipment and training. Skills shortages, less young people coming into the industry, rising rates and wage costs and the age-old problem of inadequate labour rates have also been contributing factors. Today, the average labour rate is only £35.00 per hour* and repairers are still only making on average, 6.5% pre-tax profit*, which is insufficient to fund the investment needed for new vehicle technology. When you compare the labour rate for highly skilled body and paint technicians who are responsible for vehicle
structural integrity and the safety of drivers, to dealer and even independent mechanical rates of anywhere from £60 to over £100 per hour, there are some serious issues here. It’s no surprise therefore that there has been consolidation within the accident repair industry with both independent groups, of which there are now 40 with, on average, nine bodyshops per group, as well as the rise of the independent bodyshop networks where, compared to independent groups, national UK coverage with a central point of contact can be offered to insurers and claims solutions providers. Additionally, these networks comprise both independent groups and quality stand-alone independent repairers so insurers can be assured of national coverage, controlled service levels and an extremely high standard of repairs for cars, vans and HGVs for their policyholders. Ultimately, insurers need to look at whether running their own internal bodyshop programmes is more cost effective and efficient than outsourcing to an independent bodyshop network which will deliver high service levels and multi-client buying power, without the associated costs. Even with enhanced labour rates, the cost of claims would be significantly less than they are today, and capacity can be assured.
Marketing Director, Selsia *Source Auto Body Professionals Club and Audatex
Don’t wait to collaborate How can you work strategically with other businesses to enhance your offering? We work in a market that sees precious little collaboration; a market where insurer supply chain partners tend to be absolutely fixated on the protection of revenue streams. This is of course totally understandable on one level, however, I’ve witnessed this behaviour result in the exact opposite outcome when a once strong value proposition erodes over time. I wonder if it’s too romantic to suggest that insurer supply chain partners should seek each other out and work together in order to enhance the value for their mutual clients? Experience tells me that there is disproportionately more opportunity for success when partners collaborate. Furthermore, I believe insurers would be highly supportive of such activity, especially when the output is tailored to their specific needs. Larger incumbent organisations tend to be good at a wider range of services, smaller businesses can often be great in their chosen sector by being focused. Two or more focused organisations working
towards a common goal can be a fantastic proposition for their mutual clients. Also, it is often the case that new developments or solutions can be executed very quickly in these situations due to an inherent lack of legacy systems and bureaucracy. Rest assured, insurers are wide open for business but have been burned by some InsurTech start-ups that simply didn’t deliver for them. This further compounded by the expensive pilots some insurers have invested in. Over time this becomes a significant detraction and can artificially lengthen sales cycles. Who knows, maybe a new wave of ‘InsurTech’ is simply a different and better approach that sees great businesses forging accretive working partnerships that deliver fantastic output for their clients. Don’t wait to be asked to collaborate, reach out to like-minded organisations and be the driving force, your clients will love it.
Regional Managing Director, ControlExpert UK Ltd.
Is your business robust? All businesses, small and large, go through change. This can be externally driven (change in legislation, marketing changes and/ or Government pressure) and often internally driven (senior and junior staff changes, departure, arrivals and retirements). Although each actual staff change may not be predictable, what is predictable is that changes will occur. This may be seen as positive, providing opportunities for the business and alter strategic direction and grow. It is part of any business resilience that it can anticipate specific changes or any change and develop flexibility to manage positive or negative ‘black swan’ effects. Experiencing difficult business change can be stressful and produce high anxiety, frustration and low self-esteem. A second characteristic of the robust business is to develop a culture for managing unpleasant and distressing feelings either within an individual or team. Reacting to everyday and future pressures require the ability and skill to relax and react calmly to what is happening around you. Across the days, weeks and months of business operations, staff at all levels of work need to think and believe in a positive manner – their ability to see the positive aspect of their own behaviour and those around them predicts a resilience which will sustain them and their colleagues through many rough times.
Anticipating business life events, managing the feelings and thoughts that arise are what psychologists call ’cognitive skills’. These are balanced by our ‘social skills’ of enhanced communication – whether we are listening, talking, chairing meetings and coordinating teams, and at times managing conflict, tension and disagreement we need to undertake and be aware of how we communicate. This “intentionality” is crucial. Walking in and out of a meeting should be accompanied by an awareness of how we have behaved to our colleagues, customers and clients. Social behaviour which is impulsive, not thought out and, in extremis, not even recognised can reduce our resilience, confidence and effectiveness. So, the robust business aims for increasing its resilience by anticipating life events and managing them, developing individual and team skills in managing distressing feelings and negative thoughts, and ensuring our communication skills are intentional, positive and reassuring to both ourselves and others.
Professor and Director, HK Associates.
Adding insurance as a feature of an underlying product Whilst there are a large number of areas where the combination of customer demand and lower cost technology converge to create significant market shifts. I am really interested in the increasing trend to imbed insurance as a feature of an underlying product. Whether it’s a ‘just add petrol’ car lease, ‘click here’ for insurance at the bottom of an airline ticket or buying a leasing a consignment of construction plant pre-insured, insurance is being added at source.
which returns a rich and appropriately sophisticated quote. This approach is being used across an increasingly large number of lines and in a broadening set of distribution situations. Whilst personal lines carriers and teams have these capabilities for simple products running complex rating algorithms, it is less common for commercial insurers to have these capabilities in house, and here it represents an opportunity and a threat.
Adding an insurance component to an underlying product can open up new markets, new customers and diversification within the portfolio. However, when the margins are tight, and distributors are putting pressure on the cost of sales, accurate pricing and granular underwriting and risk acceptance become key. To execute against this opportunity insurers need a combination of sophisticated analytics to support pricing, appetite and underwriting coupled with very low cost execution. Indeed, the marginal cost of a quote should be near zero.
An emerging requirement in the Commercial area is to be able to publish pricing, product and underwriting rules digitally (often via API) to distribution partners. To balance the needs of affordable coverage, appropriately sophisticated pricing and speed to market, a Commercial IHP solution will be needed. Ideally such a solution should be able to link product/portfolio management directly (i.e. without IT intervention) to the distributors front end platform. The challenge of distributing relatively complex products digitally represents a significant revenue opportunity.
The technology and approach deployed by UK Motor insurers via aggregators, Insurer Hosted Pricing (IHP), offers a solution. IHP allows the distributor to call the insurers’ pricing and rules engine,
Global Director, Pricing Product Claims and Underwriting, Willis Towers Watson.
Digital transformation – it’s not all about technology! When it comes to new and emerging technologies, one facet that needs to be considered is the human factor. The market is constantly seeing the introduction of impressive digital products that are designed to make the claims process smoother, faster and more cost effective. At Sedgwick, we’re always looking to improve the claims process for our clients. We’re in the process of developing a completely AI-focused suite of products, so if a claim comes in through our global platform, it will be fulfilled immediately without any human intervention at all. We’re also using video technology so policyholders can report any damages and show us without the need for an onsite visit. We’re then able to quickly approve the work that needs to be done, schedule in repairers or the necessary services and approve the policyholder’s claim, therefore streamlining the entire experience. However, having the latest digital capabilities is often not the only solution. Without the required technical knowledge, strong customer service and necessary insurance market relationships, you’ll often find that the solution is less than perfect. If a policyholder is able to fill in a form online and have their claim approved within the hour, without an onsite interview and inspection,
everyone would agree that it’s a fantastic service. But if that claim was significantly overpaid, or should never have been paid in the first place, it will very quickly have an impact on insurance companies’ ability to remain attractive in terms of premium levels. For those running a small business, it’s less about getting someone to turn up quickly after an adverse event and more about the correct solution. They need advice on how to put the claim together, be it online, over the phone or face-to-face. A successful outcome for business owners is for us to ensure their time is used in a way that is most valuable to them. It’s not that we should all aim to replace humans with machines, far from it. There is a way to have new emerging technologies and existing human capital working better together to improve the overall customer experience. Our ethos is “Caring Counts”. There really is no substitute for that human touch or the advice an expert gives. We want to see human and machine mesh their capabilities to improve efficiency and hopefully enhance the client’s experience of the claims process.
CEO, Sedgwick UK.
‘Old world/analogue’ to ‘new world/digital’ Digital transformation is challenging in insurance; where must change happen without interrupting the flow of daily business?
from operations, any impact to the daily flow can be avoided and everyone can say they are doing digital. Tick in the box. The only issue is that little to no digital transformation actually makes its way back into the daily flow.
In conversation with Altus Consulting the other week, we both mused on how, for many insurers, digital transformation means no more than automating their FNOL process. Why? Because insurers have neatly divided the claims world into a compartmentalised set of supply chain arrangements with very defined roles and responsibilities for each. Each entity seeks to automate their bit of the process, unable to implement transformation beyond their narrow boundaries. Is it any wonder that such a fractured arrangement leads to sub-optimal customer journeys?
So how might we change the approach to implementing digital? In the past, where the focus was maximising ‘evolutionary’ change, I would recommend creating a dedicated cross-functional team of excellence that was embedded inside, and which reported to Operations. With some clever budgeting, behaviours could be driven around driving demonstrable continuous process improvement. That approach won’t work for ‘revolutionary’ digital/AI change. Instead, I suggest creating a greenfield ‘digital’ cross functional team that isn’t constrained by legacy mindsets, systems or processes but which is armed with targets (e.g. to what extent could sensors/IoT reduce the number of claims by X%? Or, how do I reduce the lifecycle of a claim from five days to five minutes?). These teams would design and build new operating models entirely from scratch and around the customer, and test hypotheses on a small, and manageable set of customers/claims.
The starting point for digital transformation has to be a recognition that the above model is no longer fit for purpose. A paradigm shift is needed from designing a claims process that is modelled “insideout” (a journey that has been designed around the insurer/supply chain which the customer is expected to accept) to “outside-in” (a claims journey designed around the customer, where the customer has deep digital access to the insurer/supply chain services they need). At the same time, we also need to recognise that the business operating model that was created for an ‘analogue/handler-led’ world (which has created an expensive legacy environment) is also unfit for purpose in a ‘digital/AI’ world. How does one transition from ‘old world/analogue’ to ‘new world/ digital’? Typically this involves creating a digital garage here or an innovation centre there. By separating digital transformation
Partnering with new third party administrators can provide both impetus and a fresh perspective and enabling this new team with new Insurance-as-a-Service digital tools (think Claim Technology’s Claims-as-Service platform) eliminates the constraint of legacy systems. I wouldn’t be surprised if the relentless march towards deskilling operations was reversed in the new world of AI.
CEO, Claim Technology. MODERN
Operating in partnership with a wide range of approved repairers and service providers to deliver end-to-end customer excellence.
We invest in the expertise and excellence of our people to ensure they have the ability to manage any case, no matter how complex, to the highest standards.
We offer a full suite of services, including: - FNOL - TP Intervention - Repair Management - Engineering - Mobility Solutions - Loss Recovery
Our Network Proud to partner with a UK-wide repair network of over 275 suppliers. Dedicated to working hand-in-hand to deliver the best solutions for our customers.
Our Solutions Each of our claims solutions can be fully tailored to meet your specific needs. Use them individually or combine them for a full end-to-end solution.
Contact us for more information by emailing us at email@example.com or call us on 0344 243 8888
Supply chain as a source of competitive advantage Succeeding in a mature market is challenging. Greater expectations, a dynamic business environment and challenges unique to the industry make the job of differentiating service more complex than ever before. Whilst focusing on your core proposition can be the key to market growth, many companies are recognising excellence in supply chain management as a powerful source of competitive advantage. A best in class, end-to-end supply chain, which looks beyond the boundaries of simple logistics, can be the key to commercial success. Consider the following themes to support best practice and drive transformative change across the supply chain function: 1. Shared business strategy Identify the needs of your business and set supply chain micro and macro performance metrics accordingly, whether they focus on cost, speed of supply, agility or stability. The strongest performance occurs when the functions of your business, including your supply chain, are aligned cross-functionally with a clear definition of value and customer experience. 2. Collaboration Supply chain relationships need nurturing to create mutually beneficial connections which support a sustainable business model. Supply chain partners are often the guardian of customer touchpoints within your product lifecycle and ultimately they delight or disappoint your customers. The amount of power and
control held by the outsource provider can be unnerving, and here lies the importance of working in a true partnership. 3. Responsiveness Supply chains are forward-facing, based on future customer demand, product availability and external market forces. Is your supply chain agile enough? Future-proof the relationship, by calculating your supply chain’s level of scalability. Can their service be readily scaled to meet increasing demand as your company grows? Can you rely upon their full participation? Understand the level of flexibility they can provide in the future and mitigate your risks. 4. Transparency Maximum transparency is essential for end-to-end supply chain effectiveness and developing platforms and portals which enable collaboration and data sharing is a must. Significant investment in market leading technology can help to reduce mutual administration costs for all parties in the supply chain, whilst providing customers with the enhanced level of data they now expect. Transforming your supply chain requires time, investment and stakeholder attention, yet the rewards are plentiful. Nurturing strong, sustainable, open and trusting relationships with supply chain partners, with a shared commitment to customer service excellence, can be the key to converting customers to brand ambassadors.
Andrew Chandler, Sales Director, FMG.
Technology is there to make life easier Digital transformation is challenging in insurance; where must change happen without interrupting the flow of daily business? In 1997 I returned to Perth to head up a team of 30 or so Head Office underwriters. Experienced insurance professionals but with, it’s fair to say, limited IT knowledge. Only certain people were allowed access to the internet and only to specific sites. By giving them all access and encouraging them to explore the web (you didn’t use the term “Google It” back then), we probably did more in six months for their individual IT development and skills than sending them on countless Excel spreadsheet courses. Insurance people have tended to be cautious by nature and in many ways that’s influenced our approach to digital transformation. Digital transformation is difficult if you view technology as the enemy or if you don’t understand it. Insurance has examples of both; insurers and brokers want different things – let’s make it difficult to commoditise says one side. It’s why we see insurers’ own quote systems being pushed; insurers want to avoid comparison sites, while brokers would welcome them. This is where ‘disruptors’
can come in and exploit the situation. Change needs to happen in each one of us; where we don’t see digitisation as a threat, we aren’t using technology to lose ‘headcounts’ but rather to enhance the customer experience and help all of those in the chain. Customers are not a homogenous group, they are unique and individual. There is not one solution for all, accepting that there are different solutions and adaptions that are required is vital. Do too many of us come from a one answer generation where are view is correct and we are adamant about it? How much has been wasted on IT projects because of this attitude? Having a mindset that technology is there to make life easier, not automate them out of a profession is key. So often we’ll hear (jokingly) that our technology is making that job less important. It’s important to state this won’t happen. What technology in insurance will do is improve customer experience by increasing what insurers and brokers can offer – just like introducing the internet to inquisitive underwriters did in the 90s.
Stephen Marshall ACII,
Managing Director, Insure Apps.
At HK Associates we provide a comprehensive and independent psychological and orthopaedic reporting service throughout the UK as well as access to a psychological treatment service. Services are provided within the context of personal injury, employment injury, stress and chronic absence management, clinical negligence, Neuropsychology and chronic pain. Adults and children are seen within four to six weeks of instruction at any of our 158 clinics across the UK and the report provided within two weeks. The â€˜Find an Expertâ€™ facility on our website allows three experts to be located immediately.
GROUND FLOOR, FESTIVAL HOUSE, JESSOP AVENUE, CHELTENHAM GL50 3SH Phone: 01242 263715 email: enquiries @hughkochassociates.co.uk Web: www.hughkochassociates.co.uk
The bodyshop and insurer relationship With the number of bodyshops on the decline, what strategy do insurance companies and claims solutions providers need to adopt in order to secure repair capacity in the coming years? Repairer/Insurer relationship Bodyshops and insurers have traditionally endured a precarious relationship. For many years cars were fairly straight forward to repair; most were made out of steel with electrical and mechanical systems that were straightforward to fix. This led to a plethora of bodyshops springing up, with professional purpose built shops competing with the under-the-arches repairers. Anyone with a hammer and dolly, spray gun and tool kit could repair a car. With such great competition to repair cars, insurers had a wide selection to choose from and thus great negotiating power, causing body repair and mechanical labour rates to diverge in the Eighties. This has led to the current situation of bodyshop rates tending to sit at less than half that of mechanical/service garage. Contemporaneous vehicles However, the last few years have seen an exponential increase in the materials, techniques and equipment levels fitted to modern vehicles; carbon-fibre, aluminum, ultra-high strength steels are common. Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) are common place now, with sensors, LIDAR, cameras, etc. appearing in
windscreens, bumpers, mirrors which are vulnerable parts of the car and commonly damaged in accidents. Fred-in-the-Shed does not have the skills or equipment to repair such a vehicle, which has led to many of these smaller shops dropping off. Even some of the bigger shops have struggled to upgrade their repair and diagnostic equipment or up-skill their work force. The modern philosophy The supply and demand seesaw has now pivoted in favour of the bodyshops. Insurers require a decent level of quality and assurance that a repairer has the capabilities, equipment levels and qualified staff to ensure a safe and acceptable repair. The amount of bodyshops operating at this level has diminished which has led to a natural increase in labour rates. Increased labour means the ability to employ more experienced staff, provide increased training, and implement great safety and quality assurance systems. The wise insurer will understand that whilst high quality bodyshops may not be the cheapest possible price, the resulting service to their clients will mean reduced complaints, quicker repair periods, reduce diminution in value claims, and typically a more economical global claim. Bodyshops prefer to work with insurers who share their desire to provide an excellent service and expert repair and now they have the opportunity to pick and choose those that understand this philosophy.
Managing Director, Laird Assessors.
Re-building the digital bridge Digital transformation is challenging in insurance; where must change happen without interrupting the flow of daily business? Digital transformation is a bit like re-building a bridge while that bridge is still in use and serving consumers. We’ve commented on this in a series of our blog articles about ‘executing for the insurance business today, but with tomorrow in mind.’ This is about building new digital competencies and new consumer journeys for an insurer, but at the same time having an eye on the big strategic goals, on the road to fully automated or ‘touchless claims’, towards driverless vehicles, or a more seamless and automated way of serving insurance which is likely to become the dominant model of the future. In terms of where the changes need to happen, we observe that the best application of data enrichment and automation happens in the thousands of tiny incremental business steps and small use cases in a typical insurance provider. The ‘big bang’ approach to transformation, whether to invest in a wholly new digital-first infrastructure – and park or mothball existing IT infrastructure – seems to be gaining in acceptance, and it is a hot topic at industry conferences. But what we observe is the application of new data sets and machine learning algorithms in many hundreds of R&D projects, retro analyses and new product launches that we support for insurers.
In fact this is an approach that is most likely to bring about return on investment and wider corporate support for transformation: start with applying automation to small (but not insignificant) projects, whether in claims, pricing models or other parts of the chain. Complete the learning cycle, implement into the existing workflow, implement the necessary changes to skills and culture, train the model, bring about the real business benefits and move on. In fact this is relatively easy to describe, but difficult in practice. Testing and then introducing new datasets into the existing workflows is what is commonly called ‘digital transformation’. But in reality it is nothing more or less than ‘business transformation’. Insurers are starting to acknowledge the need for a cultural change, not just an improvement of existing processes. But digital now involves changing everything: funding, governance, security, business metrics. It should come from the leadership. It includes the whole company and it is nothing else but business transformation. Underpinning all of this is the availability of the data, as well as the benefits to the end-consumer, which is ultimately what should shape everything. To prepare for the future, change has to happen in the fundamental business flows of the insurance provider, becoming faster, more open and more nimble, better able to quote and compete based on the new types of data insights that are now available.
Senior Marketing Manager, Insurance, LexisNexis Risk Solutions. MODERN
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Securing repair capacity With the number of bodyshops on the decline, what strategy do insurance companies and claims solutions providers need to adopt in order to secure repair capacity in the coming years? The decline in bodyshops has been a constant for many years, with the number of UK bodyshops reducing from 5,900 (1998) to 3162 (2018), over a 50% reduction in 20 years. If you then consider how many of those remaining are BS 10125 accredited and equipped to repair the modern cars of today, which are evolving at a faster rate than ever in the history of the motor car, we have a unique scenario in that we have a market that has a declining number of bodyshops, declining number of technicians (average age = 48) and even greater pressure from insurers on bodyshops (see the last issue’s article) to be a centric part of the claims activity. If you then consider the impact of new technology on vehicles today, such as ADAS, LIDAR, varying materials leading to complicated welding and bonding requirements. Consequently, repair processes are more complex, require greater training and a significant increase in the investment required to safely repair vehicles to the required standard. The reality is, they are a set of real challenges that face
the repairer in what is already a marginal business. In my view, the margin has been driven by historic over capacity in the market, this is now not the case and demand is outstripping supply. In my last year as a Director of NARS PLC, we had sales of £187 million and profits of £5.5 million (3%). If you consider this is a few years ago now and we had far better economies of scale than any of our competitors. Where does this then leave smaller groups and independents? Ok, so I appreciate this is a bit doom and gloom, but it is the reality of the situation. If you then accept this as the status quo and an insurance company comes along to secure volume with a repairer, the repairer is always going to secure capacity with the insurer that gives them the best commercial terms, in order to ensure that they can sustain their business and deliver the requisite repair and service standards requested by the insurer. There is no doubt that factors, such as speed of payment, supply chain and the ease of dealing with the insurer (at all levels, including the policyholder) will have a bearing on securing capacity. However, it is really a simple question of economics, who pays best will be the first to secure quality capacity.
Director, InduSTry Insights.
What happens when AI goes wrong? What are the worst-case scenarios, and how can these be effectively mitigated? We live in a world where AI is becoming more relevant. Every day we hear or read about new capabilities and achievements in computer vision, speech recognition, text comprehension and data analysis that amazes us with how close machines are to our skills in some tasks exclusive to human skills (and sometimes surpassing) not so long ago. As with many aspects in life, and insurers will know a bit about this, things can go wrong, and AI is not an exception. Furthermore, the scope of issues or traditional system malfunctions is extended, as now the machine is taking decisions with much more margin for error, the algorithms are exponentially more complex than with traditional (non AI) computing and the number of factors involved as well. Our society needs to be prepared to handle those situations where decisions taken by AI will not be correct and/or could potentially have a harmful impact. One simple approach is to have a human supervising the AI. In many industries and systems, AI is “empowering” the human ant
by taking work from him, analysing data and presenting him with recommendations rather than making decisions. This leaves the end responsibility to the human which should be able to identify potentially bad decisions taken by the AI. One clear example is the assisted driving in autonomous cars, which always requires the human to be ready to take control or do an automatic assessment of damage based on pictures, which is already been used in home or motor claims. AI is able to identify damages and make a proposal/recommendation to a human appraiser which finally validates. The back draw of this is that we don’t get the full benefits in efficiency that AI can bring as a final validation from when a human is required, but as we go along and AI gets better, and we must remember that AI systems are in a never ending learning cycle, the confidence level will be increased for unsupervised decision taking. A simple approach to mitigate risks can be to define boundaries and risk impact scenarios, so we can safely implement the AI and get the efficiency benefits controlling the risk of decision taking.
Director of Consulting and Innovation Services, GT Motive.
Managing risk For hundreds of years, insurance has provided the balance sheet for the global economy. Whenever the risks of an enterprise has been too great for one organisation to bear, insurers have distributed risks across multiple institutions, making it viable for society to build roads, factories, cities, to expand agriculture and to set up the complex distribution chains that underpin global trade. As a result, a huge slice of insurance strategy has centred on securing capital. As long as capital was scarce, and insurers were some of the only people who knew where to find it, products and processes could evolve relatively slowly. However, this approach is facing three key challenges. First, capital is far more plentiful than it was. Second, insurers have become the victims of their own success - thanks to the demands of insurers on their clients, buildings are strong, health and safety is adhered to more rigorously, and so the turnover for firms that insure traditional risks has reduced. Finally, technology has vastly increased the potential to change processes and transform products. It’s easy to see strategic challenges for insurance as simply introducing new forms of technology - but in fact the human challenge is far greater. The biggest challenge is moving from being the balance sheet of the world to being the risk brain of the world. This means
moving from traditional products that shift capital to the people who need it most, to providing services that help clients understand and mitigate ever more complex and novel global risks (cyber crime, terrorism, the impact of climate and politics on integral global supply chains), and put together packages of benefits in kind that not only deliver cash to people who have suffered, but also give them access to a portfolio of professional services that help them to rebuild. The strategic challenge facing insurance has never been more exciting. As technology frees us from routine processing, and the increasing availability of capital frees is from dedicating so much time and effort to locating it, we finally have the opportunity to help clients manage risk in more creative and effective ways. All we have to provide is our human ingenuity.
Working Together Nationwide Assistance Group works with insurance companies to mitigate the cost of a claim by providing a complete collision recovery management service.Our high level of standards means that we know the importance of capturing the right details when completing FNOL’s through to deploying the correct recovery vehicle.We do not stop there, being your eyes on scene means we can advise if the vehicle should be taken to salvage rather than repair, reducing movement costs. Where a vehicle is in storage we ensure that we deliver that vehicle to a repairers or salvage company as quickly as possible to mitigate the storage costs and save you money. • • • • •
Fully tailored FNOL service API Link job notification—No more double entry or miscommunication One to one training provided for your call centre (day & night) Images within 24-48 hours of recovery Full UK & European audited network of recovery agents
24hr Contact Centre: 01621 730009 Email: mick @ nwva.co.uk
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DR MATTHEW CONNELL,
Director, Policy and Public Affairs, Chartered Insurance Institute (CII).
is Chair of the Motor Accident Solicitors Society (MASS) and a Senior Partner in Nicholls Brimble Bhol.
Protecting the accident victim
There comes a time when to not say anything would be to betray who you are, or in our case, who we represent. MASS has worked constructively with the Ministry of Justice and the Motor Insurance Bureau on implementation of the reforms. We certainly don’t like key aspects, but if they are going to happen, we would rather that they are implemented as manageably as possible for motor accident victims, with as little disruption as possible. MIB have been tasked with a major and complicated project to create the new LIP Portal. Whilst considerable progress has undoubtedly been made, there are still fundamental decisions on the new process yet to be taken. We are likely to only have a “minimum viable product” fit for testing from October this year and effectively an unfinished system in April 2020. This is not good enough. A “minimum viable product” does not safeguard accident victims and fully support Litigants in Person, who will be vulnerable to some unscrupulous CMCs. The new Portal must be fully fitfor-purpose and properly tested ahead of launch, and we currently cannot see that this will be possible with so many important decisions still to be taken. No-one wants a system that will create further problems, is expensive to retrofit and which no-one has yet A2A “on-boarded”. MedCo have already expressed doubts whether its extended role can be fully integrated in time.
below £5,000 and one for all other claims, rather than full integration has long been considered the worst option available, and yet that is what is proposed. Proceeding without integrating rehabilitation, credit hire and repair costs is a serious error. Several aspects of the new LIP Portal, such as AskCUE PI searches and ADR, will not be available to legally represented claimants. Discriminating against legally represented claimants and effectively providing unfair advantages for CMCs should not be acceptable. Then there is the inclusion of minors and other protected parties. We fail to understand why children and other protected parties are considered no less vulnerable than those ‘vulnerable road users’ who have already been excluded from the reforms. If the new process does not encompass all aspects of an RTA claim and has not been fully tested, implementation must be delayed beyond April 2020 to ensure the accident victim is protected.
Then there are the decisions that have already been taken. Having dual-operating Portals, one for RTA whiplash claims
Just over 9 months and counting…
is the President of the Forum of Insurance Lawyers, and Partner at Keoghs.
Whilst our politicians continue to astonish us, it is easy to forget that we are now only a few months away from the Ministry of Justice’s start date for the whiplash reforms in April 2020. Whilst the Civil Liability Act passed last year, there is still much to do and several key areas of policy to be announced. We await details on the ADR provider (s), around how MedCo is to be expanded and how will litigants in person interact with MedCo on the portal. We await final confirmation of the “whiplash tariff” and how that will interact with other minor injuries. Since credit hire claims will not be pursued through the new portal a decision needs to be taken on how are such credit hire claims are going to be pursued through the courts in the event that they do not settle. Final decisions are also awaited on how counter-claims are to be pursued and how multi-defendant claims will be handled.
2 have risen more than 22% from 2013 to the end of last year and there was a double digit inflationary increase from 2017 to 2018. Between 2017 and 2018 there was significant prognosis creep as illustrated by there being a 2.6% drop in claims where the whiplash prognosis period was between 1 and 4 months and a 2.7% increase in claims where the whiplash prognosis was between 5 and 11 months. So, despite the increased amount of rehabilitation and treatment, whiplash victims are suffering for longer than was previously the case and, this at a time when, the number of non-whiplash definition injuries in volume personal injury claims has significantly increased.
However, notwithstanding the above, the claimant supply chain has already begun to make changes to prepare for the new regime. The drop in the number of claims being pursued in the portal over the last couple of years has been much trumpeted, but rehabilitation frequency in respect of claims pursued by the larger claimant firms increased from 26% to 73% between 2013 and 2018. Over the same period our benchmarking suggests that general damages settlements in stage
The final detail in respect of the reforms is eagerly awaited, but it appears that those reforms will do well to keep up with the changing face of volume personal injury claims.
The future is not that much different to the past... Or is it?
ANDREW GIBBONS ACII,
Managing Director, Mason Owen Financial Services Ltd; BIBA, Chair of Industry Claims Initiative.
When I joined Provincial Insurance in the late 1980’s there was an insurance revolution taking place – the computer! Some might remember green screens and green and white lined paper heading to an extremely noisy dot matrix printer! Brokers were able to produce quotations on the first software house systems that were extremely basic, but revolutionary for the time. That is until somebody invented the red telephone on wheels, which signalled a massive step forward in insurance distribution despite using technology that had been invented way before the first computer by a certain Mr Bell. We had a traditional industry that had hundreds of years of baggage that started to adopt strategy and technology that would take it forward, only to be usurped by the next big idea from a “disruptor”! There are parallels in the similar space we find ourselves in today, where insurers needed to cut large swathes of cost from their distribution by reducing branch networks and matching their competition and then through the use of the call centre. Dragging large infrastructures with them meant that these call centres sometimes sat outside our shores, while we lost great experience as a result of the cuts.
just the same issues now? Advances in E-Trading continue apace, but this is not a panacea, as business continues to fall off the covered grid when they simply do not fit the criteria of the E-Trade model. Insurer branch structures continue to contract, and experience in the wider industry diminishes. While AI and Chat Bots can provide a valid and worthwhile contribution to certain areas of the distribution chain, we must not lose sight of the fact that when any subsequent redeployment may mean losing a person with skills and experience that can provide the necessary common sense deal with issues how they should be dealt. While the red telephone on wheels took a universal problem and solved it using a seemingly outdated technology, it was actually the people with the experience behind the telephone that made the concept work. We should remain mindful of the fable of the Emperor’s new clothes – though they may appear different on the face of it, we are trying to solve the same problems that we were trying to solve 30 years ago.
Mergers and acquisitions of insurers then and brokers today added to the disruption and are we actually as an industry witnessing
President of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).
For many years, personal injury has been the source of provocative debates in Parliament, in the pages of newspapers, in pubs, at school gates, in office kitchens, and on social media. Observations about what it costs, whether it is genuine, its impact on insurance premiums and its impact on society have been examined, judged, and subjected to rancour and vitriol. APIL’s members are dealing with the reality of personal injury law every day by interacting with injured people themselves. All of them will be able to tell of families they have represented whose stories stick in their minds because of the profound impact on them of a needless injury. It was reported in a national newspaper recently that a boy will always be stuck at a mental age of two because of failures during his birth. The news was the high amount of damages paid by the NHS, but the real story underlying the figure is that the boy will never work, will never have a relationship, and will never be self-sufficient because, effectively, he will forever be a toddler. The money spent has been at the forefront of policymakers’ minds in recent years, while the human cost of negligence is a second thought, if it is even considered at all. The fact is, injuring people can be expensive and those who cause the injuries need to be held to account. Legislators need to stop blaming people for being injured. Fairness is what is required.
This month, APIL hosted a reception in the House of Commons and issued MPs and peers with a copy of our latest publication, Reality Check. It is about leaving the hyperbole and hype behind and looking at the profound impact of negligence on injured people. We cut out the numbers and focused on the individuals. When policymakers next turn their attention to injured people, we want them to remember what they heard at APIL’s event, or read in Reality Check. We want them to recognise that the cost to the NHS, or the cost to insurance companies, is because of negligence, not because injured people make claims. These costs can be avoided by avoiding the negligence in the first place. The law of personal injury is not perfect and we’re working on that. But whatever happens, the rights of injured people must not be eroded.
F E AT U R E S
Industry Innovators Interview:
ServisBOT Transforming customer and employee engagement using chatbots and natural language software solutions, ServisBOT helps insurance providers tie natural language conversations to meaningful actions across multiple channels. Modern Insurance spoke to Cathal McGloin, CEO, about the ideas behind the innovative chatbot platform and his plans for the future. would you describe Q How ServisBOT in three words? Enterprise chatbot platform.
What makes ServisBOT Q different from other start-up companies? Coming from the mobile platform space, where enterprises transformed how they engaged with their customers through mobile devices and apps, led us to a similar revelation with the emergence of chatbots. ServisBOT was established as a continuation of that journey. Conversational interfaces offer a whole new engagement model where customers can transact, file a claim, renew a policy, request information, and complete applications in more convenient and frictionless ways, using the power of natural conversation. ServisBOT helps organisations to build enterprise-grade chatbot solutions quickly and easily so that they can make use of conversational engagement across different functional areas and in multiple digital channels. This goes beyond simply building chatbots that answer customer requests. Bots built on the ServisBOT platform are highly mission-focused, automating specific workflows and tasks in order to execute on the customer intents. To do this, the bots integrate securely with relevant business systems and third-party data, providing more contextual and personalised engagement that enhances the customer 46
experience. Deploying these task-oriented chatbots drives business results such as higher retention rates through renewals, increased conversation rates on policy quotes, and increased revenue through more effective onboarding. ServisBOT supports the principle of deploying an army of insurance bots that can do everything from generating a quote, on-boarding a new customer, renewing a policy, collecting payments, and many other use cases. Our bots work hard to meet the needs of insurance providers and their customers and are available 24/7 across multiple channels, bringing convenience and lower costs. For example, we have an Application bot, a Renewal bot, a Claims bot, and even a Collections bot that can proactively use different channels to reach customers and collect payment. ServisBOT chatbot solutions focus on improving customer self-service levels and experience. Since chatbots work 24/7, services are always on and available when a customer seeks or needs them. Besides an insurance company making services more accessible and automated, chatbots also make it easier to understand the exact intent, or need, of the customer. A simple example of a customer reporting an accident and filing a claim on the spot is a classic example of the benefits of having the availability of a chatbot to engage at the time of the customerâ€™s need and in their preferred channel. For example, the customer may interact via the insurance providerâ€™s mobile app, SMS, or
Technology permeates our culture and is a key to how we develop because it has enabled us to think faster and achieve more
F E AT U R E S
ServisBOT’s chatbot platform enables businesses to build smart chatbots that focus on exceptional experience and improved business outcomes, transforming customer and employee engagement through conversational solutions
a messaging app, on their mobile device, while they’re stood on the roadside awaiting recovery of their vehicle. The Claims bot can request image uploads of a driver’s license, registration plates, and photos of damage on the spot, helping to shrink the claims filing and processing timeframe. This also reduces a lot of the friction that customers normally have to deal with in filing a claim. Chatbots can also work across different functions more seamlessly so that, for example, a Policy bot can work alongside a Quote bot to better inform customers on the difference between policies and which one best suits the customer’s circumstances. This leads to greater transparency and personalisation, positively impacting conversion and sales.
would you identify as the gap in the Q What market that ServisBOT aims to fill? There are many point solutions for chatbots. These can often target customer service or some other functional areas like sales or claims. We saw the opportunity to provide a way for insurance companies to build a range of chatbots, no matter what use case or functional area is involved, or whether the focus is inbound or proactive engagement. Because chatbots are a relatively new technology, companies have taken a more tactical approach, focusing on a single bot use case and then moving on to other use cases. These days, we see insurance companies taking a more strategic approach, looking at a chatbot strategy that is more cross-functional across the whole business and customer life-cycle. This approach allows them to benefit from the genuine transformation that chatbots can bring.
Another challenge we face in this market is helping our clients trust that chatbots can deliver great experiences. There has been more media attention on chatbot failures, which were often implemented by early adopters, than there has been on successful chatbot implementations. Continuous advancements in bot technology, combined with the value of market experience are helping to address this. However, for some organisations, fear of failure can still outweigh fear of missing out. We recognise that chatbots require a leap of faith. It is a whole new engagement model like nothing before. Take for example one of our insurance clients who grabbed hold of the chatbot opportunity early on and quickly saw an 80% increase in self-service sales for those that interacted with their bot. The mere fact that the bot works out of hours also gave them a 20% increase in the number of insurance quotes generated. They now enjoy higher conversation rates on quotes and improved retention rates, all while reducing the time and costs associated with human agent handling. These are the types of successful bot experiences that are being delivered in the insurance sector today.
We are also making it easier for insurance providers to implement and launch these solutions without needing a data scientist or solutions architect. We are able to push out our solutions to different departments allowing the business owner to step back and take responsibility for building their own solution without worrying about the underlying AI. We see AI as increasingly integral to business systems, processes, and engagement models but people shouldn’t have to worry about the AI, what it is and how it works. All they should have to worry about is their business and how they can apply the different AI technologies to help them succeed in digital transformation and engage with customers in more efficient and meaningful ways.
What were the main challenges in Q standing out and establishing yourself in a competitive market? The big question for us was how do we stand out? There’s a lot of buzz in the market for AI and bots, which is typical of any early stage disruptive technology. There is also a fair amount of confusion. For example, the word ‘bots’ in Robotic Process Automation (RPA) refers to automating highly repetitive business processes, which don’t generally have a conversational interface. For ServisBOT, we use the word ‘bot’ to mean a ‘chatbot’ - a conversational interaction. We have put a lot of effort into educating the market, demystifying chatbots, and making the distinctions between the different forms of AI technology.
F E AT U R E S
I see opportunities in disruption How is the wider tech industry Q responding to challenges in your area of the market, and how are you tackling these?
The wider technology industry is tackling these challenges in different ways. We see a lot of partnerships forming, either to collaborate better on technology or to expand market opportunities for chatbots. We are partnering with already established companies to make sure we are part of the conversation. We are an Advanced Technology Partner within Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) Partner Network so we now have that stamp of approval and we are seeing a lot more traction from this channel.
How are new consumer Q buying habits forcing change in the insurance industry? People want to engage in different ways. It is no longer good enough to expect people to engage nine-to-five with live chat or via voice with contact centre agents. Consumers are demanding the exceptional experience that they get from providers in other areas of their life and are bringing these expectations to their insurance needs. They want to interact on their time and in the channels that they have adopted - this can be voice speakers (Amazon Alexa, Google Home), messaging apps, SMS, web or mobile apps, as well as the more traditional email, live chat, and phone channels. Besides wanting things done instantly, they also demand greater transparency. While the price is an important part of purchasing an insurance policy, it is also about the experience that the customer has. Has the customer got all the policy information at their fingertips or is it hidden in the small print? How responsive is their insurance provider when they have a claim? It is the sum of their interactions that determine their overall experience and the more positive interactions they have the more likely it is to create increased loyalty and retention.
this by applying our architecture, bot orchestration, and AI to give insurance clients the tools that make it easier for them to build chatbots that are enterprise-grade and can scale. We continuously look for best-in-breed technologies and see how we can incorporate these to make our platform even better.
unique about the Q What’s culture at ServisBOT? Our team has backgrounds from enterprise software, customer service, customer experience, modern engagement technologies, and modern architectures and technology stacks. Our culture is open, collaborative, and agile. We apply this to our own business model. Our engineering team releases software in ever-shorter sprints, communicating frequently with the sales and marketing teams that are at the coalface of the market and client needs. Everyone has a passion for what we do and works hard to realise the mission. It’s a fun and stimulating work environment.
do you see ServisBOT Q Where this time next year? We are currently active in the UK, Ireland, and North America through direct sales efforts as well as with strategic technology partners like AWS, and we are partnered with Mastercard Labs as a Service, working on deals with their customers in the Middle East. I would like to see us having a very firm presence in the insurance market and be seen as one of the leading chatbot platform companies in the insurance space in the UK and globally.
What advice would you give to anyone else looking to disrupt an industry? It is really about seeing the business opportunities from disruption, thinking outside of the box and believing in your business model.
How is technology Q influencing ServisBOT’s service offering, and how will this be developed in the future?
Technology is fundamental to what we do and we have adopted an open approach to the public AI and other technologies we employ. IBM, Amazon, Google, Microsoft and other big players are constantly innovating with AI and natural language processing (NLP) technology. We want to be able to offer our clients options for the NLP engine that best suits their needs but we are not going to compete with the big guys. Rather, we give clients the flexibility to choose the NLP they want and our platform enhances
What makes us different? An Army of Bots
Our army of bots fulfil specific business tasks, from answering FAQs to scheduling appointments, providing quotations, renewing policies, managing accounts and more.
Smart Virtual Assistant
Our Virtual Assistant coordinates the chat with a customer and routes to the appropriate bot which can fulfil that specific need. This orchestration ensures a consistent brand experience.
Build Bots Faster, Easier
Our visual designer and bot blueprints allow your business analysts to create smart bots quickly and easily, giving the business more control and speed to market.
Bots automate business tasks and workflows in order to execute complete customer journeys. Our AI makes them smarter so they can gain additional skills over time.
Different Journeys, Multiple Channels
is the CEO of ServisBOT.
Smart bots can be created to handle multiple customer or employee engagements, inbound requests, and proactive campaigns, on any digital channel— including voiceactivated assistants, email, web, SMS and messaging channels. To learn more about insurance chatbot solutions, download the eBook: Ten Smart Chatbots for Insurance
Reach new customers â€“ digital distribution at pace Adding an insurance component to an underlying product is a growing trend. But balancing the cost of sale with accurate pricing is far from easy. Whether you are embedding motor insurance within a car purchase, or providing ticket cancellation cover on a theatre website, Radar Live allows sophisticated pricing and underwriting rules to be executed in real time with the results seamlessly integrated into the point of sale system. Radar Live offers: Accurate pricing Deployment of appropriately sophisticated rules and pricing directly into the distributorâ€™s website. Real-time delivery Millisecond response times, even with complex rates and rules. Seamless integration Fast integration with distribution partners, administration systems and software houses. Pace and agility The ability to frame, test and deploy prices to any digital channel in minutes and hours, not weeks and months. Harness the power of digital distribution. To get started, contact us at email@example.com
F E AT U R E S
FRIENDS IN THE NORTH Modern Insurance chatted with Covéa Insurance’s Claims and Operations Director, Adrian Furness about the company’s Halifax office. You’ve a major office in Q Halifax, West Yorkshire, is this your head office? Although Halifax is our largest office, where over 1000 of our employees are located, it’s not our head office. We have two further major sites in Reading and in West Malling, Kent, where our Commercial, High Net Worth and Protection teams are located. We also have an additional five regional trading offices supporting our regional commercial brokers & HNW brokers, as we believe it’s important to build strong broker relationships in the regions. Without doubt, there are regional trends, especially in the commercial market, for example, real estate business tends to be London centric. We have claims teams within all our major sites which helps us maintain our consistently high service standards, even in surge situations, as teams can operate independently or as part of a coordinated response to a major event.
Halifax seems to attract a lot of attention, what’s special about it? There’s a strong community spirit and local people here are passionate about the place. Halifax has a proud history as an important trading centre, although in the past it was fabric and carpets! Today the region has reinvented itself with increasing emphasis on financial services and digital technology. The town’s close proximity to Leeds helps, a city also on the up, having succeeded in attracting Channel 4‘s new head office which is relocating from London. Lots of people also don’t realise Halifax is only an hour across the Pennines from Manchester, my other favourite place, where Covéa Insurance has a regional trading office on Deansgate.
important is location for did Covéa Insurance Q How an insurer? Q Why choose Halifax? Although a significant portion of commercial lines and the vast majority of personal lines business is traded digitally, location can still give you a competitive edge, especially when it comes to recruiting people. In Halifax, we’ve been fortunate in being able to grow and develop as part of the local community. The region’s close-knit community has really helped get the word out locally, and we were recently named one of the top 75 companies to work for in Yorkshire & the Humber by Sunday Times Best Companies. Getting this recognition acknowledges the strong culture and values of our business and has helped us to attract some fantastic, talented people. Much of our recruitment is through recommendations
Today the region has reinvented itself with increasing emphasis on financial services and digital technology from family and friends who already work here, which is a wonderful endorsement. It’s a great feeling being able to contribute to the thriving local economy and play an active part in the community, in particular in supporting our local young people and educators in schools, colleges and universities to get the skills they need to work in a modern, technology-based service industry.
We’ve had a base in Halifax for over half a century, so have strong historic ties with the local community. We’ve been able to grow significantly in recent years and make a major investment into renovating and updating the local landmark A&B Mills at Dean Clough, which HRH Prince Charles visited last year, a highlight for many employees. The renovated Mills offer state of the art office facilities as well as providing a single site location for our Halifax based team, with capacity for expansion. In fact, we’re about to complete construction of a modern glass bridge which will link A&B Mills to another historic Dean Clough Mill where our IT team working on our innovation and transformation programme reside.
Halifax has been dubbed Q ‘Shoreditch of the North’, why do you think that’s the case? The recently restored Piece Hall – a Grade I listed Georgian cloth mill - serves as a striking venue for a buzzing leisure and entertainment programme, with art galleries, cafes and restaurants, as well holding regular events and concerts. This is pulling in tourists from across the UK as well as the local crowd. We’re proud to be one of the original local business sponsors who supported this vision. Halifax is also a renowned TV and film location – Gentleman Jack being the latest hit series to take advantage of the stunning Calderdale Valley landscape and dramatic scenery. Halifax has also recently hosted some huge names from the music industry; Kasabian, the Stone Roses and Florence + the Machine, to name just a few! It’s certainly becoming a more vibrant area which is encouraging people in, which is of course brilliant for employing people and creating a thriving prosperous community.
F E AT U R E S Yorkshire is the largest Q insurance hub outside London, what’s its appeal? There’s much less of a North/South divide now thanks to better technology for people to work from different locations. The region is embracing new service-based industries, with increasing emphasis on digital technology and innovation. We’re initiating regular events for the digital community across all our sites and our ‘talk digital’ events in Halifax have been instrumental in supporting the growing IT hub in the region. We are currently taking a lead role and working with other local organisations to organise the first Halifax digital festival in September. We’re also working with Leeds Enterprise Partnership to help promote the region’s strengths to the wider business community, and with Calderdale Council to raise awareness of new initiatives and engage with the local community.
There’s much less of a North/South divide now thanks to better technology for people to work from different locations
Diversity in its broadest sense is a huge opportunity. We want our industry to appeal to people of all ages, with different experience and backgrounds, as well as achieving a better gender balance, so that we reflect the communities we serve. We believe this is key to delivering marketleading service and driving innovation, not to mention creating a genuinely inclusive working environment where everyone’s talents are valued. We’ve developed really strong connections with several local schools, colleges and universities to support young people in getting the skills they need to gain employment in modern growing businesses like ours. Through our close links with colleges, we’re also involved with scoping out the new T-Levels – the new technical qualifications being rolled out in 2020. We also support the Leeds Beckett University Mentoring programme to help raise the aspirations of female students and support women to progress into leadership roles.
Halifacts: • Halifax town hall was designed by Charles Barry, designer of the Palace of Westminster, aka the Houses of Parliament • Piece Hall was the trading centre for the Georgian wool trade • ‘Shoreditch of the North’ – Halifax is becoming famous for its craft beer, and music scene -check out Grayston Unity, the UK’s smallest gig venue! • Did you know Quality Street chocolates have been made in the Nestlé Halifax factory since 1936? Photo: Andrew Varley
What are the biggest opportunities Q for the region and how do you intend to capitalise on them?
Prince Charles meets Adrian Furness at Dean Clough
The Piece Hall,
Claims and Operations Director at Covéa Insurance
F E AT U R E S
25 Anniversary th
Carpenters Group’s Executive Team reflect on the past twentyfive years, delving into the business strategy and what’s next for the Group.
MIM: Happy 25th Anniversary to Carpenters Group. What has enabled the business to reach this milestone and have continued success?
John Carpenter: Many factors
have brought us to where we are today and our 25th anniversary, but on reflection, I’d probably focus on two that have been very important. The first has been to always focus on providing a quality personal service. That has been and remains at the core of the company’s ethos. The second has been to constantly reinvest in the business. Donna was determined that we should invest in IT from a very early stage and that has paid off dramatically. She was keen from the outset that we should write and develop our own system and train our staff how to use it. This has enabled us to invest in a quality system that has enabled us to deliver a bespoke, flexible and innovative service. Investment does not just mean IT however, good staff are vital to the success of any organisation and we have a superb team behind us, some who have been with us for nearly the whole 25 years. Donna and I are different in many ways and that has undoubtedly contributed to our success, but we are completely aligned when it comes to our ethos, values and the importance of our reputation. We’ve always had a long-term plan based on sustainable growth and diversification and built the business for growth, scale and to accommodate innovation. We fully recognise though that past success is no guarantee for the future. We’re far from complacent and are always striving to achieve and do more.
John Carpenter, Chairman
MIM: What role has your
business strategy had in getting you to this point?
Arriving at Carpenters some 22 years ago having spent some time in some big London firms, I saw how things could be improved and how they could go wrong. It was clear to me just how important IT was, not just by buying it off-the-shelf but by really investing in our systems and training staff how to use it properly. I suppose I always had big plans to grow the business, extend the range of services and do things just a bit differently. I said to John from the outset that I was not prepared to compromise on our ethos, quality and customer services just to make more money. It had to be a long-term plan, not a short-term opportunity to make a quick buck at the cost of our reputation. I shall always be grateful that John has fully supported me, and we remain firmly of the same view on our basic principles. Having left school early and studied law part-time as an adult, I’ve also been keen to give staff a chance to progress to the best of their abilities, through both the business and gaining qualifications whilst working for us. We introduced flexible working very early in the business and this has massively contributed to the 50/50 gender balance at all levels in the business. There is always more to be done to encourage diversity in all areas, but I’m very proud with what we’ve achieved so far. We could not have achieved all that we have without our brilliant staff and gifted Executive Team.
Donna Scully, Director
F E AT U R E S
At Carpenters Group, we drive our strategy by taking these opportunities, listening to and working collaboratively with our insurer clients, and keeping the needs of their policyholderâ€™s priority in our minds
MIM: What are Carpenters
Groupâ€™s plans for the rest of 2019 and beyond?
Donna Richards: Carpenters
Group has always been an agile and adaptive business, working in partnership with its insurer clients to deliver excellent customer service to their policyholders. It is our intention to continue to do this with expansion in the offerings of our suite of TPA services in not only the motor market but entering the home insurance market too, exciting times! As a business, we have always adapted to the changes faced and come out stronger. This is due to the combination of a diverse, able team supported by our own technology platform and continued investment. The combination of the right people with the right tools allows us to consistently grow and develop as a business and we intend to continue to do so. We have the benefit of scale that provides us with the ability to deliver on our promise. With challenge, comes opportunity. At Carpenters Group, we drive our strategy by taking these opportunities, listening to and working collaboratively with our insurer clients, and keeping the needs of their policyholderâ€™s priority in our minds. Removing friction for all in the process can only increase efficiency and customer satisfaction; this has to be of benefit to all. The modern consumer expects an omnichannel service; 2019 and beyond will see us expand this across all of our service lines.
MIM: Would you say your
approach to business has altered or adapted during your time at Carpenters Group?
Alan Hayes: I am in my nineteenth year at Carpenters. Over that period, the size of the business has changed, but the nature of the business has not. John made it clear from the outset that our absolute priority, in everything we do and in every service that we provide, is quality of service. Our management team share that focus. We have appointed from within, and recruited externally (often from insurers) a strong and diverse team that appreciate the importance of the delivering the highest level of customer experience. The fundamentals of the business are unchanged. We maintain an ongoing dialogue with our insurer and broker clients to ensure that we fully understand their needs, and those of their customers, and then work with our partners to ensure those needs are met. This approach has underpinned the growth and success of the business, both in the legal and insurance sectors, and will be maintained as we face the latest set of industry reforms.
Chief Legal Officer
MIM: What have been some
of the biggest changes and/ or opportunities in the industry that you have witnessed while at Carpenters Group?
Karen Campbell: The industry as a whole has had to learn to adapt to the ever-increasing rate of change in technology. New tech provides new threat vectors for cyber criminals. There has been a quantum shift in the approach to protection, monitoring and response. You cannot get away with taking your eye off the ball; you need a constant focus and deliver layers of protection in addition to educating staff to what good and bad looks like. We have to have a holistic approach to pretty much everything we do these days, giving consideration to every aspect of the introduction of new solutions across local and cloud services. Customer demographics are changing. Millennials have a different way of viewing the world, they communicate in different ways. This puts pressure on businesses to deliver to that always-connected generation. The use of social media as a way of communicating is on the rise and is constantly evolving. A move away from traditional telephone communications is coming and telephone systems need to be fully software enabled to allow for this shift and to ensure that the way customers can communicate can be catered for, from Instant Messaging to Twitter and beyond.
Chief Information Officer
Chief Executive Officer
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Who’s up for a
Opening up opportunities for drivers, Jaunt enables you to get insured on a car, van or motorhome for as little as an hour, up to a full thirty days. Mark Townsend, Managing Director (Motor & Home) at BGL Group, tells us why on-demand, short-term insurance will be the way forward.
So, Mark, tell us about Jaunt! What does it offer?
importantly, relevant to individual needs – all things that are becoming increasingly important to consumers.
In a nutshell, Jaunt offers temporary short-term car, motorhome and van insurance from just one hour to 30 days. We’ve partnered with Dayinsure, to enable us to offer a strong customer proposition backed by an experienced partner in the short-term insurance market. Jaunt is an exciting new product for BGL Group and I’m delighted to see it launched and live.
Whilst Jaunt is certainly tailoring its marketing to suit different audiences, we believe this type of short-term insurance can work for everyone – young professionals living in inner cities might need to borrow a car to drive to a wedding in the countryside one weekend, or families travelling to the Lake District for a long weekend could do with some extra boot space. There’s also the parents of students who might want to insure them on their car for a couple of weeks whilst they are home for the holidays. Jaunt short-term insurance can also be a
Jaunt taps into the increasing customer demand for secure and short-term insurance, why do you think customers are demanding services like this?
Consumer purchases are being driven more and more by the convenience factor to suit the busy lives we all lead. People are increasingly time poor and are demanding personalised solutions to suit their lifestyle or circumstance. Short-term car insurance meets this demand perfectly. It’s flexible, convenient, cost effective and
Would you say there is a particular target audience for this type of service?
I don’t think so. Everyone can benefit from short-term car insurance as it offers the freedom to drive a vehicle that meets your specific needs at a particular time.
Everyone can benefit from short-term car insurance as it offers the freedom to drive a vehicle that meets your specific needs at a particular time real help if you need to borrow a larger car or van to move house.
What opportunities do on-demand and short-term insurance offer, both for businesses and customers?
The main benefit of on-demand and short-term insurance is the flexibility. Jaunt provides customers with a flexible way to insure a suitable vehicle when and for as long as needed, without the hassle or expense of changing named drivers
F E AT U R E S
or hiring a vehicle. Ultimately, shortterm car insurance offers the freedom of vehicle insurance that is relevant to exactly your needs.
Rising costs, improving public transport, and the ever more present environmental impact mean that owning a car is no longer a necessity for every day transport
Would you say short-term insurance is changing the way insurance is viewed by the public?
I think it is, and this will continue to change over the next 3-5 years. Many consumers still turn to rental cars for their short-term vehicle needs, but the rise in awareness about short-term insurance will only increase the demand for this service and challenge the traditional 12 month insurance mode and hire vehicle services. Rising costs, improving public transport, and the ever more present environmental impact mean that owning a car is no longer a necessity for every day transport. As ownership declines, we’re likely to see a rise in the number of shared or P2P services and a change in behaviour from ‘one car for everything’ to using different vehicles and services depending on the journey type. This will change the shape of the insurance industry, from insuring one vehicle for 12 months to insuring individuals on multiple vehicles or modes of transport as and when they need it.
How is Jaunt different from other short-term providers? What message does it want to create?
The Jaunt team at BGL Group has worked hard to differentiate the Jaunt brand from other providers. We conducted
research to really understand opportunities within the market and found that many competitors were focused on the functional benefits of short-term insurance offers.
Further down the line, we are also investigating the opportunity of offering learner driver insurance, another flexible service that will make life easier for consumers.
We’ve honed in much more on the emotional benefits and centred on the special ‘moments’ that short-term insurance can offer. It’s not just about getting insured on another vehicle, it’s about opportunity - the fun, experience and memories you’ll make with friends and family because you’ve been able to get insured on another vehicle and make that particular journey. This messaging is underpinned by our tone of voice, fresh colour palette and strategically positioned marketing activity that I think makes us stand out from the crowd.
I think the growth of the sharing economy will undoubtedly affect future of insurance, and the launch of Jaunt is providing BGL Group the opportunity to become a key player in that space. From micro-mobility, to car sharing, to subscription and short-term options, transportation is evolving. Consumers are demanding flexibility in all aspects of life and motor insurance needs to adapt to consumer demand and stay relevant.
How do you see Jaunt progressing and what are your hopes for the future of the service; is this the way forward for insurance?
In the short to medium term, I see Jaunt expanding its geographical reach nationwide with the ambition to become the go-to short-term car insurance provider. We’re in talks with some major partners too to leverage their clout with our target audiences.
is the Managing Director (Motor & Home) at BGL Group.
F E AT U R E S
InduSTry Insights Connected Solutions –
Partners meeting and inaugural ‘Insights & Canapes’ event On Thursday 13th June, leaders from InduSTry Insights and Connected Solutions (CS) businesses met in London for a comprehensive sales review of the 23-partner strong motor claims supply chain solution ahead of the first in a series of biannual insight sessions hosted by InduSTry Insights, called ‘Insights & Canapes’. he partner-only morning review included a number of significant announcements as the Connected Solution (CS) proposition continues to streamline and drive efficiency in the UK claims market, as well as celebrating notable milestones in the phenomenal three-year growth – including 90 live contracts and a range of interactions in place with the top 15 motor insurers.
Whilst Partner growth has inevitably matured, the steady growth in the Connected Purchasing (CP) offering continues, including new CP businesses: Growth Partners and Dynamic Messaging, who both presented to the group. Further CP businesses were also announced, namely Junair and The Hail Network (Paintless Dent Repair Specialists). During a networking lunch, guests from the motor insurance sector joined Connected Solutions Partners for the inaugural ‘Insights & Canapes’ event. Steve Thompson, Director, Industry Insights, gave a headline view of the key sector challenges and short-term change predictions: “The insurance sector is in the midst of – and will continue to face – a period of rapid change, especially those in the motor arena,” said Steve. “Remember, motor claims encompass everything from a broken wing mirror to a life-changing personal injury claim. With complex legacy systems and supply chain models, all stakeholders want more (insurers, policyholders) yet, more than ever, there’s a constant drive to maintain or even reduce costs during a time when technology is driving up costs, which often ends up with the bodyshop. The costs need to be recognised in order to maintain sustainable claims fulfilment” he added. This need for innovation is now more urgent than ever, said Steve, who put forward six actions and five predictions: “We need,” said Steve, “#1 equitable innovation, #2 change of mindset, #3 supplier (repairer) key part of delivering your strategy, #4 bodyshops must align strategy with the insurer, but on mutually
equitable commercial terms, with focus on the customer being number one, #5 clear objectives and #6 greater efficiency and reduction of operational spend across insurers and the supply chain.” “It is important to us as a business,” said Steve, “that we share both our insights and visions for the future of motor claims in the UK amongst our peers so, today, we have carefully selected a small group of professionals from insurance, supply chain and industry bodies to attend this inaugural session.” Steve introduced Paul Sell, formerly of Aviva (23 years), who is CCO RightIndem, Director of Service Certainty & who supports Industry Insights on a consultative basis. During a session on insurtech, Paul said there is unprecedented demand for technology with significant investment continuing for insurtechs. “Insurers have innovation teams, budgets and desire with a blend of investment in start-ups and in-house driven initiatives, but are hampered by their own internal demands, being mindful of restrictions on resource, risk agenda and changing priorities,” said Paul.
Bob Linwood from AutoRaise spoke passionately to guests in the room, many of whom already support the charity as CS Partners, about participation in this month’s AutoRaise REAL Rally, and thanked those who have helped them “uncover talent and turned around lives of some young people”. “Together, we can continue to shine light on industry,” said Bob, “and spread the word on career potential, earnings and the need for technical skills in our sector.” Finally, Industry Insights were proud to welcome Zurich’s Global Chief Claims Officer, Ian Thompson, for a session that pushed a truly holistic approach to drive a different culture in motor claims. Ian agreed with Steve’s earlier comment – that, as motor claims professionals, the sector has been “managing ecosystems for decades,” and that “hyper convenience” is nothing new.
In a fast-paced and academic session on change, LV=’s Keith Misson illustrated with contemporary socioeconomic and political “action” how and why we are hardwired
The goal – to touch 1 in 10 motor claims – remains firmly in sight. CS currently touch c7% of all UK motor claims, on average utilising five CS Partners on each claim 56
as humans to have a “visceral reaction to change,” and how group dynamics – such as those working on projects or in change teams – will naturally inhibit progress despite the processes and frameworks that companies put in place.
was founded by Steve Thompson and Sharon McLeod in 2015 to provide business consultancy services within the automotive and motor insurance sectors. You can find out more here: www.industry-insights. co.uk, or view their video here: https:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZJ6lIKVFqs
F E AT U R E S
The Auto Windscreens James MacBeth, Managing Director for Auto Windscreens, talks about achieving their goals of growth, adding value via technology and creating the best possible customer service. s one of the UK’s leading automotive glass repair and replacement companies, we don’t strive to just meet expectations, we endeavour to exceed them. Our core focus is on achieving ‘Total Customer Satisfaction’, delivering to our customers and insurance partners an exceptional journey and experience.
Achieving growth in any business is a challenge, however, for me it’s vital to have an infrastructure in place that enables us to accomplish our goals. Strategically, we have the right people in the right roles. Our senior management team have been with us for a number of years and have vast experience in the industry. We have recently bolstered that experience, welcoming Samantha Edge as Sales Director who will be working extremely hard to add value to our insurer partners and customers alike. Having joined Auto Windscreens as a trainee technician many years ago, I’m passionate about us being the employer of choice for the best technicians in the industry, and last year we continued our extensive recruitment drive, bringing on board 60 technicians and 15 apprentices. We ensure every technician receives consistent training and development at our own Chesterfield-based Training and Innovation Academy, which has so far produced 20 elite technicians including Steve Abrahams, who was named the world’s best technician in 2018. We believe that an engaged and happy team provides the best possible customer service and, in turn, a highly productive workforce. An effective communication strategy is vital to achieving this and, as a result, we have monthly newsletters and regular 1-2-1s with managers. Our Operations Director, Spencer Jones, has also recently completed network roadshows giving technicians the opportunity to share their views and provide feedback. Investing in these touchpoints is invaluable!
Technology is another key strategic focus. We give our technicians the most up-to-date tools to enable them to provide the best service possible. Some key successes include: • Each technician has a tablet, allowing them to update and input jobs. It also gives them instant access to technical support and the ability to directly bill the insurer. • We’re the first to use a ‘Technician Tracker’ to update customers on technicians’ progress and have introduced CitNOW technology to film vehicle inspections, offering insurers and customers additional security. • We’ve created a Network Performance Portal giving real-time insight into our operations. It’s also helped us increase average tasks per technician per day by 20%, meaning we are more productive and can action more jobs for our insurer partners. • Following a supplier review, we joined up with leading glass supplier, Pilkington to speed up glass deliveries (98% delivered the next day). From an industry perspective, the constant innovation in vehicle design will change the quality of the product for repair and replacement, so it’s imperative that we keep pace and adapt our service accordingly. We regularly review processes and supply chains to maintain excellent service levels and have recently enhanced our advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) solution. We will continue to develop our manufacturer relationships but, after months of rigorous internal testing, we are now confident in using Hella Guttman’s ADAS equipment. Having a dual solution provides our customers and insurer partners with the best allround experience and choice. My career at Auto Windscreens spans over 25 years and as the new Managing Director, I’m proud of what we’ve achieved and believe we have a clear strategy in place to push our business forward while continuing to deliver the best service to our customers.
An engaged and happy team provides the best possible customer service and, in turn, a highly productive workforce James MacBeth
is the Managing Director for Auto Windscreens.
F E AT U R E S
At the cutting-edge:
tackling fraud with real-time data With up to 90% of motor insurance sales originating online, quote manipulation has become a growing challenge for the insurance sector. Now, companies are finding solutions in big data, and the industry is coming together to benefit from shared insights. Nick Jackson, Partnerships Director at technology firm, CDL, reveals how these insights are helping to stop fraud before it happens. urveys suggest that over a third of UK consumers believe that manipulating data fields is an acceptable way of reducing their insurance premiums. The impersonal nature of shopping online and the escalating cost of motor insurance has doubtless contributed to the issue.
Fortunately, technology is providing insurance retailers with a digital solution to this problem in the form of the latest generation of ultrafast data intelligence solutions. These are capable of conducting a range of complex searches and analysing millions of records sub-second to deliver insight and inform actions in real time. Using this technology, it is possible to highlight when people are generating multiple quotes while making changes to key risk factors, possibly in an effort to obtain lower premiums, and implement actions to stop fraud before it happens. In a new development in the fight against insurance fraud, CDL has brought together a number of major UK insurance brands to pool data and share insights garnered using its Hummingbird data intelligence solution. By avoiding ‘toxic’ risks, members are demonstrating to their insurer partners that they are taking action to develop better quality business and, in return, are able to negotiate more competitive deals and drive growth in an extremely pricedriven sector.
In the first 30 days following the launch of the new Hummingbird Syndicate solution, it processed over 15 million quotes provided to 3 million consumers and data analytics tools are helping to understand consumer behaviours associated with quote manipulation. With this knowledge, it’s possible to provide some tips for using data insights to tackle what has become an increasingly challenging issue:
1. Use effective quote matching routines
When attempting to detect quote manipulation, sophisticated consumer matching routines are vital, as people frequently adjust personal details, such as their name, address or age in an attempt to obtain a favourable premium. By identifying multiple quotes involving different lead drivers, it also becomes possible to highlight potential instances of ‘fronting’, where a consumer requests quotes in different names, in an effort to obtain the lowest price.
2. Employ data enrichment
Combining insights with other sources, such as MOT history or credit reference data, can assist in verifying the accuracy of declared annual mileage or driver identity.
mapping, for example, can help where people declare they keep their vehicle overnight in a different location to their contact address, potentially to obtain a cheaper premium. This analysis has highlighted unusually high volumes of quotation requests in low population areas that are typically low rated for insurance purposes.
4. Define suspicious behaviour
Using insights garnered by Hummingbird Syndicate, members set their own parameters for what constitutes suspicious behaviour. To reduce false positives, these factor in the type, extent and combination of changes made.
5. Implement effective actions
Finally, it’s necessary for syndicate members to decide the appropriate course of action to tackle suspicious behaviour. In extreme cases, they may decline to quote altogether. However, members are also actively using insights to enable more focused customer conversations, helping to ensure the right risk is insured for the right price, whilst at the same time protecting consumers who otherwise risk their policies being invalid as a result of misrepresentation.
3. Visualise data creatively
Visualisation tools make it easier to spot suspicious patterns of behaviour. Geo-
Technology is providing insurance retailers with a digital solution to this problem in the form of the latest generation of ultra-fast data intelligence solutions
is the Partnerships Director at CDL. MODERN
F E AT U R E S
2019 The Dive In Festival, which promotes diversity and inclusion in the global insurance sector, marks a milestone as it reaches its fifth year, with a record number of countries expected to host events. Events will be spread across three days from 24th – 26th September in 33 countries, with events hosted in Nigeria, Bahrain, Turkey, Oman and Indonesia for the first time. vent registration went live from 11th July - insurance professionals are able to browse and sign up for events in their nearest city via the website [www. diveinfestival.com]. To see a full event listing, visit https://diveinfestival.com/2019-events/. Headline speakers this year include Frank Bruno, Esther Rantzen, Mary Portas and Reggie Yates covering topics from mental health to stamping out bullying and harassment. For the third year in a row, Gallagher will be promoting inclusion through the collaborative values of sport by hosting the 5-a-side Community Cup football tournament. This year’s event will kick off the festival, taking place on 20th September.
The festival has garnered global support from no fewer than 20 gold sponsors from across the industry. The festival sponsors this year are confirmed as: Aon, AIG, Aviva, AXA XL, Chubb, CNA Hardy, DLA Piper, Gallagher, Kennedys, Lloyd’s, Markel, Marsh & Guy Carpenter, Miller, MS Amlin, Oliver James, PwC, RSA, RMS, Willis Towers Watson, and Zurich.
F E AT U R E S
The 2019 festival builds on last year’s campaign of developing ‘awareness into action’ inviting festival-goers to consider ways to make an impact, under this year’s theme of #inclusionimpact
• Dive In breaks records for its fifth year with events in 60+ cities • Frank Bruno confirmed to speak in London event in a candid discussion about his mental health journey • Festival gathers the support of 20 gold sponsors • Campaign urges the global insurance industry to create #inclusionimpact The 2019 festival builds on last year’s campaign of developing ‘awareness into action’ inviting festival-goers to consider ways to make an impact, under this year’s theme of #inclusionimpact. Since its inception in 2015, the Dive In Festival has sought to accelerate the progress of D&I within the global insurance industry, highlighting the business case for diverse and inclusive workplaces, providing practical ideas and inspiration for how to bring about positive change. Commenting on the announcement, Jason Groves, Chair of the Dive In Committee (and Global Director of Media Relations at Marsh) said: “The Dive In Festival is unique in its ability to foster collaboration across the insurance sector around the world. The record number of cities and countries taking part this year show that more and more people are committed to making their workplaces more welcoming and inclusive. By enabling everyone to use the breadth of their backgrounds and life experiences, not only will we become more innovative as an industry but also become the employers of choice for top talent.
It’s so inspiring to see the passion for positive change extend over six continents and to know that our message will have more impact than ever.” Dominic Christian, Chair of Inclusion@Lloyd’s, representing D&I across the Lloyds’ Market and increasingly the wider insurance sector (and Global Chairman of Aon’s Reinsurance Solutions business) added, “What started in London five years ago travels further every year with exciting new additions like Nigeria and Indonesia this year. Every bit as exciting as the geographic spread is the fact that Dive In has grown beyond the companies who work in the Lloyd’s Market to attract some of the biggest names in general insurance like Aviva and Zurich as well as professional services firms specialising in the sector. The inclusive spirit of the festival is reflected in its community.” The Dive In festival also launches its new website this year: www. diveinfestival.com which includes a curated video learning library of D&I content from the last four Dive In festivals, a history of the festival, and learning resources from previous years.
10 mins with...
Olly Savage Q A
Has the industry changed drastically since you started working in it?
There have been some fundamental shifts in the legal landscape. For example, in respect of subrogation costs and credit hire costs; there have been fundamental changes in the ways in which costs can be presented to one another in the marketplace. When I break it down, there are some key changes although from a high level, the industry appears to present lots of the same characteristics.
Who inspires you and why?
Elon Musk – love him or hate him, he lives and dies by the sword and puts his own personal investments into his businesses. He’s not scared of any type of challenge and his work ethic and drive is second to none in terms of the way that he approaches day to day life. There are a number of critics out there, but he just focuses on what he wants to get done. Looking at what he has done so far, you can’t say that he hasn’t succeeded.
If you were not in your current position, what would you be doing?
Being a keen motorcycle racer, I would probably focus on that fulltime; it probably wouldn’t pay the bills though! Seriously, I would continue to be in the technology space. I enjoy bringing new technology to the market and seeing the results through successful integrations. The insurance industry is pretty extensive so I would quite like to be able to transfer the skills I have learnt in this scenario and test it in other areas too.
Insurers are working better together; and the insurers, claimants and credit hire companies do, too. Now protocols have become common in the market, removing friction so parties can more often resolve liability between themselves
What has been the key positive or negative impact of change in your area of the market?
More collaboration is definitely a positive change; insurers are working better together; and the insurers, claimants and credit hire companies do, too. Now protocols have become common in the market, removing friction so parties can interact more constructively with one another. Potential negatives? Changes in the legal landscape have driven have refined the manner in which insurers can present their costs for recovery, it’s worthwhile from a strategic cost perspective, but it creates problems in administrating supply chains; gaining on one side and losing on the other.
Have you had/got a mentor? If so, what was the most valuable piece of advice they gave you? I’ll be networking with and meeting individuals who have been recommended as mentors to me. It will certainly add something of value to my own personal journey over the coming years. Although I am not formally a mentor, my role does have certain aspects that correlate with the responsibilities of a mentor, so I hope people can take away useful tips and advice from working with me.
is the Business Development Director at Verisk Claims.
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