The world is changing at speed and we are seeing the impact across numerous industries. We asked Valeyo President & CEO, Nicole Benson to speak about trends in insurance innovation and the impact of COVID on digital acceleration and transformation.
What changes in the business environment are influencing insurance innovation?
The past year has had a profound impact on the insurance industry. Changes were already in progress but have been accelerated by COVID, and the need to connect with customers in new ways and with a sense of urgency. The insurance marketplace specifically is being reshaped by customer expectations and technology.
The whole ecosystem and approach how we think about insurance and delivering that protection is changing: from leveraging digital tools for applications and claims, to how AI is being used to connect with customers, to a rise in partnerships between traditional insurers and fintech. All these changes are resulting in how products are embedded and sold across new channels. Insurers are also moving from an actuarial and product approach toward a customer first approach, which is a big change to how they were operating a few years back.
Industry providers that share the same sense of urgency, awareness and commitment are evolving to develop business solutions to support them at speed.
How is the conversation shifting in the insurance industry regarding innovation?
I have been extremely impressed by the industry’s response during the pandemic. Through collaborative efforts, companies have stepped up to the challenge by completely refocusing their enterprises in order to be responsive to consumer needs and find innovative ways to minimize the impact to Canadians during this unprecedented time.
The industry has demonstrated agility in their decision making and in how they have diversified their offerings to cater to evolving consumer demands. This has included several measures from offering deferral alternatives, to relaxing underwriting and documentation requirements to accelerating the delivery of self-servicing technologies.
I don’t see a scenario in which we could ever go back to how things were before. Change is constant and we can only move forward from here.
What changes, if any, are being made by industry leaders to meet consumer need for innovation?
Technology is critical to the future of the insurance industry. It creates an ecosystem that empowers the consumer to self-service – with support from experts – in a way that meets their needs for protection.
Organizations who are not investing in technology or investing in partnerships will likely find themselves quickly falling behind. The insurance industry will need to continue to accelerate at the pace we’ve seen, while also ensuring transparency and equitable treatment of the consumer. The consumer remains a top priority across all channels.
About Nicole Benson
Nicole is President & CEO of Valeyo.
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