Pursuing digitalisation during the coronavirus

The coronavirus has resulted in high demand for online services and some businesses have struggled to meet this shift. However, iptiQ by Swiss Re is putting its four years of experience to practice and is helping its partners to quickly add new products.

In a new blog post from Swiss Re Life Capital CFO Brian Rosenblum, he stated that while many companies are facing troubles with modernising and responding to customer demands, iptiQ has the ability to “see the picture a bit differently.” When the pandemic is over, it believes it is well positioned to help meet the new customer needs.

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the world dramatically and most likely forever. Insurance, as well as most other industries, has been forced to move online and deal with their customers exclusively via that medium.

As a result, a lot of businesses have been forced to accelerate their digitisation plans to meet the changed playing field. With the virus causing extra levels of fear in consumers, whether its health or financial stability, research from Swiss Re has found that consumers desire for insurance has actually increased during the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic.

The insurer’s research, which polled 2,500 residents in Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong and mainland China during April, claims that 46% of respondents have searched for new policies. Furthermore, it found 32% of consumers had bought a new policy.

Despite the world being limited in their activities and physical interactions with others, the need of insurance has not waned.

Rosenblum said, “Given the sluggish pace of transformation in the industry so far, some market participants are unable to respond to this demand. As a result, they have seen their sales negatively impacted by the confinement measures, especially those which rely on face-to-face sales and manual underwriting processes.”

The magnitude of impact the coronavirus has had on the world brings to question, who will survive and who will struggle? Rosenblum added, “Like everywhere, it is a relative game. The pandemic is another disruptor for the insurance industry and will further reshuffle which companies are best positioned for future success. While this is the case outside of insurance, what is truly unique in our sector is how disparate the challenges are compared to the opportunities.”

Different players in the market will be focusing on different aspects. Rosenblum stated this could be their in-force portfolio addressing higher claims, lapses and the challenge of low interest rates. Legacy systems and operational setups add to challenges and improvements could be delayed due to cost pressure and a lower capacity to make the investments.

While there are new opportunities available for insurers to pursue, Rosenblum believes management need to first focus on dealing with current stresses rather than modernising and responding to new customer demands.

iptiQ is a digital B2B2C platform which provides partners with digital processes and customers with valuable protection products. The company builds strong partnerships to sell insurance through trusted brands. Rosenblum said, “As well as being the “new kid on the block” with streamlined and omni-channel application processes, we have also gained some valuable experience over the past four years, with meaningful new business volumes written globally.”

With its business model based on partnerships, the company aims to make insurance more accessible and affordable, worldwide. It has helped to simplify the customer journey around the world and is prepared to meet the new customer needs following the pandemic.

The InsurTech is well-suited to help its distribution partners meet the new demand and revenue streams, Rosenblum said. Its platform is able to limit balance sheet volatility. With its focus on protection products, the business is not as exposed to low interest rates, asset volatility or changes in capital requirements from fluctuations in reserves.

“Swiss Re created iptiQ to respond to the need of the insurance industry to accelerate its modernization through technology. We have seen early successes through its rapid growth,” he said. “Now we see COVID-19 as a catalyst to this transformation. iptiQ is ready to deploy its solutions across a wider range of partners to reach even more customers and help close the protection gap.”

Click here to read the full blog from Brian Rosenblum.

Copyright © 2020 FinTech Global

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