TOP EVENT: IIF2019 - Insurance in the Digital World Conference took place on November 21 in Bucharest

IIF2019 - Insurance in the Digital World Conference took place today, 21 November 2019, at Sheraton Hotel in Bucharest. The latest insurtech trends and the digitalization impact over the insurance sector were the main themes of discussion.

Between opportunities and emerging risks, going digital in the insurance business is a journey that each company will have to enroll soon. While no one disputes the necessity of embracing a digital culture, many have still doubts with regard to the best approach, the priorities, the actual choices to put in place a coherent system.

"Where to start?" is still THE question under debate for many. How to choose among the numerous solutions available, what is really adding value to the services provided, how to go digital, but still preserve the "human touch" in interacting with customers... as the progress in the field continues and the offer is getting richer, the questions that need an answer seem to be multiplying as well.

With a close look at the latest trends in the industry, IIF2019: Insurance in the DIGITAL World Conference touched the following topics:

  • Digital solutions to improve sales, underwriting and claims management
  • Addressing the needs of the new generations of customers
  • Digitalization and the regulatory environment - the cost of compliance and of non-compliance
  • Cyber risks - between calibrating the right coverage for clients and managing the own increasing exposure

The event was organized by XPRIMM with the official support of InsurTech Hub Romania, EUROINS Romania, ASIROM Vienna Insurance Group and BAAR - Motor Insurance Bureau of Romania.

Below you can read the main statements of the conference. You can visit the event's official website for more information.



MAIN STATEMENTS


Adrian MARIN
President, UNSAR & CEO, GENERALI Romania

  • If we were on a social network, I think we should state publicly that the insurance industry is "in a relationship" with the digital. At UNSAR level, we are following market trends and the digitization of services is one of the most important issues that we have on the agenda in the new UNSAR 2020-2022 strategy
  • The insurance industry is changing and the pillars of change are generated mainly by consumers, as well as by the new technologies
  • We are talking about the Y and Z generations, which are increasingly influencing the insurance industry and generating important transformations. Generation Y, born after 1980, and Generation Z, born after 1995, are both online generations 24/24, with access to technology and social networks. We are talking about their constant needs to receive what they want, when they want, putting pressure on any industry they interact with - services/products
  • The second pillar that produces changes is the digital revolution. We have a relevant research on technologies that have the potential to transform the industry. There are names that did not exist until recently, especially in the local insurance industry: Internet of Things, Robotic Process Automation, Blockchain, Cognitive Computing, Machine Learning, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Social Networking Collaboration, Biotech, Genetics and the list can go on. We also have now Data Scientists, Business Translators, User Experience and User Interface Designers
  • Artificial Intelligence brings new opportunities, but also new challenges for our business. And here, we're referring to the products we put in the market and how they cand be accessed - from underwriting, management and payment
  • Starting from the factors that produce changes, the question is: where are we now and where do we expect to be over a certain number of years? First of all, we are talking about the products with which we welcome our customers
  • The changes brought by digitization are creating a new world that we want to secure. On the motor area, we're discussing the risks associated with autonomous vehicles, telematic products, car-sharing and so on. On property, we expect to discuss products that cover the consequences of climate change, but also based on the sharing economy and the increasing trends of renting a home vs. buying a new one, including on the local market. On life & health insurance, we are talking about biometric data of consumers and the increase of the life span, including the change of the protection needs in different periods of life
  • Cyber risks overlap all these. It is certain that the development of new products will be essential
  • Besides products, we are talking about the services that the industry will provide to the consumers, as well as about the speed in accessing these services
  • Digitization allows us to get closer to consumers and also to have a conduct aligned with their values and expectations. This customer journey that we are reconfiguring must strengthen the industry as a whole
  • The entire insurance industry is in a process of relocation, starting from the possibilities and opportunities that digitization brings in relation with the customers and with what we can offer p products adapted to current and future needs, services adapted to consumer expectations and experiences adjusted to different lifestyles
  • At the UNSAR level, a working group dedicated to innovation and digitization was created. The group will be operational in the first quarter of 2020 and will refine the new UNSAR strategy 2020-2022


Madalin ROSU
President BAAR & Member of the Board, OMNIASIG VIG

  • I think we're already in the digital, but we're not opening our eyes enough. We already live there
  • Today's young people are living in another world, we can no longer ignore this. They use social networks a lot
  • To understand the needs of our customers, I think we have to be there (in the digital) first and then to think about what to highlight. I think we need to focus on finding clients in these areas
  • If our clients are on Facebook, then we also have to go there, because we have to understand some cognitive and social mechanisms that have developed faster than we have developed
  • We have a series of challenges given by the market, bu legislation, by the technologies currently used. On the legislative side, unfortunately, there is a general trend of overregulation. When we really want to enter the digital area, the legislation includes many forms that the client has to sign
  • Companies are currently using systems that were developed several years ago, based on that time's needs
  • Currently, in Romania, we have a problem with the services, with car repairs. We have found that we need to connect with the client because others are already doing it. It's important to be everywhere, on all digital channels. Reconnecting the industry with the customer is a must
  • Social networks can be used and optimized to understand customer behavior, both in marketing and damages. We want our clients to have a simple and easy experience in interacting with insurers
  • Our customers of tomorrow are already in digital, we just have to go to them


Cristian IONESCU
President of the Board of Directors, ASIROM - Vienna Insurance Group, Romania

  • Digital evolution affects all industries and, therefore, will also affect the insurance industry. From my point of view, the biggest challenge we're facing is that we all come from traditional companies, which have sold insurance in a certain way and we have interacted with our clients and partners in a certain way, that will change in the future as a result of digitization
  • We have clients who prefer monthly visits from agents and pay from home. On the other hand, we have the new generation, who doesn't want to see anybody, but only wants to buy a simple product and to pay for it without a headache, like a Netflix subscription. From here comes the greatest challenge. There are customers who have been accustomed to buy personalized insurance and prefer to be advised by an intermediary, while it is the new generation the one who prefers to read and understand, in very few words, the insurance conditions and to buy the product online
  • Starting from here, the biggest challenge we have is to find a way in which the two types can coexist in a company. We need to find pieces of sub-processes that we can do for both channels - for clients or partners who want a classic interaction and for digital clients. Here I think is the biggest challenge and this thing gives us the most headaches
  • ASIROM has recently undergone a rebranding process. We come up with a new business philosophy, based on several pillars, among which there is the quality of services, an aspect with the greatest connection with digitization. We are talking about automation and simplification. The company's partners are Romanian companies: UiPath, Druid, FinTech OS. In our approach, it is very important to have a flexible system, so it can always be updated to new technologies, because technologies change over time
  • Among other things, ASIROM has automated backoffice processes, liquidation damages, policy management, becoming faster, more efficient and reducing costs. We went from very simple processes to very complicated processes, in the sense that a damage on the Green Card system can be registered in the automatic system - the validity of the policy is verified and, according to the event description, the information is structured by robot and recorded directly in the app. We also use robots for the anti-fraud segment
  • Chatbot is in fashion these days. We do not expect to sell in huge amounts through this idea, but we want to be there and learn to do this more and more. ASIROM has launched the Clara robot, which can answer questions and issue travel insurance
  • An idea that will change the future a lot - We made a risk inspection app and, when you have a damage, the picture of the damage can be compared with the one from the inspection and there will be mechanisms that will calculate the compensation without needing an inspector. This is the direction in which it goes. There are several models of success and surely in the near future this will happen. The compensation will be calculated automatically. This calculation app will be used, in 80% of the cases, by a robot. It is very important for us to be there
  • Customers' needs will change for sure


Alexandru CIUNCAN
General Director, UNSAR Romania

  • Regarding the digitization on the local market: we are on the right track. We need to talk more about the successes we have - there are already a number of companies that have taken very important steps in this regard
  • Regarding the future: I think we are in the research and development phase, a stage where we try new things and we try to see what works
  • We'll see in what direction things are going, but it is certain that the industry is going through the biggest change in history
  • We need simple products, but first of all we need an adequate regulatory framework, which will allow digitization and fair market conditions for all players. We can not talk about innovation if you give the client 22 pages for him to read, to sign. We need to look for more effective ways


Valentin IONESCU
Director, ASF, Romania

  • In Romania, we have many of the European facilities, we just have to access them. At BVB, you can, for many years, trade from your phone. Also, on the capital market you can make online investments in a fund. When we talk about, Artificial Intelligence, trading algorithms are used on the capital market. On pensions, things are even simpler, you can check your account online
  • The European Commission looks on FinTech and adopted, in March 2018, the "FinTech Action Plan", aimed at promoting competitiveness and innovation in the European financial sector
  • In recent year, most EU countries have taken several initiatives to facilitate financial innovation among the most important being the establishment of innovation facilitators, such as Sandboxes and Innovation Hubs
  • More and more institutions on the financial market consider innovation as one of the main ways to gain a competitive advantage, moreover, consumers are responding positively to digitization and increasingly want to use innovative financial services through remote electronic channels, mainly through the Internet and mobile devices
  • The innovation hubs provide a dedicated contact point to ask the competent authority questions about FinTech issues, to obtain non-binding guidance on how innovative financial products, financial services or business models work
  • The sandbox is a system that offers regulated and unregulated entities the possibility to test, according to an agreed testing plan, monitored by a dedicated function of the relevant authority, innovative products or services, business models or delivery mechanisms related to the provision of financial services
  • What are we doing at ASF? From 2018, we have FinTech Hub, a single contact point that offers support in identifying the applicable legislation, guidance on the expectations of the authority and information on the process for obtaining the authorization, thus supporting the development of modern technologies on the financial market and, at the same time, maintaining the confidence and a level of protection suitable for clients
  • InsurTech Hub aims to support technological innovations on the insurance field and to facilitate collaboration with the reinsurance market entities
  • Next year, we could have Sandbox too, but it needs closer monitoring
  • We believe that FinTech also means new opportunities for consumers, for entities, but also for the authority. It is important that all parties involved focus on the opportunities and benefits generated by the innovations, but also on the risks that may arise and the solutions to prevent or mitigate them
  • In terms of global trends, the financial industry has become highly digitized and has absorbed countless innovations. We have integrated financial services, financial markets are creating new industries. At the same time, consumer behavior and expectations are adapting to technology
  • The adoption of FinTech services has evolved steadily, from 16% in 2015 to 33% in 2017 and to 64% in 2019. The awareness of FinTech even among non-users is very high
  • Consumers have experienced digital transactions that offer speed and personalization and this also shapes their expectations regarding financial services. Instead of financial services that generally meet consumers' needs, they want personalized, adaptive, flexible offers that evolve and provide specified results
  • Regarding FinTech and the insurance market, we have mobile Telematics already implemented. This involves evaluating the behavior of drivers in traffic, monitoring the vehicle riding, a better assessment of the insured risks, customizing the insurance premiums according to the risk profile of each driver and rewarding the drivers with prudent behavior
  • We also have Robo Advisor, that offers a number of advantages: improving response time, reducing price, improving quality, customizing products



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