FIAR 2019: "Insurance in a Digital World" Conference - Main statements

20 May 2019 — Adina TUDOR
The use of new digital solutions by the insurance industry to improve risk assessment or damage relief, cyber-related risks and remodeling of the industry businesses are among the topics discussed at the "Insurance in a Digital World" Conference at FIAR 2019 - the International Insurance and Reinsurance Forum. Read the main statements!

Moderated by Michael THEILMEIER, renowned international re/insurance specialist, the conference brings together renowned professionals, such as: 
  • Tudor GALOS, Senior Consultant, TUDOR Galos Consulting
  • Cristian FLUERARU, GIS/Remote Sensing Scientist, TERRASIGNA
  • Cees WERFF, CEO, Claims Corporation Network
  • Mihai TECAU, President, OMNIASIG VIG
  • Georgi MARKOV, Deputy General Manager, EUROINS Insurance Group
  • Antonio SOUVANNASOUCK, President, PRBAR

The conference is supported by LIFE IS HARD company, as Partner.


Re/Insurance Expert

  • Artificial Intelligence is really working on the insurance fraud detection segment
  • All (pricing) algorithms should be transparent, should be checked by actuaries so that discriminatory prices are avoided
  • Differentiators for prices - some are forbidden: in the US, address and education are forbidden for establishing insurance prices; gender was forbidden a few years back; age will be forbidden

Associate Partner, McKinsey

  • Insurance market in Romania and Poland are in a similar stage
  • Insurance is above banking in terms of digital maturity (36%), but it is far from the leader (which has a digital maturity of 61%)
  • In CEE, digital attackers are fighting for growth
  • Digitalization allows for much lower costs
  • Many players failed to transform their business in a digital business - if you want to make sure that your digital transformation will be successful, you need to involve people at all aspects of your company, but especially frontline employees and line managers
  • Analytics-powered pricing: improved pricing can bring benefits
  • The loyalty of the customers is becoming increasingly important
  • Clients are now switching between channels: sometimes they do research online and purchase offline, sometimes it's the other way around. It is clear that people are looking for alternatives.
  • Now, online purchasing is more common - customers trust it more compared to 10 years ago
  • Productivity, customer satisfaction and growth - are the three aspects on which insurance companies must work on. They cannot work on only one aspect, they need to act on all three dimensions by implementing digital solutions

Alexandru FILIP,
Partner, McKinsey

  • There is an increasing shift towards digital in insurance: 24% of European motor insurance sold via digital channels; there is twice as much interaction frequency between digital customers and their insurer than in the past
  • Insurtech are setting the pace: since 2012, 7 billion dollars have been invested in InsurTechs
  • Customers increasingly rely on online channels for research and purchase
  • We live in the "experience economy": Curated experiences - and the business models, products and services, and types of engagement that create them - are increasingly driving loyalty, differentiation, and value
  • When we talk about digitalization, we talk about completely reinventing the consumer's journey
  • Delivering a new journey requires a holistic transformation, through:
    • Customer centric UX design (Create unique customer experience using research, ideation, proto-typing and iterative testing)
    • Clean sheet business transformation (Radically simplify business requirements and scale fast using a clean sheet approach; Define branch choreography and operating team)
    • Rapid technology delivery (Define target solution architecture, IT roadmap and build minimum viable product quickly using Agile/scrum and DevOps)
    • New ways of working & capabilities (Mobilize operational team, instil and embed new "digital native" ways of working and culture across business and technology through capability building)
  • What works for others might not work for you. Try to invent and reinvent, do not copy and paste


  • All the things around us have become much smarter, more connected
  • Business as usual is not sufficient anymore
  • Digitalization was seen as a threat by insurers - digital technology is transforming every aspect of the insurance industry
  • Digitalization is just a tool, not the solution
  • Consumers need products as convenience - they want to buy these products rapidly
  • The convenience leads to commoditization and to simple products
  • Next generation insurance products and services include:
    • SMARTPHONE USAGE-BASED INSURANCE (UBI) - especially for customers who think of products while on the go
    • TELEMATICS BASED INSURANCE - provides a direct source of customer insight that enables a range of strategic and tactical opportunities to drive revenue, cut costs, and build deeper, more profitable relationships.
    • IoT BASED HOME INSURANCE - to lower premiums and frictionless services
    • CHATBOT AND AI BASED INSURANCE - Chatbots can improve sales and marketing, underwriting, claims, and customer service.
  • 300% expected growth of annual gross-written premiums for cyber-security insurance by 2020 (PwC)
  • 20% expected growth in the number of people using car-sharing services over the next years, reaching 35M consumers (BCG)
  • 72% of Millennials believe usage-based insurance is a better way to calculate rates (Tower Watson)
  • The challenge which stands in the way of digitalization is to bring all valuable data together

Tudor GALOS,
Senior Consultant, TUDOR Galos Consulting, Romania

  • GDPR offers you an opportunity to reevaluate your business
  • Digital transformation is about simplifying your processes
  • Digital transformation is about people
  • Digital transformation is about simplification
  • Current trends in the insurance industry include: 5G Fixed to 5G Mobile, chatbots (which can be used to spark the conversation with clients), Connected Clouds, Blockchain, data analytics
  • Trends in the workplace: employees need to feel a sense of purpose; companies need to harness the ingenuity of all its employees, no matter their level in the company; we have multi-generational teamwork, expertise without boundaries and increased transparency
  • Digital transformation means: engaged customers, empowered employees, digitalization of products, operational optimization, simplification;
  • Today's digital landscape: People work on twice as many teams and spend 50% more time collaborating; 600 billion dollars are lost to cyber crime each year; in 2020, there will be an average of 4.3 devices per person; 4300% expected increase in data production by 2020

Cristian FLUERARU,
GIS/Remote Sensing Scientist, TERRASIGNA, Romania

  • TERRASIGNA is Romanian company developing highly innovative and performant Geo-Information services
  • Earth Observation - EO data are acquired from satellites orbiting the Earth at different altitudes.
  • The main types of satellite images are optical and radar.
  • The spatial resolution of a satellite image (the smallest object that can be observed) can vary between 30 cm and kilometers.
  • The revisiting time can vary from 1-2 days up to every 15 days.
  • The cost of a satellite image ranges from free data to 10-20 euro/km2.
  • EO data provides homogenous information for large, inaccessible areas. In case of a huge flood it would be difficult for a person to survey all the area affected by the phenomenon
  • Multiple surveys of the very same location can reveal subtle changes that reach beyond the perception of the human eye.
  • EO data processing chains rely on mature and robust workflows.
  • Considering the huge depth of data available, the biggest challenge is to find and extract the relevant information.
  • The greatest potential benefits of using geospatial information within the insurance sector (and EO data specifically) are likely to be:
    • Reduced insurer losses through improved forecasting of scale, frequency and intensity of natural events and hence better pricing.
    • Reduced administration and operational costs by providing better measurement and monitoring of exposures.
    • Reduced frictional costs of risk transfer and improved profitability of insurers by reducing fraudulent claims ex post event.
    • Expansion of the range of insurance products available.
    • Reducing the cyclical nature of the insurance market.
  • EO data and insurance in Romania - possibilities for implementation:
    • Customised GIS databases including streets, postal codes, administrative limits
    • Integration and geo-coding of the existing information
    • Web solutions for geo-spatial information access
    • Event analysis and reporting using EO data (crop damage, floods, fires, landslides, subsidence etc.)
    • Historical monitoring using archive data
    • Index insurance solutions for agriculture
    • Identification and processing for custom data (e.g. very high resolution satellite imagery)

CEO, Claims Corporation Network

  • The 'Internet of Things' has revolutionized many traditional markets, including travel agencies, the music industry, newspaper and print media, electronic retailers and so on. Will the insurance industry change as well?
  • The digital disruption has already happened: for example, the world's most valuable retailer has no inventory (Alibaba), the world's most popular media owner creates no content (Facebook)
  • New players are making their entrance on the insurance industry: ZhongAn (China's first truly digital insurer since 2013; 8 billion insurance policies sold online to 500 million customers), Amazon (started as an aggregator; it announced it will Sell Life, Health and General insurance policies In India. India is one of the strongest markets for Amazon, as more than 10 million Indians are Prime users, and they are witnessing an exponential growth), Coya (founded in 2016, Insurtech startup Coya has launched home content insurance cover, designed to be "affordable, transparent and easily accessible."; Coya's flexible contracts can be cancelled at any time, have clear and understandable terms and conditions, starting at 1.79 euro per month);
  • Tesla announced its plans to enter the insurance market; After selling vehicles with embedded software for 7+ years, Tesla arguably has more driving data than any other company on the planet. Not only will Tesla have a superior understanding around driver risk and policy pricing, but they can nudge the driver towards taking safer actions.
  • Avibra app - "The Netflix of Life insurance"; by downloading the Avibra app, customers automatically receive $10,000 in term life insurance coverage. Afterwards, customers can bump up the coverage in several ways, which improve their well-being

Interactive Panel


Mihai TECAU,
President, OMNIASIG

  • Digitalization is now a style of life;
  • The market is not yet prepared for full digitalization, it is not prepared to sell insurance policies exclusively online
  • Maybe it is better to outsource the IT resources/ the IT aspects of the company, because, for employees, it is very difficult to work with new systems
  • Romania is a good field for innovation
  • The most important thing is to make customers accept innovation

Georgi MARKOV,
Deputy General Manager, EUROINS Insurance Group

  • Changes offered by insurers must follow either the consumers' demands or the changes in society
  • In our region, societies are not ready for a full digital transformation
  • Some companies, mostly startups, are targeting specific groups - for example: freelancers; we do not see a large group of such customers on the CEE and Balkan markets yet
  • It is possible for some disruption to happen because of digitalization, but I believe we will see more of a gradual digitization of the market instead of a massive disruption caused by startups

President, PRBAR

  • If we are talking about Motor Hull or household insurance - these are not fully online policies
  • Moreover, in Romania, the clients need to sign the policies, which makes online distribution of such policies impossible
  • The customers need to trust the industry - they need to trust that they will receive the indemnity in case of loss
  • The main problems for brokers - we don't have the databases connected to those of insurers; we still exchange data with insurers through Excel documents
  • The customer needs personalization of the insurance product; we need to improve every insurance product

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