SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente, Xenia von Wedel, Peter Silva

Blog Feed Post

Insurance Disrupted - Crowdsourced Policies and Social Marketing

Peter Abatan
Program Manager
Mobility Services
Cognizant
All industries are being impacted by digital transformations and data analytics (read Code Halos) today. Social, mobile, analytics and cloud based technologies are capturing, transmitting and storing more information than ever before.  This information, or the use of information dominance as a strategy, will completely reorient the competitive landscape in many industries.  Information intensive industries, including the following, will experience the biggest disruptions:

  • Banking
  • Healthcare
  • Insurance
  • Education
  • Government
  • Media
  • etc

In this article, my colleague Peter Abatan shares his observations on digital transformations within the insurance industry.
***

The Insurance industry has traditionally been slow to change, but that is changing as crowd and social insurance models are beginning to emerge.

Companies like upstart BoughtByMany connect people with similar insurance requirements who are able to aggregate demand for products that insurance companies have hesitated to insure on an individual basis in the past.

Another start-up, InsureMyFriend embraces P2P to form a network with friends and family to lower the individual’s insurance premiums. Each approach has its benefits and both lend themselves easily to social media.  They have the potential to reduce insurance claims because consequences impact the entire group and social pressures are predicted to make people think twice about risks.

These two companies presented their business models at the London Insurance Disrupters meetup held at the end of April this year in London.

BoughtByMany has about 18,000 members in about 180 interest groups. Overall, the average discount negotiated has been around 18.6%. The attraction to the insurance companies that BoughtByMany brings, lies in the fact that the cost of acquisition is much lower relative to the other channels these insurance companies use to acquire customers, this also applies to InsureMyFriend.

Typically, 90% of their traffic is driven through Facebook in which customers join the group for which they are interested in.  Once joined, they can invite friends.

InsureMyFriend makes it possible for you to link up with friends and family that you trust and provide a way of managing the “pot of money” that you are all setting aside when a claim needs to be made. Since the syndicate is made of people who trust each other, the claims are likely to be very low.
However, if your network has too many claims, a certain percentage of the premium that everyone puts into the pot will be paid to an insurance company to cover larger than expected claims.  In the case where there are no claims, premiums are reduced in subsequent years.

This type of insurance lends itself to smaller items like smartphones and gadgets, as these are easy and cheaper to replace. Motor insurance for young people is another possibility for the BoughtByMany business model with the benefit of getting a 50% rebate or more on their premium if they can stay accident free after a whole year.  Such incentives are thought to change behaviours and encourage safe driving.

Even though social networks are the means by which groups are formed to buy insurance, this process does not lend itself to fully assessing the risk that members are exposed to. In other words the person who goes on holidays twice a year assumes less risk relative to the person who takes 5 holidays a year. Social media is less of an exact science compared to a person’s actual lifestyle and buying behaviour. Hence, while it may be that Facebook is the platform from where social and crowd insurance are promoted and grow, it will be platforms like Amazon, eBay, Walmart and JohnLewis.com where these types of insurance may flourish because they have more personal information (read more on Code Halos) on the individual and their lifestyle.

I wonder if these models alone will really disrupt the insurance industry to the extent that its current business model needs to change? I am not convinced it will.  It may require many more players in the market for the insurance sector to sit up and take notice. The biggest benefit at the moment is the low cost of acquisition for the insurer.  For customers it is the potential to get reduced insurance premiums and customized policies.

The disruption to the insurance industry may not come through crowd and social insurance alone, but through many changes that are impacting the industry at the same time:

  • Quantified self
  • IoT (internet of things)
  • Mobile technologies
  • Telematics
  • Analytics
  • Big data
  • Crowd sourced policies
  • Social insurance models
It seems, however, the biggest disruptions to insurance will likely come from businesses outside of the traditional insurance industry.

In developing countries where the insurance industry is not as mature, one could see the opportunities for the growth of social and crowd insurance where uninsured liabilities are very high and possible pay-outs for a non-fault accident are very low. It may be insurance co-operatives are formed to cover risks, rather than mainstream insurance companies. Members will own a stake in the co-operative encouraging them to take less risk in order to minimize payouts.

Today, the regulatory environment is holding back the insurance industry from going through the disruptions that has shaped other industries.  It won't be long, however, before smart start-ups will begin to find ways to work around those barriers to provide a better service to the customer and in the process change the way we relate to insurance as a whole. One thing for sure, is that very soon the way we source insurance will change from how we know it today.

************************************************************************
Kevin Benedict
Writer, Speaker, Editor
Senior Analyst, Digital Transformation, EBA, Center for the Future of Work Cognizant
View my profile on LinkedIn
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility
Join the Google+ Community Mobile Enterprise Strategies
Recommended Strategy Book Code Halos
Recommended iPad App Code Halos for iPads

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and digital transformation analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Kevin Benedict

Kevin Benedict is the Senior Analyst for Digital Transformation at Cognizant, a writer, speaker and SAP Mentor Alumnus. Follow him on Twitter @krbenedict. He is a popular speaker around the world on the topic of digital transformation and enterprise mobility. He maintains a busy schedule researching, writing and speaking at events in North America, Asia and Europe. He has over 25 years of experience working in the enterprise IT solutions industry.

Latest Stories
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete...
“DevOps is really about the business. The business is under pressure today, competitively in the marketplace to respond to the expectations of the customer. The business is driving IT and the problem is that IT isn't responding fast enough," explained Mark Levy, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Serena Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
“We help people build clusters, in the classical sense of the cluster. We help people put a full stack on top of every single one of those machines. We do the full bare metal install," explained Greg Bruno, Vice President of Engineering and co-founder of StackIQ, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The cloud is becoming the de-facto way for enterprises to leverage common infrastructure while innovating and one of the biggest obstacles facing public cloud computing is security. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Jeff Aliber, a global marketing executive at Verizon, discussed how the best place for web security is in the cloud. Benefits include: Functions as the first layer of defense Easy operation –CNAME change Implement an integrated solution Best architecture for addressing network-l...
Mobile commerce traffic is surpassing desktop, yet less than 20% of sales in the U.S. are mobile commerce sales. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Dan Franklin, Segment Manager, Commerce, at Verizon Digital Media Services, defined mobile devices and discussed how next generation means simplification. It means taking your digital content and turning it into instantly gratifying experiences.
“In the past year we've seen a lot of stabilization of WebRTC. You can now use it in production with a far greater degree of certainty. A lot of the real developments in the past year have been in things like the data channel, which will enable a whole new type of application," explained Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, p...
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com...
Verizon Enterprise Solutions is simplifying the cloud-purchasing experience for its clients, with the launch of Verizon Cloud Marketplace, a key foundational component of the company's robust ecosystem of enterprise-class technologies. The online storefront will initially feature pre-built cloud-based services from AppDynamics, Hitachi Data Systems, Juniper Networks, PfSense and Tervela. Available globally to enterprises using Verizon Cloud, Verizon Cloud Marketplace provides a one-stop shop fo...
Leysin American School is an exclusive, private boarding school located in Leysin, Switzerland. Leysin selected an OpenStack-powered, private cloud as a service to manage multiple applications and provide development environments for students across the institution. Seeking to meet rigid data sovereignty and data integrity requirements while offering flexible, on-demand cloud resources to users, Leysin identified OpenStack as the clear choice to round out the school's cloud strategy. Additional...
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover ...
SYS-CON Media announced today that Aruna Ravichandran, VP of Marketing, Application Performance Management and DevOps at CA Technologies, has joined DevOps Journal’s authors. DevOps Journal is focused on this critical enterprise IT topic in the world of cloud computing. DevOps Journal brings valuable information to DevOps professionals who are transforming the way enterprise IT is done. Aruna's inaugural article "Four Essential Cultural Hacks for DevOps Newbies" discusses how to demonstrate the...
"Our premise is Docker is not enough. That's not a bad thing - we actually love Docker. At ActiveState all our products are based on open source technology and Docker is an up-and-coming piece of open source technology," explained Bart Copeland, President & CEO of ActiveState Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"BSQUARE is in the business of selling software solutions for smart connected devices. It's obvious that IoT has moved from being a technology to being a fundamental part of business, and in the last 18 months people have said let's figure out how to do it and let's put some focus on it, " explained Dave Wagstaff, VP & Chief Architect, at BSQUARE Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The move in recent years to cloud computing services and architectures has added significant pace to the application development and deployment environment. When enterprise IT can spin up large computing instances in just minutes, developers can also design and deploy in small time frames that were unimaginable a few years ago. The consequent move toward lean, agile, and fast development leads to the need for the development and operations sides to work very closely together. Thus, DevOps become...