Rohit Nambiar, CEO, AXA Affin Life Insurance [EPA: CS]
The insurance industry has been a long-sleeping giant, having being particularly resistant to change and slow to embrace technology in the past. The industry’s transformation agenda has opened the door for product innovation, greater use of technology in its operations and product offerings, and enhancing service delivery and customer experience. The insurance industry has also now become ripe for disruption by InsurTech.
Digital will not work without a strong back-up of support from InsurTech and Affiliate partners. At AXA AFFIN Life Malaysia, we are very open to working with InsurTech, FinTech, start-ups or any partners who can add value to our customers. We see Fintech and start-ups as creating new opportunities for us to expand our reach to access the unserved or underserved segments. It also creates efficiency in terms of knowledge, resource and cost sharing when it comes to technical capabilities, data analysis and further development of technology platform. With the help of InsurTech, innovation and speed-to-market can also be achieved to foster a better customer experience. We are currently working with 18 partners and counting.
When it comes to collaboration between the old and new – namely traditional insurers and InsurTech, one can foresee many stumbling blocks ahead. While some insurers can be more than 100 years old, many start-ups are less than a few years old and this can lead to challenges in terms of speed mainly due to legacy issues by traditional insurers. It is not always a straightforward process as developing new solutions to integrate with core and legacy system is an expensive affair and time-consuming.
Insurance players are also operating in a heavily regulated environment and to continuously disrupt the market, there needs to be a strong and engaged collaboration with the regulator to shape the industry for the benefit of customers.
Despite the challenges, we are confident that there is a massive opportunity as Malaysia is a digitally open economy and the life insurance market is growing. We just have to constantly challenge ourselves to proactively foresee customer’s needs and create scalable initiatives with a primary focus to drive simplification and deliver superior customer experience.
Health insurers today aspire to build strong health services proposition encompassing care coordination across different age groups/conditions, tele-health, new age clinical support and more safer treatments.
These range from VR to Doctor Co-ordination to Tele-medicine and specific support services for patients (e.g. Fertility treatments).
Here are some of the partners we work with to make the health insurance customer experience better:
1. BookDoc–a health rewards platform that will incentivise healthy living. We are working closely with BookDoc to track steps via the app and reward our customers with cashback rewards. They will also be able to enjoy other benefits offered by BookDoc such as discounts on gym membership, wearable fitness devices, fitness apparel, healthy food, health screening and others. BookDoc also provide access for customers to search and make appointment with specialist doctors at their fingertips.
2. Naluri–a platform with professional coaching and rehabilitative psychological support to help our customers achieve the healthy lifestyle they deserve. Partnering with Naluri, we reach out to customers who are overweight, or having high cholesterol, high blood pressure and high blood sugar to improve their health with Naluri’s dedicated online health coach for free.
3. Biomark–providing the tools for biomarking to create a preventive healthcare behaviour movement. Customers with either one of the four conditions mentioned above will have to check-in with the professionals once every three months based on goals set for them to improve their weight, cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar levels. On achieving the health milestones, customers can look forward to a cashback reward.
4. Beacon Hospital - one of the leading hospitals for Cancer Care with strong oncology team and state-of-the-art technology in Malaysia is collaborating with us on a cashless out-patient cancer treatment privilege for our customers.
Omni-channel won’t be a buzz word anymore. Customers would seemingly move between channels for interaction and choose their most preferred mode of buying. Real Chatbots with ML/AI, plugged on to customer and distributor portals will facilitate the sharing of information and greater standardization.
Hyper customization/hyper personalization and commoditization of lower involvement products. We would see both in equal amounts in my view. Lower involvement products would be commoditized but the solutions would be hyper customized across the lower and lower-middle income groups. For e.g. while PA, travel, home, etc. at the core are simple products, there may be country / segment specific customizations required. These would be largely delivered through digital and partnership channels.
Intermediaries will remain at the core of the more complex life insurance and commercial insurance space. These solutions require advice, trust (relationship selling) and multiple touch points. But, I do see lower involvement products like motor, travel, home, simple protection being sold more and more through digital channels. Intermediaries may sell these more as a part of the larger relationship they have with their clients. Most of the service would be done digitally, including around sales, service and most notably claims.
Liability as a product profile will significantly pick up in the days to come and will not be restricted to businesses. Professionals and individuals will be more aware of the gaps they are sitting on with respect to cyber, personal liability and professional indemnity, etc.
APIs will be available everywhere and this will foster more partnership driven sales for lower involvement products. Minimal friction and sales along with a linked product through a service provider one has more affinity with. For e.g. travel insurance through a telco player who can remind you every time you travel (Roaming packages).
With this level of disruption all around, innovation will become more and more specific and target “micro” moments that are scalable across multiple markets as opposed to all-encompassing innovations that are no different to what we tried in the past - large scale ideas with no clear foundation.