59% of insurers increasing investment in digital, says EIS
Using a representative sample of 1,057 consumers and 73 industry figures, EIS’s analysis indicates that a year indelibly marked by COVID-19 - Lloyd’s the total cost to the global insurance industry could be US$203bn - has vindicated the application of digital technology across the board.
“Despite the chaos, the pandemic has highlighted the sheer importance of digital transformation,” stated Anthony Grosso, Global Head of Marketing.
“The leading insurers of the future will be those who transform to enable digital ecosystems which place insurance at the heart of how consumers manage their financial lives. In 2021, we expect insurers will focus on this and invest in their ability to keep up with the needs of their customers.”
Furthermore, EIS postulates that three core initiatives will drive corporate strategy in the year ahead:
- Accelerated transformation: as previously alluded to, the operational difficulties of managing a quality service during COVID-19 without digital infrastructure have been demonstrated. Only 1% of those surveyed stated that their investment would decrease in 2021, while 59% indicated that it would increase.
- Modern CX: nearly one third (28%) of policyholders cited a poor customer experience as the primary reason for leaving their insurer. Omnichannel capabilities, easier policy creation, and more intuitive customer platforms will all play a role in modernising legacy CX.
- Expanding services: leading insurers like have understood that the modern industry must offer more than just cover. By offering value-added services and placing an emphasis on well being, the company provides a case study on how to make insurance more proactive, engaging and bespoke.
On this last point, Phil Zeidler, CEO of , agrees. He InsurTech Digital, “Fundamentally, general insurers are product focused and not customer focused. They think about risk and loss ratios, not customer experience aspects such as ease of access.
“Often they’re removed from the distribution of their product: they outsource to brokers, aggregators, etc, and so they don’t understand their customer or where they’re being marginalised.
“Insurers have got to understand their customer and commit to understanding both the data they have and how they can enhance it through additional sources. They also have to understand consumers’ buying preferences and how they should redesign products to enable them.”
Startup spotlight: SIMON adds Nationwide to its platform
Headquartered in New York, SIMON has a singular goal: transforming the digital experience for financial advisors and unlocking greater levels of service for their clients. It achieves this through:
- A comprehensive platform featuring a full suite of digital tools
- On-demand education
- An “intuitive” marketplace
- Real-time analytics
- Lifecycle management
The company’s fusion of cutting-edge tech with leading expertise is resulting in a new industry standard, one that is simplified, codified, and consolidated within a single ecosystem.
Creating value for financial advisors
At the time of writing, SIMON works with over 85,000 finance professionals who collectively manage more than US$3tn in assets.
The startup’s solutions include:
- Spectrum: A multi-dimensional framework that quantifies the risk profile of investments using five metrics - protection, upside, liquidity, simplicity, and history
- An investment platform: Featuring risk management tools, over 90 educational videos, inclusive product training, a compliance tracker, and more.
- Analysis tools
Furthermore, SIMON’s quality as an organisation is attested by both its awards (such as being listed among the NYC Annual Awards’ ‘Best Places to Work’ category) and the status of its investors. So far, these include Barclays, JPMorgan, Prudential, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, and others.
Another high-profile name has now been added to SIMON’s list of associations: Nationwide. The Fortune 100 US insurance firm has been added as a carrier to SIMON’s marketplace. Nationwide, which is almost a century old, is an ideal fit for an insurtech focused on delivering broad solutions and expertise in a rapidly evolving sector.
Protecting peoples’ financial futures
Regarding this latest partnership, Scott Beshany, Chief Distribution Officer at SIMON, said, “Nationwide has an incredible history of innovation and advocacy and we couldn’t be more thrilled to collaborate with their team and make their products available in our Marketplace.
“Both firms are strongly aligned in the value we seek to create for financial professionals. SIMON’s dedication to delivering intuitive technology that builds simplicity and transparency around annuity offerings supports Nationwide in its mission of helping people prepare for and protect their financial future.”
Craig Hawley, Head of Annuity Distribution at Nationwide, expressed similarly positive sentiments about the collaboration:
“Nationwide has a decades-long track record of incorporating smart technology into the financial professional’s day-to-day workflow. This is another big step forward in that effort, with a proven, innovative partner at our side.
“With SIMON’s platform, financial professionals can seamlessly integrate a range of annuities into their holistic planning process, creating greater efficiencies for their practice and a more comprehensive wealth management experience for their clients.”
Images sourced from respective companies