Business transformation towards sustainability

Digitising insurance – the risks and the rewards

It’s an unavoidable reality of modern life — a good idea to protect our valuables and legally mandated for things like homeownership and driving a car.

But it’s fraught with frustration: costs are confusing and coverage is difficult to understand. We most often interact with these companies when something has gone wrong — and usually when our financial interests are opposed. No wonder so many people view this industry with resentment or mistrust.

Big data will transform insurance as we know it, but whether it changes for the better or worse in customers’ minds will depend on one crucial question: who owns my data, and how are they putting it to use?

In the new episode of Samsung’s interview series ‘The Next Wave with Young Sohn,’ Samsung’s president and chief strategy officer, Young Sohn, speaks to Julian Teicke, founder and chief executive of Berlin-based insurance platform wefox, about the use and ownership of sensitive data and how it can make the insurance industry work better for everyone.

The advantages of a digital insurance portfolio

Health, home, life, dental, vision, car, liability, travel, assets, pensions – the list of insurance policies one person may own is extensive. With our current piecemeal approach, it’s easy to lose sight of what is covered and how much money is going where. In fact, we may not become familiar with our policies until we file a claim — or worse, have a claim denied.

That is where Teicke says that wefox has a real selling point, aiming to make insurance more straightforward, significantly advancing an industry that has remained heavily analog.

It has created a digital home for insurance plans, streamlining the experience with an overview of services covered and respective premiums. Users can merge their policies on the platform and view them at any time. In this way, they create their own digital insurance portfolio, putting an end to current confusion.

Decentralised storage of big data

Consumers are generating massive amounts of data and that is creating a revolution of information gathering — from active data collection, with customers voluntarily submitting their personal details, to inactive collection, with Internet of Things (IoT) devices able to constantly send updates on activity.

Despite the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), companies collect and use personal data with little oversight or regulation — a significant concern for anyone who cares about security and privacy.

Risk assessment makes the insurance industry possible, and personalising plans with more information can improve coverage and costs for both providers and customers, says Teicke.

Yet, the data needed to do this is also extremely sensitive, he adds. To push forward into the next wave of digitisation with confidence, we need more transparency, security and privacy.

After all, it’s not just insurance companies that can use personal information to tailor offers and services more closely to individual needs. Data taken from nearly every area of our lives can be used to paint a comprehensive picture, but if we don’t trust those who collect and use it, people will rightfully reject this development.

In his conversation with Young Sohn, Teicke discusses the future of insurance, the need for caution with our personal data and how to master the next wave of digitisation.

He argues that our current path is not one that inspires confidence, but by decentralising personal information storage, we can change course. Because when people own and control their data, they will feel safer embracing technology, and both consumers and companies will benefit.

Source: Sifted

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