The recent Qorus Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards highlighted the world’s leading changemakers in insurance. The winners in each category faced tough competition with initiatives that were not only innovative, but effective and with measurable impact. In this blog series, I will delve a little deeper into each category and illustrate how each winner is at the forefront of innovation. Before we begin, you may notice a change – Efma recently changed its name to Qorus to reflect its global relevance in the financial services landscape and reinforce its focus on society.
It is important to contextualize any discussion of innovation with the forces currently driving the insurance landscape. New emerging risks and a changed risk landscape mean new risks (environment, climate change) and opportunities (cyber, new digital economies, new infrastructure) for insurance companies. The convergence of industries and growing ecosystems is driving product innovation, new distribution systems and players. Together, these elements work together to expand insurers̵7; value proposition, from reactive risk compensation to proactive and ongoing risk prevention and mitigation. Additionally, the new business environment we find ourselves in, which includes higher inflation rates and a potential recessionary environment, will require innovations to also address efficiency/bottom line objectives for the benefit of both insurers and policyholders (the Discovery case is a good illustration).
In addition to this, we have seen that care has become a central trend. Accenture’s Insurance Revenue Landscape 2025: Innovate for resilience study foresees huge revenue opportunities for insurers from health/wellness and life products and services.
In a recent survey, Redefining Wellness: Global Survey Sheds New Light on Opportunities for Insurers, RGA, a life and health reinsurer, found that an overwhelming number of insurers – 85% – reported making wellness a “priority” and an integrated portion of solutions are being developed to support customer needs, with nearly 3/5 of respondents incorporating wellness into product offerings, including insurance-related wellness programs, technologies and tools.
Connected Ecosystems and Marketplaces – AIA (Thailand)
This insurance shift towards well-being is evident in our Connected Ecosystems & Marketplaces 2022 category, which celebrates innovative practices that give rise to new business models, scalable total value propositions that leverage the power of partnerships, platforms and the Internet of Things. The category winner, AIA (Thailand) received the award for its mobile application ALive. This ecosystem of health and wellness offerings aims to put community at the center by supporting young families and helping them live healthier, longer and better lives.
Prashant Agarwal, Head of Digital Marketing, AIA Group, says “Life and health are two areas where the insurer’s commercial goals and the consumer’s personal goals completely overlap. The healthier you are and the longer you live, the better the insurer does too. Therefore, wellness the outcome that customers seek, but it’s simply better business too.We embrace shared value as a fundamental principle of how we operate, expanding well beyond the role of transactional claims payer to a relationship partner to our customers throughout their lives and health travel. This creates a triple win: for the customer, AIA and society, easing the burden of a public health crisis on governments.”
Product and Service Innovation – Discovery Health
In the Product & Service Innovation award, this year’s winner Discovery, a life and health insurer from South Africa, illustrated the power of customer-centric innovation with its Discovery Hospital at Home innovation. The product provides an alternative care environment for a range of medical and post-surgical conditions that would otherwise require hospitalization.
Dr Botho Mhozya, Head of Health Professional Risk and Hospital at Home, Discovery Health says, “Globally, the covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital healthcare technologies by patients and providers and driven the proliferation of virtual / ‘at home’ care delivery. Accenture’s 2020 Digital Health The Consumer Survey found that patients embraced virtual care during the pandemic, with the majority finding virtual care as good or better than in-person care. About 60% of these patients would like to use technology and virtual care more in the future. At Discovery, the increased use of digital healthcare evidenced by the exponential growth in the use of telemedicine with Discovery Connected Care logins increasing by 763% since 2019. This increased adoption of digital healthcare globally and the need to ease the burden on increasingly overwhelmed healthcare systems highlighted the patient’s home as an important and relevant environment to provide healthcare This provided a unique opportunity for tek aim to enable the delivery of safe, effective and convenient hospital-level clinical care in a home environment.”
Discovery Health launched Discovery Hospital at Home to provide an alternative care environment for members diagnosed with covid-19. More than 100 Discovery Health Medical Scheme members were successfully treated for covid-19 in their homes in 2021, all with the same or improved levels of clinical outcomes and a better patient experience. In January 2022, the program’s eligibility criteria were expanded to include all clinically appropriate medical and post-surgical conditions that would otherwise require general care level hospitalization on the ward. The program was further expanded to ensure national availability of the service and capacity was increased to allow for the admission of up to 750 patients at any given time. This makes it the largest home hospital in South Africa.
Mhozya adds, “The pandemic also showed us that controllable behaviors drive the outcome of not only non-communicable diseases but also communicable diseases, with global research showing that more than 50% of Covid-19-related deaths are attributed to individuals with three or more co-morbidities. Business models that help make people healthier, while lowering the price of insurance, therefore have the potential to make a profound contribution to society by building resilience against both non-communicable and communicable diseases and helping individuals and healthcare systems cope with severe shocks. The increase in the availability and use of digital healthcare tools also enables insurers to collect more data and offer more targeted health interventions than ever before.”
The customer’s need for seamless, remote experiences extends beyond healthcare. The combination of demographic and socio-cultural changes, along with greater technological capabilities, is driving insurers to upgrade their insurance solutions to more transparent, personalized, seamless and omni-channel products and services across the board. For example, the use of intelligent technology is changing the way the insurance industry approaches claims. And this is not only to the advantage of younger digitally savvy customers. As reported in the latest Accenture Insurance Global Consumer Study, older consumers show an increasing preference for digital claims with 71% saying they would like the internet chat/video insurance application process to replace the traditional in-office claims process.
Customer experience – Allianz Partners
This change comes through in the winner of the Re-imagining the Customer Experience 2022 award – Allianz Partners’ Visi’ Home. José Antonio Molleda, Global Head of Product Management and Innovation Home Assistance at Allianz Partners says: “The pandemic put pressure on homes as they turned into a school, an office, a childcare facility and everything in between. In this context, unexpected problems in the home can be particularly stressful: electricity, gas dysfunction, heat outages, etc. At Allianz Partners, we act as guardian angels protecting what really matters, combining digital intuitive solutions and the human touch to truly build exceptional experiences through important moments in our clients’ lives. Based on this ethos, we created a product that, through remote home assistance, connects customers to a professional claims manager at any time, providing immediate diagnosis of the problem and professional guidance to fix it on site when possible, or instantly set up an appointment with the right craftsman.”
Visi´Home was launched in July 2021 and delivered promising results in the first three months. He adds, “First call resolution rates increased by 18%, while resolution time was dramatically reduced, resulting in an improved overall customer experience. Customers value convenience the most, right after immediacy and empathy from our claims handling experts. By fixing the problem on the spot through remote assistance and without the intervention of a craftsman, customers can get everything. Last but not least, Visi´Home allows a significant reduction in CO2 emissions through 15% of avoided interventions, which has also been positively received by our customers.”
As these three Innovation in Insurance winners show, adapting to customer needs and strategically using technology can open up new channels of value. Stay tuned for the next article in the series where I will discuss the leaders of the other categories.
See the full 2022 Qorus Accenture Innovation in Insurance list.
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Disclaimer: This content is provided for general information purposes and is not intended to be used as a substitute for consultation with our professional advisors.