ITC DIA Europe

How to Create New Revenue Streams at Scale

Written by Roger Peverelli and Reggy de Feniks - Founders The DIA Community on Apr 24, 2023

The most effective way to reach out to customers is to move upstream and be part of relevant ecosystems. This also opens up entirely new revenue streams. More and more insurers realise this. There are many success stories, for example Ping An and Rakuten in Asia. In Europe, the Italian Unipol paves the way for the future, most notably Giacomo Lovati, the ‘Chief Beyond Insurance Officer’ of Unipol. A job title which perfectly captures the completely different strategy Unipol pursues. We’re honoured that Mr. Lovati will be sharing his bold vision behind Unipol’s strategy at ITC DIA Europe in Barcelona. This article serves as a teaser and sneak peek to Giacomo Lovati’s presentation.

‘Ecosystems beyond insurance’ is the overarching trend for this decade. The meta-trend if you would like to put it that way. Six years ago, we stated in our book ‘Reinventing Customer Engagement’, that ecosystem-thinking is one of the three most important design principles. It took some time, but we are now finally starting to see that ecosystem-thinking is gaining momentum.

Ecosystem-thinking is about increasing relevancy, while simultaneously opening up new business models and new revenue streams, which are all important challenges for insurers.

The line-up of ITC DIA Europe (Barcelona, 28-29 June 2023) consists of a plethora of successful cases worldwide, presented by absolute thought leaders and experts. For Asia, we have none other than Jonathan Larsen, Chief Innovation Officer at Ping An. For Europe we have Giacomo Lovati, Chief Beyond Insurance Officer Unipol for Europe. Unipol boosts an impressive series of spectacular initiatives in the current market.

Mobility, welfare and property

Unipol is the leader in non-life in the Italian market and among the top 10 in Europe. Over the last decade they have built a base of four million telematics insurance customers – making Unipol the leader in Telematics Insurance in Europe.

Many insurers apply telematics data just to generate more sophisticated pricing and some to improve driving behavior; which improves ratios as well as the value for customers. Unipol however, takes the data from telematics to a whole different dimension. Behind all their activities is a much broader vision and strategy that is all about building ecosystems in three domains: mobility, welfare and property.

Data is the key

The key to unlocking the potential of these ecosystems is data. Unipol recognises that data equals significant competitive advantage. As a result, Unipol developed a range of competences to turn the massive amount of data they have into a range of services that go beyond the traditional insurance business.

Eventually, this could evolve into an ecosystem of services in which the company could cover all users’ needs in a particular domain, in a 360 degree fashion. In the case of mobility that would mean everything from the purchase of the car to its sale, through repairs and the provision of services; even the payment of fines or motorway tolls.

Solve the real need

Ecosystem-thinking is about ‘services beyond covers’, even ‘beyond the boundaries of the insurance industry.’ And it makes so much sense. When people wake up in the morning their first thought is usually not about car insurance. They think about commuting to work, bringing the kids to soccer practice, going grocery shopping or visiting friends and family. The real customer need is mobility, while car insurance is a derived demand. So, solving these challenges requires being present and active in the platforms where people are active on.

Spin-outs, acquisitions and partnerships

Many insurers in ecosystems don’t exceed the pilot or proof-of-concept mode, whereas Unipol is continuously putting new concepts out into the market, at scale. Of course, leading to faster and more significant impact in the market.

The acquisition of Tenutabene, the Italian marketplace for pre-owned car trading, is a great example. When toll roads were introduced in Italy, Unipol immediately put forward UnipolMove, a service that allows its users to avoid queues when paying for motorway tolls. UnipolMove is also available for drivers without an insurance at Unipol. Another example of a bold move is Unipol acquiring long-term and established car rental company CarServer, rebranding it to UnipolRental.

And just recently, Unipol and Shell have launched a strategic partnership in the mobility sector in Italy. This partnership is missioned to facilitate innovative products and services for car drivers to help contribute to the ecological transition in the country. The promotion of electric mobility is an important part of the agreement, including for instance, the installation of public and private charging stations in order to encourage the spread of electric mobility.

Data differentiates

In our view the partnership between Unipol and Shell is a very clever play. Unipol probably has all the data to spread electric mobility much more effectively and efficiently. Data analysis on Unipol’s four million telematics customer base can reveal how many people pass a certain gas station, even at what time of the day they came, at what speed, what kind of fuel they use, and if they drive electric or not. But also, how many customers stay within 300 kilometres when they make day trips; this segment of the Unipol customer base would be perfectly suited for electric mobility immediately.

Business sense and partnership capabilities

This example shows that data is key; but also, that turning this into customer value and new revenues also requires business sense, business creativity, as well as the capabilities to launch successful partnerships with other players in that ecosystem. To become a relevant partner in an ecosystem, you need to work together with other companies and organisations that play a role in that context.

Innovative tech companies

When sector boundaries blur, we need to broaden our view. Every company that improves the value proposition of the insurer is interesting to partner with. Collaboration with all sorts of new innovative tech companies in that space is definitely part of this.

Take the health space for instance. We see numerous young tech companies that purely focus on improving health care and offering more relief for patients. These health techs are of course very interesting to health insurers that wish to simultaneously improve patient care and decrease costs.

The Unipol ecosystem in welfare for example, not only includes a network of proprietary and affiliated healthcare facilities; nursing, physiotherapy and socio-assistance home care services; but also includes a wide range of digital health services, including telemedicine; and a flexible benefits platform, optimised for SMEs and large corporate companies.

Giacomo Lovati @ ITC DIA Europe

At ITC DIA Europe, Mr. Lovati will share his vision behind the Unipol ecosystem strategy, how new data streams fuel innovation and how that results in brand new additional revenues for Unipol and value for customers.

Also Ping An, Vaudoise, Univé and many others

Other speakers who will share their success stories in ‘ecosystems beyond insurance’ include as mentioned previously, Jonathan Larsen of Asian financial services giant Ping An, but also executives of Vaudoise Assurances (Switzerland), Univé Schadeverzekeringen (The Netherlands), and many others! They will share stunning ecosystem cases which prove that this play is not only reserved for multinational carriers. And among the 50+ handpicked insurtechs you will notice many innovative tech companies that make the link with other verticals.

Amsterdam 12-13 June


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