ITC DIA Europe

Insurance Innovation in the Age of Data

Written by Roger Peverelli and Reggy de Feniks - Founders The DIA Community on Sep 15, 2023

Over the last few years, the world has become so much more connected. Think about all the wearables like Fitbits and Apple Watches that we use, about all the cars that are connected to the internet, and about the investments we ’ve made to make our homes smarter and more intelligent. All these applications provide a world of new data streams. And these new data streams in turn provide all kinds of opportunities to make the current processes of insurers more efficient and effective, but also to develop all sorts of new products and services. And that is precisely where the future lies.

The Executive Education Course ‘Insurance Innovation in the Age of Data’ focuses on the central role of Data in insurance transformation and innovation. The objective is to help senior insurance executives gain a new perspective on the impact of data on the future of insurance, on their businesses, and on their role as an agent of change.

The course is a joint initiative of the University of St. Gallen’s Institute of Insurance Economics, the world’s nr. 1 Business School in insurance, and ITC DIA Europe, the leading global insurtech thought leadership platform.

The nine modules of the course take the participants on a journey and combine the latest in academic thinking with practical examples from insurtech leaders, insurance executives and other thought leaders. Let’s briefly touch upon what participants will experience and learn along this incredible journey!

Three levels of innovation

We designed the program structure around the three archetypical levels of innovation starting with Digitising the current business, followed by Innovating the current business (for example by developing new service concepts) and finally Challenging the current business: developing new business models. See the visual below, including an example in banking and car insurance for each level of innovation.

The first level of innovation is ‘digitising the current business’. There is still a lot of emphasis on this level, simply because the short-term gain is significant: it is still very important to create a solid foundation and improve ratios.

 ‘Innovating the current business’ is about adding all sorts of new service concepts on top of the core insurance covers.

‘Challenging the current business’ stands for the most provocative innovations, often beyond the boundaries of the traditional insurance vertical.

Each of these levels of innovation has its own specific opportunities and challenges.

Before diving into these specific opportunities and challenges, the course will address topics that lay a foundation, and a perspective to make the right assessments.

This will be done in three modules: 1. Setting the stage; how data is driving the future of insurance; 2. Data analytics for insurance executives; and 3. Customer excellence in the age of data.

Modules 4, 5 and 6 will go into detail regarding the opportunities and challenges for each level of innovation, and especially around the key role of data.

In particular, the second and third levels of innovation have in common that they have an open eye for what takes place in adjacent industries or domains. Module 7 will focus specifically on ecosystem thinking.

The massive opportunities data can offer, are in fact driving the future of insurance which is obviously reflected in people and culture – the topic of module 8.

Finally, module 9 takes a look further afield; What to expect beyond the next five years; which may even become a reality much sooner.

Let’s take a closer look.

Module 1: Setting the stage

The first module sets the stage: Data is THE game changer of the next decade of insurance.

Lecturers of this class include Simon Kaesler, senior partner at McKinsey & Company, and Jonathan Larsen, Chief Innovation Officer of Ping An Group. Ping An is not only one of the largest insurance companies in the world but also one of the most innovative. Their successful ecosystem strategy includes more than 500 million users in their broader digital ecosystem, centred around data, which is the worldwide best practice.

In this first module, Simon and Jonathan will explore the principles of data-driven value creation and how to treat data as an asset. And they will discuss the key challenges for insurance companies to thrive in the age of data.

Module 2: Data analytics for insurance executives

Don’t let the title of this module mislead you. ‘Insurance Innovation in the Age of Data’ is not a course about data analytics. It’s a business course that speaks at the right executive level. That speaks about data in terms of how they add value; how insurance executives can grow their business.

In this module, Alexander Braun, Professor of St. Gallen University, and Felix Wenzel, Head of Data Engineering and Strategy at ERGO, one of the big brands of Munich Re, and creator of ERGO’s AI Factory, will discuss all you need to know as a senior executive aboutadvanced uses of data and models and gain a fundamental understanding of AI: from evolution to application.

Module 3. Customer excellence in the age of data

Obviously, every innovation should start with customer needs and behaviour in mind. Having said that, what is different nowadays, is that technology is actively changing human behaviour and that technology enables innovations that not necessarily solve current frictions and needs, but in fact, provide solutions for latent needs. Lecturers in this module include Roger Peverelli, Co-Founder of DIA, and Christian Hildebrand, Professor of Marketing Analytics, St. Gallen University.

The next three modules each deal with one of the three archetypical levels of insurance innovation.

Module 4. Transforming the insurance value chain

In this module, we discuss various ways insurers can optimise their portfolio and performance across the value chain. Many insurtechs are focused to help incumbents in this effort; to improve operational excellence as well as customer excellence, and to improve ratios in the process.

Alexander Braun, Professor at the University of St.Gallen’s Institute for Insurance Economics, will discuss the insurance value chain and how to identify opportunities for transformation; followed by examples of how data-driven technology can help successful transformation.

Module 5. Data-driven service design in insurance

This module addresses the second level of innovation we distinguish. Topics that are addressed in this class include recognising convergence to perfect markets and the role of services as new points of differentiation, understanding and applying contextual thinking and platform strategies, network effects and stored value. Andre Nepgen, Head of the Global Vitality Network at Discovery, will share his vision on service engineering, the key role of data, and the success factors and lessons learned from over 25 years of experience with Vitality.

Module 6. Business model innovation in the age of data

The third level of innovation, challenging the business with new business models, is considered the most provocative. Oliver Gassmann, Professor St. Gallen University and author of the worldwide bestseller ‘Business Model Navigator’, is one of the lecturers in this module. And so is Adrien Lebegue, Head of Strategy at ZhongAn Tech. ZhongAn is a highly acclaimed insurtech unicorn from Asia, not only based on advanced tech but also on an unrivaled level of business creativity and entrepreneurship. Oliver and Adrien will discuss how to create successful data-driven business

models from scratch; among others based on understanding Open Innovation principles and other new ways of working. They will inspire you to consider the challenges many large organisations have with business model innovation: How far can you get away from the traditional core business? Or perhaps; how far should you get away?

Module 7. The role of data in digital ecosystems

Many innovations of the second and third levels foster an active role in ecosystems. Therefore, a specific module is dedicated to this important topic. Guiding us through ecosystem thinking and the role of data in ecosystems is Josep Celaya, Professor IE Business School and Chief Customer Experience Officer at NN Group. Josep will discuss the reconfiguration of industries and blurring boundaries and the different roles incumbents can play.

Specifically with regard to the platform economy and the gig economy, Curtis Scott, EVP Future Mobility Growth at Aon and former VP of Customer Platform at ride-hailing platform Lyft will address the opportunities and challenges for incumbents. Both Josep and Curtis will inspire you on how to build effective digital and data partnerships – quite essential to play any role of significance in ecosystems.

Module 8. Talent and culture in the future in insurance

In all previous modules, somewhere between the lines, all lecturers will have mentioned that beyond any doubt talent and culture are key success factors in the age of data, and consequently in the future of insurance. Again, ample reason for us to dedicate a specific module to this important topic.

Hiek van der Scheer, Chief Data & Analytics Officer at AEGON, went through the whole journey himself, from creating a data mindset at the board level to turning the use of data into top-line and bottom-line growth. He will share many of his lessons learned, including the essential skills for the Age of Data and how to create an effective culture for innovation with data. And of course, how to win the war for data talent.

Module 9. Thinking beyond tomorrow. What’s next in the age of data

In this final module, the focus will be on long-term disruptive scenarios for the insurance industry, created by new possibilities from new data. Projections for advanced technologies, such as blockchain, will be discussed, as well as new challenges and the opportunities this creates. We’ll be joined by Leanne Kemp, Founder and CEO of blockchain posterchild Everledger.

Interested to Learning from Leaders and joining this course?

Insurance Innovation in the Age of Data’ is a joint initiative of the University of St. Gallen’s Institute of Insurance Economics, the world’s nr. 1 Business School in insurance, and ITC DIA Europe, the leading global insurtech thought leadership platform.

The third edition of this Executive Education course starts on September 27, 2023 and consists of 9 modules. Classes are online, 2 hours per week, conveniently scheduled at the end of the workday on Wednesdays.

You can find more information about this Executive Education Course and request the course brochure here. Or you can send an email to Bertina if you have any questions or would like to register.

Plus, when you register for the course, you will get a free ticket to ITC DIA Europe Munich 2023!

Amsterdam 12-13 June


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