The Future of Distribution – ITHM’s Insurtech Innovation Night
On the 21st of June, 2023, InsurTech Hub Munich organised its showcase Insurtech Innovation Night, the wrap-up of their Innovation Programme NXT:Distribution. This programme was designed to answer one of the most pressing questions in the insurance industry: “What will the future of distribution look like?”
Insurance policies are not the easiest product to sell. The insurance industry traditionally relies on brokers and agents that act as intermediaries and reduce the complexity for their customers. This made direct contact between the insurer and the customer redundant, resulting in less customer data becoming available. However, digitisation and innovation create new opportunities (and challenges!) for insurers to distribute their products, (re)establish connections and increase engagement.
Three Focus areas
To understand the future of the insurance distribution landscape and where insurers should focus, InsurTech Hub Munich carried out a partner discovery within its corporate partner network of leading insurers, tech firms and cross-industry players. These conversations resulted in three focus areas: Gen Z, Embedded Insurance and Hybrid Distribution.
- Gen Z: How can insurers capture awareness of this new generation of customers and keep them engaged?
- Embedded Insurance: Which digital customer journeys are suitable for insurers to be embedded into?
- Hybrid Distribution: How can agents and brokers be enabled to reach and advise the customer in a hybrid world?
Insurtech Innovation Night
At Insurtech Innovation Night, (tech)experts, influencers and insurers gave their perspectives on those three challenges. Also, startups from ITHM’s program, NXT:Distribution, presented innovative solutions addressing (at least) one of the three challenges. During the program, already 120+ business development meetings took place between startups and ITHM’s corporate network, to find concrete solutions and make the future of distribution in insurance happen. Let’s take a look at Insurtech Innovation Night!
Keynote – Sahil Suri, Head of Customer Engineering, Financial Services Google
The night kicked off with a keynote from Sahil Suri, the Head of Customer Engineering at Google, speaking about the impact of AI on insurance distribution. He gave us answers to questions such as: What is the promise and impact on the insurance industry? And what can the insurance industry learn from other industries regarding the application of AI?
Panel – GEN Z: How to access and engage a new generation?
Robin Kiera, CEO at Digitalscouting, moderated an insightful panel on GEN Z. Does GEN Z have different customer needs, and do they want different ways of engagement? How do the panellists view and understand Gen Z, and what would they do if they were CEO of an insurer for one day? Different kinds of perspectives were given in this panel, with panel guests from various backgrounds: Mona Ghazi, Founder of Optimo & Gründerzene 20 under 20, Thomas Sattelberger, Member of the German Bundestag 2017 – 2022, Parliamentary State Secretary a.D. and Margarete Stäubler, Lead of Exclusive Channel Distribution at Gothaer and co-founder at Vertriebsheldinnen.
Success Cases in the Solution Space
In this section 3 insurtechs, part of ITHM’s programme, presented their successful collaboration with insurers, perfect examples of applying new technologies and approaches.
First, representing the topic of Hybrid Distribution, Stephan Lindner, Head of Underwriting DACH at Markel Insurance and Johannes Hoetter, CEO at Kern AI took the stage. Kern AI helps Markel Insurance with making information more accessible to help deliver better customer service and answer complex questions with AI.
Representing the topic of Embedded Insurance, Karl Grandl, Co-Founder at ZERO Insurance and Theresa Wetz, COO at Be+, took the stage to present how Be+’s HR platform builds a marketplace (App) for benefits, integrated embedded insurance products and full self-service for employees and HR managers via the app.
Finally, Ulf Loetschert, Co-Founder of LoyJoy, explained how old chat bots will vanish quickly now ChatGPT is more heavily adopted by Gen Z. Insurance company Cosmos Direkt is partnering with LoyJoy to build chat and gamification to attract Gen Z (and of course other generations as well!)
Keynote: Call to Action – What’s left for the future of insurance distribution?
The Insurtech Innovation Night ended with a motivational presentation by Klaus Driever, Board Member of InsurTech Hub Munich and head of Strategic Digital Projects at Allianz Kunde und Markt, to see what’s left to do for the future of insurance distribution and how to empower the insurance industry in the modern digital world. While individual insurers still compete with one another, as an industry insurance offers a promise for a better future. Insurance has an important role to play and with further digitalisation, there is an opportunity to directly interact and engage with customers.
See below for the full batch of start-ups of ITHM’s NXT:Distribution Programme.
InsurTech Hub Munich is already working on the next Innovation Programme, kicking off in September with a focus on commercial insurance. Are you an insurance carrier looking for solutions to increase your SME portfolio, build new capabilities and scout new product offerings? Are you a startup with a solution to close the protection gap in the commercial space through improved processes or products? Contact the team at [email protected] to know more.