Dispatch from Amplify 2021
by Angus MacCaull
I felt sluggish this January. With continued uncertainty around COVID-19 restrictions and vaccines, I struggled to find my customary New Year zip.
Trufla’s Amplify conference helped me get back up to speed. It reminded me that in many ways our industry is more active now than before the pandemic hit. The digital transformation that’s been overdue for twenty years is happening folks. Customer expectations have changed. Now is a great time to keep rocking.
One Amplify speaker stood out. Matthew Grant talked about insurtech innovations emerging from London and why they matter to brokers. Small start ups are winning big investments to improve efficiencies, reduce risks, create new coverages and target new markets.
But even more interesting was the research Grant presented. The consulting firm Deloitte recently asked 8,000 retail customers from eight countries (including Canada) what they want from their insurers. Grant broke down the findings into four points. Here’s my take on what each means for us.
#1 Customers favour simplicity
We all know insurance can be a headache. Customers want products that are easy to understand; easy to purchase and use; and priced fairly. Brokers like ourselves at AA Munro are well situated to deliver. We have the expertise to explain what the coverages mean in non-technical terms. We can guide people through buying and claiming. And we know a fair price when we see one—because we see the offerings from the entire market.
#2 Customers are interested in insurance embedded into other services
Financial services companies embed travel insurance into credit cards. Automobile manufacturers are now looking to embed insurance into the price of cars. As brokers, we don’t create these kinds of offerings. But we do help people see how insurance is already embedded in the rest of their lives. A heating or roofing choice can make a huge difference in risk exposure.
#3 IoT offerings and data sharing cause apprehension
The Internet of Things has arrived! There are lots of things we can measure now with smart home devices and telematics apps. But the idea of surveillance doesn’t feel good for anyone. When there is clear value to customers, it’s our job to help them understand what information a company is asking for and why. Maybe that monitoring device will save them money, or maybe even save the basement from flooding.
#4 COVID-19 is increasing demand for adjustable cover and online channels
We don’t make the policies ourselves, but we can always work to help a customer change a policy. And we can do so whether they get in touch with us by phone, fax, email, text, or anywhere online from our website to our social media pages. Much of the world is on pause, but the need for insurance goes on!