It was the premiere of our exclusive event series: In a very relaxed atmosphere, our two managing directors Robert Jacobi and Rupert Schäfer opened the first Nunatak afterwork event. The hot topic of the evening: “InsurTech 2.0: Battle or cooperation?”. Around 40 guests from established insurance companies, start-ups and consultancies participated in the open discussion at the Nunatak office close to the “Siegestor” in Munich.
Rupert Schäfer emphasized the new role of InsurTechs in interaction with global players of the insurance industry: “Regarding the distribution and digitalization of existing business models, the first wave of InsurTechs started with high expectations. So far they didn’t get fulfilled, but they had a huge impact on the established insurers’ willingness to change.“ As an reaction to new actors, insurers are investing more and more in start-ups and founding their own innovation labs. But not everyone is successful: “It’s still hard for many established insurers to anchor new mindsets and workflows in their organisation.”
The real danger are tech titans like Amazon and Google
Meanwhile, many companies realised that InsurTechs aren’t the real danger in the competition for insurance customers of the future. Quite the contrary is actually the case: With strategic partnerships and common initiatives InsurTechs and established insurers can even complement each other. Thus, investments and M&A activities are increasing, too.
The big unknown are “tech titans” like Amazon and Google. “Regarding to insurances and the digital interface with the customers, their future strategies are still not clear”, Schäfer said. “Among all the current threats – that’s what German CEOs have sleepless nights about.” And according to our Nunatak Update Paper “InsurTech 2.0” they should be afraid: Already 30 percent of the people all over the globe would rather take out an insurance at one of the tech titans than at an established insurance company.
Why the disruption is a big chance for the insurance industry
The challenges of the digitalization were the main topic of the following panel discussion with industry experts like Stefan Daehne (ADAC Versicherung), Hermann-Josef Knipper (R&V), Klaus Driever (Allianz Deutschland), Frank Birzle and Maximilian Rast (ottonova), Simon Kolkmann (RYSKEX) and Matthias Mierisch (Speedinvest).
One important finding was that trust is a huge asset of big and established insurance companies with partly decade-long experience as well as brand presence. The new players couldn’t build up that level of trust yet – and it will get even harder for them in an increasing digital world with briefly, virtual touch points.
The participants also agreed on the assumption, that the unavailable disruption in the insurance industry is not only a threat, but also a chance: The industry is heading towards a co-existence of established and new actors – provided that the classical insurers administer to the change process. It’s short-sighted to hide behind the regulating lawmakers.
Rupert Schäfer’s conclusion: “Evenings like this and our talks with insurers and investors show that the digitalization of the industry is not fully developed and customer-orientated implemented yet. With other words: The game has just begun.”
The next Nunatak Afterwork is already in the planning. Details are coming soon.