Insurance Uncategorized

Connected insurance and ecosystems: Crucial to modern business


Insurance does not exist in isolation. More and more, it is intrinsic to the business models of partner organisations, enabling new kinds of activities and new ways of working – a reality recognised by the Connected Insurance & Ecosystems category at this year’s Efma-Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards.

Building back better

Take construction, for instance. It’s a high-risk business where profit margins are slim, sudden shifts in the economic or physical climate can wreak havoc, the physical safety of on-site employees is a major concern, finding skilled workers is a challenge, and the COVID-19 pandemic has entailed significant changes to working patterns while placing pressures on the supply of many raw materials.

The Gold Winner in the connected insurance category, AXA XL’s Construction Ecosystem, works to accelerate tech adoption in the industry through collaboration in order to mitigate these kinds of risks. Built as an “intrapreneurial” start-up within AXA XL, the idea was to create a concierge tech advisory service that becomes a partner for construction businesses.

“Our Construction Ecosystem focuses on the four pillars most important to construction companies: safety, cost, schedule and quality,” says Rose Hall, Vice President and Head of Construction Innovation, North America Construction, for AXA XL. “Our customers want more from us than just paying their claims – they want us to be their partner in risk.”

AXA XL’s ecosystem works to bring an understanding of the latest tech innovations to these partners. The ecosystem includes:

  • A Tech Library, comprising a suite of curated construction technology solutions
  • The Technology Adoption Maturity Index, which is a risk-engineering benchmark that evaluates a contractor’s level of technology adoption against the industry and their peers
  • Highly Protected Projects – a tailored insurance programme for construction projects valued at more than US$200 million, and which uses technology to reduce risk
  • The Thinktank, which focuses on advancing the adoption of technology through round-table discussions, webinars, pilot projects and networking
  • The ecosystem’s Tech Champions are specialists in particular risks and the technologies that can overcome them (like wearable devices), while Ambassadors are specialists in AXA XL’s ecosystem offerings and can help partners navigate which AXA XL services are right for their business

Construction businesses that leverage new technologies can derive a competitive advantage. They have a better chance of completing projects by deadline and on budget and can identify and remedy issues before they become problems that require re-working – in so doing, reducing waste and improving profit margins. Most importantly, new technologies can help to keep construction workers safe on-site, assisting retention in an industry where competition for skilled artisans is intense.

“Innovate. Adopt. Insure. That’s one of our mantras in the Construction Ecosystem,” says Hall. “There is much to be gained for all parties by using technology and data to arrive at an assessment of risk, rather than limited submission information and a backward-facing look at claims and loss history… We aspire to be the innovative insurer for the innovative contractor by helping our customers protect their risk with more than just insurance. ”

Sharing is caring

The Silver Award winner in the ecosystems category creates insurance solutions for the sharing economy. Whether by allowing a family to borrow someone’s dog for an afternoon walk or to stay in another family’s beach hut when they’re not using it, sharing reduces waste and increases happiness. Because of this, the sharing economy is growing fast.

However, such sharing arrangements can present challenges in terms of indemnifying sharers against mishaps. That’s where Baloise’s Inshareance comes in. Developed in collaboration with technology partner KASKO and Touring Club Suisse, it provides insurance instantaneously at the point of sale. In the event of an accident, Baloise has a real-time claims settlement interface that minimises disruption for both parties.

For example, MyCamper is an app that allows people who own camper vans to rent them out on its platform. Camper vans are typically large, high-value vehicles that can be difficult to maneuver for drivers who aren’t used to them, increasing the risk of accidental damage. Baloise’s Inshareance protects both the owner and the renter of the camper van for the duration of their camper-van holiday.

With a real-time API, Inshareance can be integrated with any platform – essential, given that so many sharing-economy platforms were born into an online-only era.

This is also a feature of the Bronze Winner in the Ecosystems category, Chubb Studio, which the company describes as digital insurance in a box. Launched in September 2020, the Studio lets non-insurance partners integrate consumer and small-business insurance offers into their own digital channels. They can then monitor their performance using Chubb’s dashboards.

Insurance is a highly relevant product for nearly all B2C and B2B channels. Such is its speed-to-market that Chubb Studio has already enabled dozens of such partners to offer and service insurance products digitally across Europe, Southeast Asia and Latin America, offering consumers insurance for everything from personal accident, supplemental health and life, residential and contents to mobile phone and travel as well as small business insurance.

Like AXA XL’s Construction Ecosystem and Baloise’s Inshareance, the Chubb Studio offers a glimpse of the future of insurance: a high-tech, ever-present source of assurance that, rather than being an afterthought, is part of a mutually supportive ecosystem.

View the full Efma-Accenture Innovation in Insurance winners announcement here.

Get inspired. View the 2021 insurance innovation library here.


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Disclaimer: This content is provided for general information purposes and is not intended to be used in place of consultation with our professional advisors.
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