Dear Insurance: Innovate!

March 23, 2020

tl;dr I'm starting a new position at work, where I now work full-time on technical innovation in insurance

Have you ever thought about how you booked your holidays ~20 years ago? Probably you went to a local travel agency, discussed some options with one of the consultants and in a gigantic booklet, you pointed on your dream destination. Today, your lying on your couch, surfing booking.com or airbnb.com, looking at the most fascinating venues in the world. You mix everything up and put together the best holiday experience, perfectly suited for you. And all that on your tablet, right before having dinner with the family.

Have you ever thought about how you watched movies ~20 years ago? Maybe you also went to one of the fancy video stores, where you can rent movies for some backs. You headed home, watched the movie, forgot to return it and paid some outrageous high late return fees (like me). Nowadays you just go to netflix.com and have the agony of choice. A huge selection of films right in your hand. And that from any device.

Both stories show how entire industries have changed in recent years. When such industries change so abruptly, one often speaks of a disruption. And this disruption involves one thing above all: technology. At the core, it has always been small technology companies that have driven the old players out of the market. And currently, we are still in the middle of the digital transformation

To come back to the stories... have you ever thought about how you used to do insurance? Most likely, you have been advised by an agent who has sold you a whole bunch of insurance policies. You never actually heard from your insurance company after you signed up. And if there's damage, you're not even supposed to be paid out. Today... well, how does that look today?

In my new job position, I'm going to address this gap. And I'm super excited about it. The insurance industry in Europe and worldwide is at the beginning of a long journey. A journey that is largely determined by one thing, namely technology. I've been dealing with insurance for quite some time now. Actually, a topic that is so dry and boring that you can only run away from it. But that's exactly why it's so appealing again. Because you can change so much and because everything is still so fresh. Insurance companies tick a little differently, I noticed that some time ago. In Europe, insurance is a highly regulated market with large companies that are slowly changing. Ancient systems and old technologies are actually part of the standard inventory of every insurance company. And slowly you see yourself in the same position as once the travel agencies and video shops. You have to wake up. Understand and use technology and create added value with it!

This is exactly the task I am now allowed to take on at one of the largest regional insurers in Germany. At SV SparkassenVersicherung, I now work with a small team on technical innovation. This combination of technology and insurance is often referred to as Insurtech. An incredibly diverse, complex and interesting area if you ask me! From app development, AI and machine learning to blockchain there are more than just 2 hands full of work.

One thing is clear, the insurance industry has to wake up. Companies that are much closer to their customers are now more dangerous than small start-ups. Amazon, Facebook, Apple, N26... all these companies have one thing in common: they are close to the user. Insurance has to change. Getting closer. More interactive. And above all, really be there for the customer. As a companion and helper who gives you security in all situations in life. I'm convinced that technology can add enormous value here.

I am really looking forward to this new task. There is an incredible amount to learn and even more to move. As Bob Iger has always said, now more than ever it is time to innovate or die!

If you are interested in the Insurtech area, you can contact me at any time. My Twitter DMs are open and I'd be thrilled to talk to you.

Keep Creating! ✌️

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