This year at ITC the atmosphere was much different than in years past. As the industry as a whole knows, returning to face-to-face interaction was quite an obstacle for many. And you could feel the excitement in the air surrounding what almost felt like a pre-pandemic simulation. Over the last two years, people have had time to think about what really matters to them and something that stood out to me were the topics being discussed during presentations. To explain why these discussions were so impactful, I want to dive into the undertones of this year’s conference and examine how this unique era we’re living through will soon affect the way everyone, including those outside our industry, look at insurance.
The Elephant in the Room
One topic that found itself intertwined with many of the conversations around innovation was climate change. Speakers bounced between topics like floods, wildfires, hurricanes, and the extreme temperatures in the Southwest. One presentation, in particular though, that really stood out to me was when John Peters, CIO of Lemonade, and Kenneth Saldanha, Global Insurance Sector Lead at Accenture, discussed how incremental change is not enough for carriers anymore. John noted that “It’s easy to promise you won’t invest in fossil fuels, but the real challenge is following through on that commitment”.
According to Rob Norris, Senior Analyst at Celent, “Carriers are realizing the key to insuretech innovation is to change the way they innovate”. Policyholders today realize that we’re running out of time and many of them don’t want to support companies who don’t share their mission.
Are Today’s Customers Really That Invested in Climate Change?
The short answer is yes.
Immediately following the aforementioned presentation, Seth Rachlin, EVP & Global Insurance Industry Leader at Capgemini, led a comprehensive discussion on climate change starting with what “the protection gap” means. For those that are unfamiliar, this phrase represents the difference between the total economic losses during a crisis and what it is that your insurance policy actually covers. “Insurance has a mission to help society be resilient. However, the protection gap is surprisingly large, meaning a lot of people don’t get paid”.
This topic was one that seemed to really resonate well with the audience, and according to the panel, will define what the future of insurance looks like too. Advised by Nick Lamparelli, CIO & Co-Founder of reThought Insurance; Bill Powers, CEO & Founder of Cambridge Mobile Telematics; and Patrick Thielen, SVP, Financial Lines, Cyber of Chubb, this presentation was one that forced attendees to think about what will incentivize policyholders when choosing a carrier in the near future. “Customers are telling insurers what they need. They’ve thought about it and it’s time for carriers to catch on”.
With natural disasters becoming more frequent by the season, customers aren’t just looking at their insurers as corporations anymore. They’re analyzing mission statements and real actions taken to ensure that their families will be protected from any uncertainty.
What Can Carriers Do?
- Listen to your customers. They’re willing to tell you what’s important to them as long as you’re willing to listen.
- Invest in what matters. Spend time researching corporate social responsibility and proudly share your dedication to causes of your choice.
- Be aware of who’s involved in your business. If you’re selling shares of your company to people also invested in fossil fuel giants, your customers will find out. As John Peters says, “The real challenge is following through on that commitment”.
- Invest in solutions that will help you optimize workflows now, to keep you efficient in times of need.
What Are the Right Solutions to Invest In?
As we all know, when a customer submits a claim, they want it paid out fast. With the number of catastrophes on the rise, it’s important to have a system in place that will reduce your employees’ number of tasks during mass chaos. It’s unlikely that climate change will be solved anytime soon so it’s vital to prepare now for the unknown ahead of us.
You have to ensure that whatever you invest in provides your business with a safe digital transformation. Be proactive, not reactive. You want to obtain solutions that focus on the end consumer, ones that are designed with insight from those who will ultimately be using it on a daily basis. FRISS is a great example because it helps carriers optimize their daily processes to help them get into the habit of being able to identify quality referrals for SIU, and immediately pay out claims that aren’t a risk to their business. It eases the lives of underwriters, adjusters, and investigators alike so they can all focus on the real problems at hand and not get caught up doing necessary, but tedious, tasks.
If you’re interested in learning more about corporate social responsibility, Harvard Business Review is a great place to start! And if you want to hear about FRISS’ commitment to the future, click here to learn about one of our favorite companies, Tony’s Chocolonely.