|By Kevin Benedict||
|May 19, 2014 04:22 PM EDT||
In this article, my colleague Peter Abatan shares his observations on digital transformations within the insurance industry.
The Insurance industry has traditionally been slow to change, but that is changing as crowd and social insurance models are beginning to emerge.
Companies like upstart BoughtByMany connect people with similar insurance requirements who are able to aggregate demand for products that insurance companies have hesitated to insure on an individual basis in the past.
Another start-up, InsureMyFriend embraces P2P to form a network with friends and family to lower the individual’s insurance premiums. Each approach has its benefits and both lend themselves easily to social media. They have the potential to reduce insurance claims because consequences impact the entire group and social pressures are predicted to make people think twice about risks.
These two companies presented their business models at the London Insurance Disrupters meetup held at the end of April this year in London.
BoughtByMany has about 18,000 members in about 180 interest groups. Overall, the average discount negotiated has been around 18.6%. The attraction to the insurance companies that BoughtByMany brings, lies in the fact that the cost of acquisition is much lower relative to the other channels these insurance companies use to acquire customers, this also applies to InsureMyFriend.
Typically, 90% of their traffic is driven through Facebook in which customers join the group for which they are interested in. Once joined, they can invite friends.
InsureMyFriend makes it possible for you to link up with friends and family that you trust and provide a way of managing the “pot of money” that you are all setting aside when a claim needs to be made. Since the syndicate is made of people who trust each other, the claims are likely to be very low.
However, if your network has too many claims, a certain percentage of the premium that everyone puts into the pot will be paid to an insurance company to cover larger than expected claims. In the case where there are no claims, premiums are reduced in subsequent years.
This type of insurance lends itself to smaller items like smartphones and gadgets, as these are easy and cheaper to replace. Motor insurance for young people is another possibility for the BoughtByMany business model with the benefit of getting a 50% rebate or more on their premium if they can stay accident free after a whole year. Such incentives are thought to change behaviours and encourage safe driving.
Even though social networks are the means by which groups are formed to buy insurance, this process does not lend itself to fully assessing the risk that members are exposed to. In other words the person who goes on holidays twice a year assumes less risk relative to the person who takes 5 holidays a year. Social media is less of an exact science compared to a person’s actual lifestyle and buying behaviour. Hence, while it may be that Facebook is the platform from where social and crowd insurance are promoted and grow, it will be platforms like Amazon, eBay, Walmart and JohnLewis.com where these types of insurance may flourish because they have more personal information (read more on Code Halos) on the individual and their lifestyle.
I wonder if these models alone will really disrupt the insurance industry to the extent that its current business model needs to change? I am not convinced it will. It may require many more players in the market for the insurance sector to sit up and take notice. The biggest benefit at the moment is the low cost of acquisition for the insurer. For customers it is the potential to get reduced insurance premiums and customized policies.
The disruption to the insurance industry may not come through crowd and social insurance alone, but through many changes that are impacting the industry at the same time:
- Quantified self
- IoT (internet of things)
- Mobile technologies
- Big data
- Crowd sourced policies
- Social insurance models
In developing countries where the insurance industry is not as mature, one could see the opportunities for the growth of social and crowd insurance where uninsured liabilities are very high and possible pay-outs for a non-fault accident are very low. It may be insurance co-operatives are formed to cover risks, rather than mainstream insurance companies. Members will own a stake in the co-operative encouraging them to take less risk in order to minimize payouts.
Today, the regulatory environment is holding back the insurance industry from going through the disruptions that has shaped other industries. It won't be long, however, before smart start-ups will begin to find ways to work around those barriers to provide a better service to the customer and in the process change the way we relate to insurance as a whole. One thing for sure, is that very soon the way we source insurance will change from how we know it today.
IoT is at the core or many Digital Transformation initiatives with the goal of re-inventing a company's business model. We all agree that collecting relevant IoT data will result in massive amounts of data needing to be stored. However, with the rapid development of IoT devices and ongoing business model transformation, we are not able to predict the volume and growth of IoT data. And with the lack of IoT history, traditional methods of IT and infrastructure planning based on the past do not app...
Jan. 17, 2017 10:30 PM EST Reads: 626
The many IoT deployments around the world are busy integrating smart devices and sensors into their enterprise IT infrastructures. Yet all of this technology – and there are an amazing number of choices – is of no use without the software to gather, communicate, and analyze the new data flows. Without software, there is no IT. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation; Alan Williamson, Principal ...
Jan. 17, 2017 10:30 PM EST Reads: 2,312
DevOps and microservices are permeating software engineering teams broadly, whether these teams are in pure software shops but happen to run a business, such Uber and Airbnb, or in companies that rely heavily on software to run more traditional business, such as financial firms or high-end manufacturers. Microservices and DevOps have created software development and therefore business speed and agility benefits, but they have also created problems; specifically, they have created software securi...
Jan. 17, 2017 09:30 PM EST Reads: 1,728
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
Jan. 17, 2017 09:15 PM EST Reads: 7,504
"There is a huge interest in Kubernetes. People are now starting to use Kubernetes and implement it," stated Sebastian Scheele, co-founder of Loodse, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Jan. 17, 2017 08:45 PM EST Reads: 1,912
In 2014, Amazon announced a new form of compute called Lambda. We didn't know it at the time, but this represented a fundamental shift in what we expect from cloud computing. Now, all of the major cloud computing vendors want to take part in this disruptive technology. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, John Jelinek IV, a web developer at Linux Academy, will discuss why major players like AWS, Microsoft Azure, IBM Bluemix, and Google Cloud Platform are all trying to sidestep VMs and containers...
Jan. 17, 2017 08:00 PM EST Reads: 455
SYS-CON Media announced today that @WebRTCSummit Blog, the largest WebRTC resource in the world, has been launched. @WebRTCSummit Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. @WebRTCSummit Blog can be bookmarked ▸ Here @WebRTCSummit conference site can be bookmarked ▸ Here
Jan. 17, 2017 08:00 PM EST Reads: 11,585
A critical component of any IoT project is what to do with all the data being generated. This data needs to be captured, processed, structured, and stored in a way to facilitate different kinds of queries. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle certain kinds of queries, but they are not always well suited to many problems, particularly when there is a need for real-time insights.
Jan. 17, 2017 06:45 PM EST Reads: 6,209
Providing secure, mobile access to sensitive data sets is a critical element in realizing the full potential of cloud computing. However, large data caches remain inaccessible to edge devices for reasons of security, size, format or limited viewing capabilities. Medical imaging, computer aided design and seismic interpretation are just a few examples of industries facing this challenge. Rather than fighting for incremental gains by pulling these datasets to edge devices, we need to embrace the i...
Jan. 17, 2017 05:15 PM EST Reads: 3,561
Web Real-Time Communication APIs have quickly revolutionized what browsers are capable of. In addition to video and audio streams, we can now bi-directionally send arbitrary data over WebRTC's PeerConnection Data Channels. With the advent of Progressive Web Apps and new hardware APIs such as WebBluetooh and WebUSB, we can finally enable users to stitch together the Internet of Things directly from their browsers while communicating privately and securely in a decentralized way.
Jan. 17, 2017 04:45 PM EST Reads: 3,049
All organizations that did not originate this moment have a pre-existing culture as well as legacy technology and processes that can be more or less amenable to DevOps implementation. That organizational culture is influenced by the personalities and management styles of Executive Management, the wider culture in which the organization is situated, and the personalities of key team members at all levels of the organization. This culture and entrenched interests usually throw a wrench in the work...
Jan. 17, 2017 04:45 PM EST Reads: 867
In his session at DevOps Summit, Tapabrata Pal, Director of Enterprise Architecture at Capital One, will tell a story about how Capital One has embraced Agile and DevOps Security practices across the Enterprise – driven by Enterprise Architecture; bringing in Development, Operations and Information Security organizations together. Capital Ones DevOpsSec practice is based upon three "pillars" – Shift-Left, Automate Everything, Dashboard Everything. Within about three years, from 100% waterfall, C...
Jan. 17, 2017 04:30 PM EST Reads: 9,616
Fifty billion connected devices and still no winning protocols standards. HTTP, WebSockets, MQTT, and CoAP seem to be leading in the IoT protocol race at the moment but many more protocols are getting introduced on a regular basis. Each protocol has its pros and cons depending on the nature of the communications. Does there really need to be only one protocol to rule them all? Of course not. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, walked through how Octob...
Jan. 17, 2017 04:30 PM EST Reads: 2,904
The Internet of Things can drive efficiency for airlines and airports. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Sudip Majumder, senior director of development at Oracle, discussed the technical details of the connected airline baggage and related social media solutions. These IoT applications will enhance travelers' journey experience and drive efficiency for the airlines and the airports.
Jan. 17, 2017 04:15 PM EST Reads: 1,978
"We're bringing out a new application monitoring system to the DevOps space. It manages large enterprise applications that are distributed throughout a node in many enterprises and we manage them as one collective," explained Kevin Barnes, President of eCube Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Jan. 17, 2017 03:30 PM EST Reads: 5,325