In conversation with Janet Anderson, Chief Marketing Officer, Lapetus Solutions
By Prue Roberts
Lapetus Solutions Inc is a science and technology growth company dedicated to creating products and services that will revolutionise the prediction of life events. By combining biodemography, dynamic questioning, and facial analytics, while harnessing the power of cloud computing, the company's scientific approach delivers faster, more accurate results in real time.
You are well aware of the influence that technology is having on the sector – what should life insurers be aware of in terms of what's next?
Every company is taking a hard look at how technology can help improve the User Experience (UX) while saving on dollars. The challenge is how to test and integrate new technology while not disrupting the entire company eco-system. I also think we are just at the beginning of the kind of disruption we will be seeing in the future. While legacy-bound insurers struggle to integrate new technology into their systems, new digital insurers, who are already tech-savvy, are building their entire business around this new technology. Furthermore, these newcomers are using technology to attract a new generation of insurance customers – who themselves are tech-savvy.
Think of it this way: for a millennial, having a conversation with a traditional insurer right now is like talking to their grandparents. Having one with a digital insurer is like talking to a friend, because they understand each other. Digital life insurers will be the real disruptors and the future of the life insurance industry going forward, unless traditional insurers act fast.
What are some key industry global learnings that have happened in the last 2 years that you think Australia’s market should be taking notice of?
There has been quite a lot of focus on the InsurTech space. Lots of insurers are joining eco-systems to learn more about InsurTechs, because lots of great ideas have been identified and developed out of this space. It is often a struggle for an insurer to initiate a Proof of Concept (PoC) to test out new technology tools. There needs to be a better way to try these new tools and technologies out without creating a drain on the insurers operations.
Also, traditional life insurers are not evolving anywhere near as fast as InsurTechs are. Some are realising that and ARE putting together Innovation Groups to keep them abreast of all the emerging technology, and to work with both the InsurTech vendors and internal stakeholders to test and integrate promising technologies. This is a step in the right direction, but still no match for smaller, more agile digital insurers who are building their businesses around new technology from the start.
What is the one key thing that you think the life insurance industry needs to do over the next 3-5 years?
Embrace digital platforms and modify products to reflect today’s environment (e.g. credit card payments, faster underwriter decisions, improved UX, more cost efficiencies).
The industry also needs to realise that speed is of the essence when it comes to integrating new technology. I cannot stress this enough. With legacy systems, it is taking anywhere from 1-2 years or more to test and integrate new technologies. This isn’t a realistic time frame for InsurTech vendors, who in most cases are start-ups, to ‘make a sale’.
Unless something changes, InsurTech vendors will become frustrated with the legacy process and shift their product development and marketing focus to digital insurers, who are faster and more agile in their testing and implementation processes.
Janet is giving the keynote presentation at the March 21 FSC Life Insurance Conference. See more about the conference here.