20 September 2017Insurance

Traditional insurers wary of engaging with consumers: start-up founder

The vast majority of insurers want to stay as far away as possible from their customers – but if they are to be successful in the digital age, this must change.

That is according to Gustav Holst Stuge, CEO of insurtech startup InMyBag, who said this approach is partly out of fear of receiving a barrage of negative feedback and partly out of a lack of ideas on how to engage their audience in a meaningful way.

Stuge is one of more than 20 start-ups discussing such changes in the market at the annual Intelligent InsurTECH conference on October 3 in London. Click here to find out more.

For example, take the moment “when a customer makes a claim, in branding terms, this is the "make or break moment" where the customer either ends up loving their insurer (if their process works) or hating them (if it doesn’t)".

Stuge said: “Sadly the overwhelming majority of these ‘make or break moments’ end with insurers letting their customers down, resulting in a very negative relationship.”

He believes that insurance is an “odd industry”, in that insurers sell a product that they don’t actually want to offer.

The result—most traditional insurers view their customers with a “healthy dose of suspicion”, making the claims process a nightmare.

But, like every other industry, insurance is being impacted by digitalisation, meaning that “more information, unbiased comparison, individual service at mass scale and immediate gratification” is being made possible by technology.

Looking at the industry, Stuge noted that it’s split between slow-moving incumbents operating on outdated legacy systems and agile startups trying to use technology to solve specific problems.

“The reason why the second group is successful is that they listen to the signals given by their customers and adapt accordingly. This means affording easy access to customer policies, being able to change a policy at will, and customising solutions for the individual, such as using telematics to insure drivers,” he said.

InMyBag is an insurance service for the freelance and self-employed workforce, founded in recognition of a changing workforce.

Professionals don't just sit in the office and work from their desktop's, many work between co-working spaces, coffee shops and wherever else their day takes them, said Stuge.

InMyBag’s mission: to create insurance that covers everything that a freelance would need, including “fast replacement and repair, the ability to recover lost work and data in the event of a disaster, and excellent, customer-centric service built on trust”.

Stuge explained: “Claiming with normal gadget insurance means several weeks of back and forth with the insurer, all the while losing valuable time and lost income in the process.”

So, in recognition of this gap, InMyBag solves problems as they arise, ensuring that members never find themselves without their data or gadgets.

“InMyBag wants to earn the love of our customers by helping them in the moments that really matter,” said Stuge.

He added that, unlike normal high street gadget insurance (which requires an “endless stream of paperwork and headache to eventually (maybe) pay out your claim”), InMyBag users have a couple of hours turnaround and save their data.

Insurtech startups are sometimes hailed as industry disruptors, but for Stuge the word "disrupted" is probably about the most overused word in the world of tech.

“In this case, the word ‘fixed’ is probably more relevant.Simply put, if you rely on your gadgets for something other than watching Netflix, then you can’t afford to be without them for longer periods of time, making traditional insurance useless.”

InMyBag is one of more than 20 insurtech startups attending Intelligent Insurer’s Intelligent InsurTECH conference on October 3 in London. Click here to find out more.

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More on this story

20 June 2017   The insurance sector is accepting that disruptive technologies will transform the way the industry has been operating over the past decades. As a consequence, traditional insurers have decided that the only way to avoid a shrinking business is to take action and get involved with the thriving insurtech start-up industry through cooperation and M&A.
21 September 2017   The ongoing friction between customers and their insurers has led to a “huge degradation of trust”.
22 January 2018   Specialist tech insurer InMyBag is targeting £500,000 through crowdfunding as it launches an offering to replace gadgets.