The winning insurance firms of the future will be those that leverage the most innovative technologies to accelerate their digital strategy - is one of our firm beliefs. However, to be able to do that companies ánd their leaders should never think of innovation as something with an end station. Learning is something you should do continuously, to be able to stay ahead of the game. And who are better aware of that than the people whose job it is to learn new things; the academics?
Alexander Braun is Director at the Institute of Insurance Economics of the University of St. Gallen (HSG) in Switzerland, where he also holds the Associate Professorship in Insurance and Capital Markets. Overall, he looks back on more than 12 years of combined scholarly and practical experience in risk management, insurance, and the financial markets. He serves a referee for over 30 different scholarly journals, has been awarded for his research and teaching activities and is often been invited as a keynote speaker at industry events.
We sat down with Alexander to discuss insurance innovation, how insurers can stay ahead of the game, what companies can do to learn (from others) to develop futureproof business models and what, in his view, the most important insurance trends are at this point.
Roger: In cooperation with Swiss Re, you published the book ‘The Current Insurtech Landscape: Business Models and Disruptive Potential’ , where you answered questions such as ‘How can we distinguish between technology-oriented competitors, enablers that promote the digitization of the insurance industry, and genuine disrupters that may fundamentally change the traditional insurance ecosystem?’. What has happened in the industry’s landscape since then?
“One of the key findings in that study was that the majority of insurtech firms did not adopt a business model that competes with the insurance incumbents. Instead, their goal was to help incumbents successfully master the process of digital transformation, both by offering solutions for the digitization of the existing value chain, but also for the creation of new business models.
Accordingly, in the following years, we observed a lot of promising collaborations between insurtechs and incumbents. Moreover, some of the startups with a competitive approach secured large funding rounds, managed to grow substantially and are now constantly luring away talent from the traditional players. Those firms are certainly on the radar screen of insurance executives for the years to come.”
Roger: Clearly, the insurance industry is going through a metamorphosis. How can insurance companies stay ahead? How can they gain new perspectives to re-asses their current strategy – and to set the right priorities?
“I believe that we need to stop thinking in the traditional ways of our industry, which is a great challenge. Innovation leaders manage to part with ">
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