Talking about the new entrant to the market, Lemonade, the New York start-up that’s garnering a lot of attention with their fresh approach to Insurance, Peter Hamilton, Director of UK Life at Zurich, makes an interesting point about the disruption in the Insurance world we keep hearing so much about.
Yes, Lemonade’s use of smart technology and peer-to-peer model is rightly attracting praise and consideration, but it’s their desire to shift public perception that may be the bigger threat to traditional insurers. This relationship with traditional insurers is viewed by customers with distrust and suspicion, evident in the perception that claims rates are far lower than they actually are.
In short, traditional insurers can adopt new technology to connect with their customers through new product solutions and greater accessibility; but unless they can improve their collective reputation, the impact of the technological disruption will be stunted.
Insurance may be viewed as a necessary evil rather than a social good in some quarters but it hasn’t always been this way, and with insurers like Lemonade providing the challenge, now is the time for insurers to change or be left behind, even if they do have fancy new technology.
The Lemonade approach involves the application of behavioural insights to try and remove what they argue is an experience that’s adversarial and distrustful. They analyse behaviours to see what brings out the best and worst in us and look to improve the behaviours of all involved. They aim to address what they see as the inherent structural problems of ‘slow to change’ insurers weighed down by legacy processes and attitudes. They also want to address the belief that insurers make money by denying claims, leading to a cycle of distrust, with huge sums leaking out of the system through a combination of inflated claims and the cost of fraud prevention measures.