Kanban Insurance will replace UBI as we know it

Kanban Insurance will replace UBI as we know it
The Internet of Things (IoT) has evolved and matured to a point where pilots and programs are already in place around the world for every major line of business: Auto, P&C, Life and Health. The most mature market unarguably is auto insurance in part because sensors have been in place for many years and the auto industry is driving the use of telematics for its own sake, not just insurance. But it is not just telematics; vehicles are becoming smarter. Collision avoidance and secure driving aids are more common now, and not only in luxury cars. At the end of the road we already know that vehicles will evolve to the extreme of being smart enough to become autonomous. A Celent Report “A Scenario: The End of Auto Insurance” by Donald Light back in May 2012 predicted the end of auto insurance as we know it. Donald’s prediction is now a reality. Smarter vehicles make smarter (and safer) drivers reducing significantly the driving risk. Autonomous vehicles take away the driving risk almost entirely (we still have the risk of the system being hacked or that there is a flaw in the programming). All this is happening while telematics driven auto UBI hasn’t yet become the norm in the insurance industry; and already has an expiration date. So should we continue to invest in auto UBI programs to cover driving risk knowing it will inevitably be disrupted? Is there another approach to consider? Some of you may be familiar with Kanban; a method (and term) used in manufacturing, first introduced by Toyota, for a scheduling system for lean and just-in-time (JIT) production. Is a system to control the logistical chain from a production point of view, and is an inventory control system. I believe insurance is changing in a way it will be lean and just in time also; think of “Kanban Insurance”, driven by IoT and digitally delivered and serviced. Kanban insurance is not limited to auto insurance but can be applied across all LOBs, moving away from the traditional concept of insurance pre-defined products where the customer chooses from a limited set of options (and within an existing LOB), to flexible insurance solutions which are a bundle of coverages, regardless of LOB. Kanban insurance is digitally sold and serviced, tailored to the specific needs of each customer with the solution being created automatically on the fly. Kanban insurance allows customers to easily opt in/out and connect devices and sensors to activate the insurance and monitor in real time the changing aspects of the risk. Imagine a solution that is created on the fly based on your specific needs and will follow your daily journey. A solution that for example could cover your commute, whether you use public transportation, Uber/Lyft, an autonomous vehicle you own or share, or that you decided to drive the old fashioned way (manually). This solution will activate a set of coverages for your home which is in autonomous mode as you left the house (as nobody is at home and sensors are active) which are different coverages to the ones you have when people is there; while your life insurance coverage and insured sum (and premium) automatically adjusts depending on what driving mode you are using (or if you are in a train, cruise or air trip). Kanban insurance makes more sense to me than just UBI programs. Insurers that agree with my view should focus on the implications and requirements to be able to support this approach. These will include core systems functionality, digital solutions, data integration, analytics, machine intelligence, 3rd party partnerships, and deciding on infrastructure and data ownership.  

UBI, personal data and the global implications of the European Union data directive

UBI, personal data and the global implications of the European Union data directive
On Monday, I was asked to present at a UBS conference for investors on technology disruption facing the industry. It was far from Celent’s usual audience of business leaders and technologists, and as a result the questions being asked were quite different, sometimes challenging, however refreshing at the same time. One of the most interesting sections of the day for me was looking at the adoption of usage based insurance (UBI) across the industry and the implications for data protection. Ever since personal data was first discussed as having the potential for emerging as a new asset class at the World Economic Forum in 2011, capturing and incorporating personal data into the proposition design has been seen as a potential gold mine, fueling the creation of many start-ups and, in our industry, propositions based upon understanding individual risk and investment behaviors. It’s hard to think of any digital proposition today that doesn’t require you to first mark a check-box to say that you’re willing to give up the rights to some of your personal data as part of standard terms and conditions. When used well, it can enhance the experience enormously. As an avid Netflix ‘box-set’ watcher, I’m sure that I’d quickly get lost (or bored) without it for example. However, I’ve also learnt to be increasingly picky about who I let have access to my data and what links I click. I’m often amazed by how many apps want access to my location without seemingly having a purpose for it. What’s harder for me to know, however, is what happens to my data once I’ve given permission for where I can see it benefits me to do so. At Celent, we’ve talked for quite a while about how personal data willingly shared could be a major asset in fuelling new proposition design and aiding risk avoidance. It’s not just UBI propositions that can benefit. The potential applies to all nearly all propositions – including commercial and specialty. Data sources such as LinkedIn, Twitter feeds, Glassdoor, and potentially even driving patterns could prove to be an interesting indicator of the quality and morale character of senior management teams for example. However, at the heart of these propositions or services needs to be an acute understanding of the legal implications and ethics around personal data use. One related piece of upcoming legislation discussed that every insurer with operations in Europe needs to be aware of is the new European Union Data Protection Directive. This directive seeks to unify data protection laws across Europe and is due to be finalized later this year, with a likely implementation date set in 2016. One of its aims is to protect the consumer and, in doing so, strengthen the laws on security, privacy, residency, permitted use and portability. The maximum fine for a firm getting it wrong could be as large as 5% of global turnover. So, for example, if you’re a US or Chinese insurer with operations in an EU country that suffers from a data breach or allows sensitive personal data to leave permitted EU jurisdiction, then your global profits could take a nasty hit. So, how does this relate to UBI and the use of personal data within the design of propositions and servicing? Well, apart from the obvious security, anonymity and archival implications, insurers will need to watch carefully what data they use and the permissions consumers have signed up for around its use, probably placing them squarely in control of it. These changes will inevitably tip the balance more firmly in favor of the individual. Open, transparent, incentivized and positive engagement around the use of personal data will need to become the norm. The days of fortuitous use or situations where policyholders are unaware of how much of their data is being used to underwrite risk may be numbered.

Personalization in car insurance is just around the corner

Personalization in car insurance is just around the corner
In a 2013 survey in Latin America we asked CIOs about their views on the use of Telematics and UBI. We wanted to know if these were currently in their plans and if they believed that they would have any use and impact by 2016. Despite UBI and the use of Telematics has been well received in UK, Canada and the USA, we found that Latin American insurers were not so optimistic about it. Very, but very, few were in the process of investigating it or considering running a pilot, and the vast majority (overwhelming) said they were not doing (and would do) anything about it in the 3 year timeframe. In our conversations with insurers some would be very cautious about how it could be introduced, particularly on how attractive this would be for a producer to sell. Particularly, successful incumbents reacted as if this had no chance to succeed and that they would not be the ones to try it, as they believed it would negatively impact their current portfolio (lose customers). Others would say that in Latin American countries the burglary component of the premium is significant, while the collision component not so much, and therefor UBI would not bring advantages in price to customers. All these typical reactions from incumbents to an innovative and disruptive idea that provides the means to personalize the rate to reflect the real risk that the driver represents. Pay as you drive, pay how you drive and more lately manage how you drive are value propositions that target to personalization (of risk) and loss prevention, two of the major trends we see in insurance in the future. As any disruptive initiative, it only takes one to be bold enough and then change the dynamic of the market. We were conscious about some limited amount of initiatives that were being considered during 2013 in the region and our position was that the 2013 survey results would change completely as soon as UBI and Telematics was taken seriously in the region by at least one player (regardless of the size). We also kept thinking about leading incumbents. Good for them if this did not succeed. But what would happen if they started losing the good risks towards an insurer with an UBI value proposition? For sure their revenue would be affected. But then, how would the leading incumbent’s portfolio look like if only the high risk drivers stayed? Not a pretty scenario, ha? Some interesting facts that occurred since last year. The few pilots are taking shape; research is also indicating that in fact specific segments of customers pay more for car insurance just for being younger or a combination of factors that have nothing to do with the real individual risk; the use of telematics has seen its first implementation in a producer distribution model, moving away from being exclusively a direct insurance proposition (or targeted by a few specialized brokers); and last week Baseline Telematics, a leading provider of telematics based solutions, and Sistran, a leading provider of core insurance solutions, made available to Latin American insurers a combined offering with all the required technology for insurers to quote, sell and price insurance policies entirely based on the actual driving habits of a driver (mileage and behind-the-wheel behavior), which is obtained through a telematics device installed in the driver’s vehicle. Guess what? Not surprisingly our 2014 survey (in edition) shows that, as we anticipated, the perspective on UBI and Telematics has changed completely in Latin America! Around half of the respondents indicated that they believe that in 2014 these technology will have some kind of impact or at least will be tried as a pilot, but most importantly, the view 3 years from now (2017) is that the majority believe it will be of use and impact in underwriting, rating and claims (against only 20% that indicate no use expected). Solutions as the one presented last week enables monthly billing, with a variable premium based entirely on the usage of the vehicle (kms/miles) as well as the behavior of the driver (acceleration, braking and excessive speed). The objective is to attract the best drivers and rehabilitate (or eventually get rid of?) the more risky ones. The goal is to decrease exposure to risk (cost reduction), perfect your technical margins, and gain market share. It seems now that the market has aligned in the right trajectory and personalization in car insurance is just around the corner. Will leading incumbents take their chances? Will this be the opportunity for others to grow in market share and quality of their car insurance portfolio? Does any of this resound familiar to you in any given market you may be? If you are interested in the topic, feel free to contact us. Also, these are some of our reports related to this subject: