Dec 14, 2020

It’s been a tough year, but the future looks bright

Article by 1Life

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There is no doubt that 2020 has been a tough year, and one we are going to reflect on for years to come.  It has certainly changed the global landscape if one considers the huge digital push that transpired because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Many of these digital changes seem to be here to stay and as the threat of Covid-19 continues to sweep the planet, we foresee that even more innovations will transpire out of digitalisation.  

Concluding business remotely

Emerging trends in consumer behaviour indicate that there are fewer requests for physical face-to-face engagements. Traditionally, we know the financial adviser world is driven by in person engagement, but how has Covid-19 challenged this and do we need flexibility to do business in person & remotely?

With social distancing becoming the norm, consumers are opting for self-fulfilment and digital face-to-face engagements where possible. This is understandable. Some clients may still be fearful of engaging in person and will expect or need alternatives to conclude business with their adviser.

This is causing an interesting service hybrid to emerge. One, where digital platforms are used to ensure social distancing, but it is combined with human interaction in the form of guidance and advice from a financial adviser.

With new technologies evolving, 1Life can now enable both client and financial adviser to conclude business remotely, pushing the boundaries of technology and how it works for us.  

Optimisation of affordability based on life stage

In addition, lockdown emphasised the importance amongst consumers of not only the need to have to read and understand the fine print of insurance policies, but also the need to ensure adequate risk protection. This is where the financial adviser’s skills become most apparent. Their role being to ensure optimisation of the client’s affordability based on their specific life stage. This outlook is refreshingly new and different in the way the needs analysis is being conducted currently.

Focussed on serving client preferences

The reality is that we are now in the middle of a technological boom – we are living in the 4th industrial revolution. McKinsey reports that between 2012 – 2017 Life Insurers showed a significant increase in spend, when investing in operational technology.

Most focussed on serving client preferences instead of on legacy systems. These preferences being things like easier accessibility, simplicity & improved user experience.

The impact of wearables

But we are also seeing the rise of interconnected ecosystems not only from a servicing perspective, but also from a product perspective. As an example, we are seeing the impact of wearables within the insurance industry.

1Life’s new life insurance offering, Pulse, is at the forefront of this trend. It works in partnership with Samsung. It is life cover that continues to grow as the policyholder makes better wellbeing choices, as tracked by their Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2. This increases both their wellbeing and financial cover. It’s life cover of the future – where cover grows based on real time tracking of the choices one makes to improve their wellbeing.

We believe that ecosystems such as these can ultimately lead to unique and improved pricing for life insurance products and more cross pollination of industries in selling insurance products.

One thing for sure is that Covid-19 has been a catalyst for many to embrace technology, and adjust the way we do business and live our lives over the past 6 months.

The technologies entering our lives are happening rapidly and coming from every angle and so it’s sometimes hard to even keep up. But there’s no reason to feel overwhelmed by it, or think it’s going to replace our jobs, but let’s rather focus on how we can leverage it.

The insurer and financial adviser that embraces digital disruption will flourish. In a time of changing customer needs, growing regulatory demands, capital pressures, and technological disruption, the industry needs to focus on building a robust business model and embrace the opportunities presented by technology.

The information in article does not constitute financial advice.  Terms and conditions online. 1Life insurance Limited is an authorised insurer and financial services provider.   (FSP24769).

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