Our Shared Operational Language

A disruptor is defined as:

company that changes the traditional way an industry operates, especially in a new and effective way.

InsureTech refers to the use of technology innovations designed to squeeze out savings and efficiency from the current insurance industry model. InsureTech is a portmanteau of “insurance” and “technology” that was inspired by the term Fintech.

Technology is defined as, “methods, systems, and devices which are the result of scientific knowledge being used for practical purposes.”

The Question

Are we disrupting the insurance building repair industry using technology in new and effective ways to squeeze savings and efficiencies or are we just relying on what we have always done?

Further begging the question, whose role is it to be the disruptor; the insurer or the builder?

Who’s doing what?

With billions of dollars being invested in Insurtech start-ups globally, the technology behind the insurance industry is changing dramatically.

While insurers are spending vast sums of monies to meet, manage and change customer expectations; accelerate claims; manage risks; and automate the handling of policies; insurers are not the only ones investing in technology to change the way insurance claims are fulfilled.

More and more the builder is becoming a larger and more influential technology partner in the repair space.

More agile than a large insurer, a committed and tech savvy builder is able to make changes and meet the market faster, thereby providing the all critical customer centric experience, without lengthy delays and exorbitant integration with legacy systems.  For the customer this tailored experience is what they never knew they needed, and for the insurers it is something they find almost impossible to deliver, otherwise requiring them to reach down deep into the builder’s business to direct day to day contact and messaging.

Just like the way Uber changed the travel habits of people all around the world, the new insurance builder is changing the way insurers engage with their customers, through practically driven and functional InsurTech from those who live and breathe the industry.

NOTE: It is critical to note that the use of technology in the field, and getting an app into the hands of the customer is not about reducing the time with the customer or the contact we have with them. Rather it is about communicating with them on their terms.  If they want to review their repair schedule at 11pm while lying in bed, then that is their choice, similarly those who want a more personal approach are still able to opt to have a Building Supervisor attend their home and walk through the scope with them and what will be done when, by whom.

Disruptive Trends

There are many approaches and ways to disrupt an industry.  Below are some of the current trends in 2018 that are changing the way we complete insurance repairs and how the customer experiences this and the people in their homes:

  • Artificial Intelligence is one of the latest buzz words, and coupled with machine learning, the race is on to automate processes, collect and organise data, reduce manual administrative tasks, and reallocate human resources to better analyse and use the data at hand. With vast amounts of data now able to be collected quickly, the key to capturing the data is in the understanding and ultimately the wisdom gained, in turn unlocking the potential of the builder’s workforce. Rather than using technology to save on employee costs, technology is allowing builders to do more with the highly trained staff they already have, and ensure that the insurers, their staff and their customers receive a better and more quality service.
  • The personalisation of services better focused on the customer’s needs without increasing cost is critical. This personalisation drives the sense of comfort, comfortable with the experts running their repairs, comfortable with the ever-present focus on safety for all onsite (especially those that are cohabited) and comfortable that the finished product is one as good or better than what was there before the event.  How this personalisation occurs is dictated by the customer, largely nominating their own path for contact and information sharing.
  • The sharing of data quickly however is the key to a transparent and positive experience for all.  B2B and an ability to see updates live is the new normal.  As trusted partners, the sharing of claim data within an appropriate security envelope drives the new wave of products and services aimed at helping customers to feel more engaged with their repair.
  • Gone are the days of many single purpose visits.  If multiple people need to attend at different times, then this inconveniences the customer and requires them to take time off work or provide access to their home.  Developing maintainable strategies, around scoping, access, and resilience provides a circular experience with a long term and multi-focused approached, rather than a singular, linear and lengthy one.  The use of technology to facilitate virtual or physical collaboration onsite by many people at the one time, ensures decisions are arrived at faster, with all of the information and perspectives considered with minimal disruption to the customer.
  • Convergence or the blending of lines between what was previously different functions, such as client management, scoping, policy determination, etc opens up massive opportunities to evolve the claim life cycle and customer journey. Just as car manufacturers are investing in ride sharing apps as they look to reinvent themselves as mobility solutions, builders working with InsurTech to evolve alongside insurer and consumer needs, will unleash massive savings in time and overheads across all aspects of the insurance claim process.
  • While insurance repairs may not yet be at the stage of implementing simulation models like digital twins or developing fully augmented mixed reality, we can’t say they will not be an active part of our disruptive technologies in the coming years.
  • As renewable products and sustainable development strategies take hold, the building products of the near future may not always be the brick of mortar of the past.  Therefore, repairs will need to innovate to keep up with the customer demand for environmental awareness and enhance our detection of non-conforming and/or faulty building products such as lightweight but flammable wall cladding.
  • Finally, cross section innovation, convergence and collaboration in an open source environment are providing exciting opportunities where previously none was thought to exist. The emergence of smart data discovery capabilities, machine learning, and the automation of the entire analytics workflow is enabling organisations to handle vast amounts of information never thought possible. By looking outside of ourselves, gaining insights and inspiration from other industries, insurance repairs stand to keep pace with the most innovative and disruptive, but only if we as an industry drive and support it.

Conclusion

The killer of disruption is apathy. If we do the same thing we have always done, we will get what we have always got. And as Einstein said, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the definition of insanity!

The antonym for a disruptor then must be

a company that maintains the traditional way an industry operates, especially in old and ineffective ways.

I guess the choice is yours!  We know which direction we are heading in.