Special Feature - Australian Insurance Summit 2017 Overview

On Thursday 12th of October, RFi Events hosted the Australian Insurance Summit for 2017, sponsored by Core Logic, DXC Technology and TAS. The event covered a wide range of topics relevant to the industry - from the impact of regulation, to current challenges facing the industry, as well as the potential for digital to disrupt and change the market.

The day started with an opening keynote from Robert Wheelan, Executive Director and CEO, Insurance Council Australia, who provided overview to some of the key challenges currently facing the industry. As well as the usual challenges facing insurance providers; Robert noted the effects of climate change in particular as a key challenge for the future, with under-insurance in extreme weather events making news in recent years from Australia and overseas. Robert also spoke about the importance of driving positive customer outcomes; a theme that was repeated by numerous speakers throughout the day.

Next was Brian Wallace, Global Insurance – CTO, DXC Technology, who spoke about the role of digital in the insurance industry and the potential for digital to not only facilitate changes in the industry but to also support strategic objectives and create positive outcomes for insurers and customers alike. In Brian’s opinion, building good digital systems and using available data is important. But the real key is getting the right information, into the hands of the right people, so that customers benefit from it.

To round out the morning’s session, Kathryn Rigney, Specialist Consultant, Sydney Insurance Group, Minister Ellison, covered the current regulatory landscape and potential impacts on insurance providers. Kathryn also spoke about how regulation is likely to affect Fintechs, with regulators looking at ways to facilitate new entrants to the market.

"It is perceptions of service and trust that also drive satisfaction, additional to a good claims process. Ensuring a fast and accurate claims processwhile addressing the primary pain point - ‘lack of personal touch’ – is key."

RFi Group’s own Amit Khan, Research Director – Australia and New Zealand, ‘kicked off’ the second session of the day presenting on the claims process. Amit drew on RFi Group data to highlight some key trends in the market. He identified price in the increasing importance of driving selection between insurance providers over time. However, it is perceptions of service and trust that also drive satisfaction, additional to a good claims process. Ensuring a fast and accurate claims processwhile addressing the primary pain point - ‘lack of personal touch’ – is key.

Next, Deanne Stewart, Chief Executive Office, Metlife, provided a stock-take on the Group Life Insurance sector, identifying low awareness and trust as key barriers to uptake. For Deanne, making policies easy to understand through the use of simple language and terminology will help build consumer trust and comfort.

The first panel of the day came right before lunch, with speakers Shane Baker, CEO, TAS, Jonathan Buck, Co-founder, Huddle, Brenton Charnley, Co-founder, Insuretech Australia; and James Orchard, Executive General Manager – Innovation, IAG discussing innovation. Discussion centred around how to overcome barriers such as trust and how to get customers to like insurance; the rise of insuretech and regtech; and the necessity of digital innovation to engage (particularly) with Millennials. Similarly with the earlier session, addressing customer needs was a crucial, key theme.

Following lunch, the conference split into two tracks; General Insurance and Life Insurance. Customer was key focus for both sessions as was the role and opportunity in digital innovation by using data and technology to enhance the customer experience. The General Insurance track even included a live demonstration of Watson analytics.

The final session of the day started with Tim Thorne, Chief Distribution Officer, DMS, MBA, TAL, speaking about the evolution of CX in insurance. The highlight of the session - a demonstration involving a lettuce and a bag of ready-made salad mix, proving that a focus on addressing a customer pain point can be more important than having the lowest price.

The event wrapped up with a final panel with Richard Deakin, Insurance Solution Director, Core Logic; Scott Fergusson, Partner, PwC; and Michael Neary, Director and General Manager - Insurance, DXC Technology, discussing customer experience in the insurance industry. Each brought together a range of viewpoints and examples of good customer experience. With such a strong focus on customer experience and journey throughout the day, it was a great way to wrap up the event.

For more events, www.rfigroup.com/rfi-group/upcoming-events

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