Embedded Insurance – The new arms race in insurance (it’s all about digital territory!).
Back in the day, an empire’s success was largely measured by how much land that they conquered. When it comes to embedded insurance, it’s largely the same, only digital.
First off, what is embedded insurance? A larger explanation is available here, however in general it’s insurance that is offered as part of another transaction in the moment of need, according to Insurance Thought Leadership (do you want fries with that?). Some examples include being offered event insurance as part of the venue rental agreement process or health benefits being offered as part of the an onboarding process for ride share drivers.
So what does embedded insurance have to do with past empires? Well the unfair advantage that embedded insurance offers the insurer is that once the insurer is included into the purchase path or product/service of another organization, it’s very hard to delink the two; especially once the end customer gets used to having it there. So the faster that an insurer can get its products embedded into third parties, the more ‘digital land’ it conquers giving it a huge advantage – End customers always see the embedded insurance offering first before being able to consider other insurance options.
When it comes to making embedded insurance a success there are four general requirements described below in order of importance:
- The insurance product must be digitized (quote, bind and issue)
- The insurance product must be short term or subscription based
- The target channel partners should be specific and grouped
- The insurance coverage should be mandatory in order to purchase the product/service
The Insurance Product Must Be Digitized (Quote, Bind and Issue)
In order to make embedded insurance work, the insurance product, at a minimum, must already be digitized. This includes the premium quoting process, the binding process of the coverage, and the issuance of the policy documents and certificates. If all three are not possible in real time, there will be a large drop off between those interested in the coverage and actually getting it. Of course, any risks outside of a company’s appetite can be prevented from being offered insurance all together (another reason digitizing is important).
The Insurance Product Must Be Short Term or Subscription Based
Because embedded insurance is an add on to another product or service, the policy premium that is presented must be palatable to the consumer. If an annual policy is the only option, the premium will likely be too high for a consumer to buy it on an impulse. By making it either short term or subscription based (that can be cancelled anytime), it allows the insurer to show a more palatable price, while giving the consumer assurances that they can back out anytime if they want. The key here is, get the customer up front and make them do the work of finding a better option (most never bother).
The Target Channel Partners Should Be Specific and Grouped
As the battle for ‘digital land’ heats up, it is important to properly define the channel targets. A spray and pray approach will resulted in wasted effort and costs. In general, the most ‘fruitful land’ should be targeted first. This includes established players with a high user base (i.e. Expedia and travel insurance). This will result in an immediate ROI. Alongside this, the targets should be grouped for commonalities (e.g. Expedia, Priceline, Orbitz, etc.) as the marginal effort to bring on the next partner will be minimal since the heavy lifting will be done with the first. This in turn makes conquering similar ‘land’ a lot more efficient.
The Insurance Coverage Should Be Mandatory In Order To Purchase The Product/Service
By targeting products/services that require insurance, it not only increases the success rate, but also solves a real pain point for both the consumer and the vendor. There is nothing more annoying than having to go get insurance after you are ready to commit to a product/service. By embedding insurance into the purchase process, not only can the consumer get coverage at the same time, it reduces the drop off rate for the vendor as well.
As insurance products become more technologically enabled, it also enables more embedded opportunities. Many insurers are starting to realize this, which has triggered the next arms race in the insurance industry; the arms race for ‘digital land’.
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