Speaking with Asia Insurance Review, Wesurance.io founder and CEO Eddie Chang said, “When we founded our InsurTech start-up in 2017, we knew that we were taking a risk. The insurance industry had been slow to embrace digitalisation, and we were not sure if consumers were ready for an app- based model for insurance products.
“We were convinced that there was a better way to do insurance and we knew that the market was ripe for disruption. Our app made it easy for consumers to access insurance products and services from their smartphones. We streamlined the application process, making it simple and intuitive. We offered competitive pricing that was only possible because of our low overheads,” he said.
Role of agents is important
He said, “As we started marketing our app, we realised that we had underestimated the role that agents played in the insurance industry. Consumers were still hesitant to rely solely on digital channels for their insurance needs. They wanted the personal touch of an agent and the assurance that came with face-to-face interactions.
“We remained convinced that digitalisation was the future of the industry. We knew that it was only a matter of time before consumers fully embraced digital channels for insurance. Over the next few years, the industry slowly started to shift towards digitalisation. Traditional insurers began to take notice of the success of InsurTechs and started to copy their offerings. Some even went so far as to absorb InsurTechs into their organisations.”
Mr Chang said, “Our concern was this would make us redundant. If traditional insurers were offering the same services as us, what was the extra that our app could offer? But, as the industry evolved, we realised that there was certainly a need for InsurTechs.”
He said, “We had been instrumental in catalysing change in the industry. Traditional insurers realised that digitalisation was not just a passing trend - it was the future of the industry. InsurTechs continued to innovate, finding new ways to meet the needs of consumers in a rapidly-changing landscape.”
InsurTechs started to explore new product lines and services that traditional insurers were slow to offer. They looked for ways to leverage the power of data to understand consumer behaviour better and tailor their offerings to meet the specific needs of the traditional insurers.
Build up strong partnerships
Mr Chang said, “We also started building strong partnerships with traditional insurers, recognising that there was room for greater collaboration in this new ecosystem. We found that our app was a powerful distribution channel for traditional insurers, who could reach a new generation of consumers who were techno-savvy and preferred digital channels.”
Today, InsurTechs have found their niche in the industry, offering innovative products, services and solutions that traditional insurers cannot match. “We have discovered possibilities for strong partnerships with traditional insurers,” Mr Chang said.
He said, “There are several unsolved problems and issues that need a solution. We believe that the most prudent strategy for InsurTechs is to continue to work on innovative solutions. Digitalisation has opened up a world of possibilities for the industry. We see a great opportunity in the use of AI and machine learning to understand consumer needs and tailor our offerings to meet those needs better.”
Integral to insurance ecosystem
As the industry evolves, InsurTechs will remain an integral part of the ecosystem. The pandemic has only accelerated the shift towards digitalisation and made it clear that digital channels are critical to reaching and serving customers.
Mr Chang said, “While traditional insurers have tried to catch up, InsurTechs are still necessary to drive innovation and meet the evolving needs of consumers.”
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