Sameer Datye interviews Baloise about its implementation of an agile insurance platform.
In fact, the Belgian economy, or rather the Belgian society as a whole is in the midst of a massive digitalization program that would have far reaching consequences. Unostentatiously named “Digital Belgium” the program is laying the bulwark for a long-term digital vision with 5 clear priorities:
It would be naïve therefore to think that Baloise Insurance which is at the fulcrum of the Belgian Insurance sector would be unaffected by the Digitization winds blowing all around.
I had a tête-à-tête with Noël Pauwels (Managing Director Non-Life Retail), Jan Strauven (Director Digital Transformation), Veerle Desmet (Director Digital Business & Partnerships) & Joris Smeulders (CIO) to learn more about how Baloise is responding to the shifts in the insurance sector brought about by the Digitization wave. The following is an extract from the interview.
Noël: The impact of digitization is everywhere. Buying habits are moving online. Mobile phones are now the preferred choice of digital engagement. Personal mobility choices are increasing. Health and wellness investment are not an exception, but a new normal. Traditional channels are not disappearing but are supplemented with new channels. The digital society has new products, services and businesses.
Jan: Let me add on to this. I would say we can identify 5 major trends in Belgium:
Joris: Yes and as one we have already taken big steps to confront this tiger. A three-pronged ‘Prepare for the future’ strategy which encompasses three broad components is already operational on the ground:
Noël: Let me elaborate this more. If you see these three components - it starts with Innovation and learning as its central theme. Building on this we have two complementary but separate tracks: Growing the core insurance to handle the new paradigm and preparing for the future with whacky techie innovations.
Joris: Yes as an incumbent that is the most sensible policy. Like for e.g. in our core insurance, we have invested in Insurance-in-a-Box, our agile insurance platform to ensure that we have a very high level of flexibility and maneuverability to address the new business models and ideas. This in turn will help our broker community in their own respective digital ambitions. A win-win for all. That is somewhat like having a crunchy base of the pizza and then we add the toppings 😊
Veerle: And in the ‘toppings’ we are investing with examples like Mobly for mobility & B-Tonic for health and wellness, Qover for digital experiences etc. These are services that are designed to help our customers on the private as well as commercial side to cope with the changing forms of life.
Jan: Not really. We don’t see as a X or Y kind of a situation. Rather it's X + Y. Belgian customers still prefer the bouquet approach of Insurance where the Broker does a mix and match of insurances to give a customized solution to the customer. Our agile insurance would enable the brokers to do this digitally and do this very fast. They will not only be able to meet the customers face-to-face, but also support them digitally.
Veerle: We mention this many a time and its worth repeating. Our moto is Digital when possible, Always human.
Joris: Absolutely. The time when the time to market for new products was in ‘years’ is over. Now we measure it in months. The core insurance has not just to be sturdy and dependable it has to be extremely nimble and future ready to churn out a steady stream of new age product offerings and do that very fast.
The most notable take-away from our discussion was that Baloise is adapting to this challenge not by an impulsive ‘change policy’. The structured approach of making their core insurance what they call ‘Future Ready’ and then adding on the cherries on the cake is somewhat like having your cake and eating it too...
Baloise’s Agile Insurance Initiative is powered by the Insurance-in-a-Box [iiB] platform, an open ecosystem initiative by TietoEVRY. Currently the partners supporting the initiative are Insicon, Nets, Eyeonid and Onegini.
For more information on Baloise:
Ivo De Bondt, Director- Technical, Non-life Retail, Baloise Insurance, Belgium, firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on TietoEVRY & Insurance-in-a-Box:
Sameer Datye, Head of Business Development, Insurance and Wealth Management, TietoEVRY, email@example.com, +358407166492
Read the first post in this blog series: Baloise: Enabling insurance broker digitization
Sameer is responsible for ecosystem-driven business development in the Insurance sector. He is also responsible for the Insurance R&D team in Tieto. In the IT sector, he has a long experience of working for the Healthcare and Insurance sectors. Prior to which he worked as a product manager and a brand manager in the food, processing and packaging industry. He is passionate about translating technology innovations to business reality leading to better quality of human life.
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