Innovation for innovations sake, an InsurTech's pitfall - EIP
WhatsApp Image 2024-03-21 at 14.42.32_331ae867
July 9, 2024

Innovation for innovations sake, an InsurTech’s pitfall

Author: Ross Sinclair | CEO & Founder | EIP Limited 

EIP recently sponsored InsurTech Insights Europe in London and we had a stand at the event. As is the case at these conferences I spent two days speaking to delegates who visited our stand, discussing our embedded insurance solutions and on each occasion I handed them my business card. More often than not, the action of presenting them with my crisp, newly printed EIP business card would be received with a remark such as ‘I haven’t seen one of these for a while’, or a sarcastic ‘that’s a clever innovation!’.

In fact my liberal deployment of actual business cards captured sufficient attention for someone I had just met at the conference to tag me on a LinkedIn thread, lauding about the resurgence of this ‘old-skool’ [sic] behaviour and what a great revelation it was. Everyone was piling in with their views – this had legs!

I myself had stopped carrying business cards for a few years but recently started again as we were attending more events and I was getting increasingly frustrated with the palaver to do something as simple as swap contact details. This got me thinking about the merits of physical business cards over technological innovations (LinkedIn scanning, conference apps, NFC cards etc.) and whether in this case, innovation had actually taken us backwards.

Anyone who has attended a big conference and tried to capture someone’s details by scanning a QR code will have come across the problem of congested Wi-Fi or a poor mobile signal. I’ve been handed plastic NFC business cards which  should only require me to tap them on my phone to capture the required details, yet more often than not, they simply didn’t work. Each time this happens it’s a lost opportunity, lost business, a lost friend – or all of the above. With a humble business card its fast, simple, failsafe, durable and personable.

“Every card brought back a memory of something – the country I had visited or the particular deal that we were working on at that time and the adventures that surrounded it.”

Recently I was clearing out an old desk in my office. In the back corner of a drawer there was a little box of business cards that I’d collected in the few years before and after I set up our company, around 20 years ago. It was like walking down memory lane. There were former colleagues, people who became good friends, friends who I’d lost contact with (but have now reconnected with using the personal email scribbled on the back of the card), people who now work with me, companies that had disappeared or had become market leaders, friends and colleagues who had sadly now passed away.

Every card brought back a memory of something – the country I had visited, the particular deal that we were working on at that time and the adventures that surrounded it. I was transported back to Paris, Moscow, Stockholm, Seoul, Philadelphia, Slovenia and many more places. There was even the card that my now wife gave me when we were first introduced at a business meeting. This was an emotional avalanche – you can’t bring someone to the edge of tears with a QR code!

“Insurtechs often feel that they need to go ‘all-in’ on innovation to grab investor or industry attention but much of this innovation is solving problems that don’t really exist.”

I think there’s a metaphor here for our industry. Insurtechs often feel that they need to go ‘all-in’ on innovation to grab investor or industry attention, but much of this innovation is solving problems that don’t really exist, are not based upon actual customer insight or are simply not a priority for the buyer. Undoubtedly Insurtechs have created some very imaginative platforms and products, but often at the expense of ignoring the basics. It’s not unusual to find a very polished and clever customer onboarding experience, only to find that the claims journey is horribly traditional, slow and not delivering upon the key customer need, at the key moment of truth.

Our company has developed some very cool tools such as AutoClaim or SmartSpeak which we want people to love and they do grab attention. But the reality is that most of the conversations that we have with large enterprises demonstrate a wish list of some fairly basic aspirations. Things like automatically issuing policy renewals, giving customers frequent claims status updates, getting the simplest of program performance reports in a week instead of a month. These are successful businesses that want to maximise sales, reduce fraud, cross-sell products and improve their NPS scores by consistently delivering a great end-to-end customer experience. That’s not to say innovation is bad, just that as an industry we need to focus on getting the basics right first, before we go off and build sexy, Gen-AI powered widgets that do little, if anything, to enhance the fundamental customer experience.

So even though I work in the technology industry, I’m keeping my old-skool [sic] business cards. Next step is to bin the mobile phone and dig out my 1990’s pager!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ross Sinclair | Founder and Chief Executive Officer | EIP Limited.

Established in 2004, EIP Limited has been launching embedded insurance programs for over 15 years. Our easily deployed and low-code software massively simplifies the distribution and delivery of embedded insurance for insurers, brokers, banks, retailers, telcos, credit unions and others. We support a diverse range of insurance products including device, multi-gadget, extended warranties, mobility, connected home, hearing aids, cyber, emergency hardship and concierge services.

Categories: News