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About this book

The book analyzes the role of technology in the redefinition of the competitiveness of insurance markets. With a focus on the competitive challenges of InsurTech startup to the incumbent insurers, the book will discuss the strategic role of technology both in the development and in the distribution of insurance services and explore the customer relationship evolution following the digitalization of services offered. The book presents original theoretical and empirical contributions addressing how digitalization impacts the insurance environment and regulation, and how InsurTech development represents a threat for traditional companies, from Big Data analysis to digital devices, from personal interactivity to home automation systems development. The project’s key benefit is up-to-date analysis of the competitiveness of technology usage in the insurance field, with particular reference to the distributive variable and to the future trends of the customer relationship in the short and medium-long term. The book will be of particular interest to scholars and students of insurance and financial technology.

Table of Contents

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. Introduction

Abstract
This chapter introduces the aim of the book and sets its theoretical framework providing a guideline for the topics included in each chapter.
Antonella Cappiello

Chapter 2. Technology and Insurance

Abstract
The chapter highlights how digitalisation is destined to deeply modify the whole financial and insurance ecosystem, impacting all points along the insurance value chain and consequently re-shaping the competitive landscape. It focuses on how the increasing collection of data through the new digital technologies permits more granular underwritings in risk insurances. Smart analysis techniques, predictive modelling and connected telematics devices allow insurers to create products and set premiums based on actual risk profiles rather than on general standards. The delivery process is also affected by the new technologies. This is also taken into account by the regulatory framework of the Directive 2016/97/EU, Insurance Distribution Directive, which is soon to be introduced at a European level.
Antonella Cappiello

Chapter 3. Digital Disruption and InsurTech Start-ups: Risks and Challenges

Abstract
The chapter aims to study the current expansion strategies of the new technological InsurTech start-ups, arguing that the InsurTech development should not represent a threat for traditional companies, as the digital world tools, from Big Data analysis to digital devices, from personal interactivity to home automation systems development, do not represent a direct competitive threat to the traditional activity. The chapter highlights that it is of utmost importance to remember that the digitalisation is nevertheless destined to deeply change the entire financial and insurance ecosystem. The reaction of traditional insurers will necessarily be the development of new digital competences and/or the establishment of partnerships with technology enterprises. A possible strategy is also investing in new digital start-ups.
Antonella Cappiello

Chapter 4. The New Frontiers of Insurance Distribution

Abstract
The chapter focuses on the role of the distributive variable in the insurance industry, and the delivery process, composed of the sales staff, clients, and physical support. According to the higher or lower incidence of the three mentioned variables, as well as the specific expectations and needs of the various market segments, different delivery systems are envisaged. The choices regarding the planning of differentiated delivery systems are therefore strictly linked to the analysis of the peculiarities and the competitive dynamics of the strategic business areas where the company operates. These business areas are defined on the basis of three key elements, that is customer segments, the needs they express (service types), and the ways these needs are met (productive-distributive technology). In this regard the most innovative technological distributive channels are analysed, by examining in-depth risks and opportunities.
Antonella Cappiello

Chapter 5. InsurTech and Customer Relationship

Abstract
The chapter aims to analyse the technological evolution impact on customer relationship types and strategies in the insurance field. The loss of the interpersonal relationship, which is the direct consequence of the adoption of digital distributive forms, calls for a correct setting of the market relationship. Indeed, the digitalisation of the offer entails a greater involvement of the customer in the service delivery process, who can judge this circumstance more or less favourably. The chapter highlights how this requires a personalised approach to the market, on the basis of a logic of integrated communication and customised marketing. As to the latter, the various direct marketing strategies and techniques are aimed at the customer loyalty through the interactive use of the several media which are at the company’s disposal.
Antonella Cappiello

Chapter 6. Survey on the Digitised Insurance Distribution in Europe and USA

Abstract
The chapter aims to analyse a sample of insurance services distribution websites located in Europe and USA. The description and the analysis of the models have been carried out from a potential customer’s perspective, who visits the operators’ websites in order to know the various insurance alternatives by surfing the internet; in this way, he is confident in the sole information available on the website he visited, as the relationship with the insurance company originates and develops exclusively or mainly through the web. The chapter ends with an analysis model which, still from a potential customer’s perspective, permits the detection of the automated distribution distinctive traits, that is, accessibility, transparency, and quality of the offer, by basing the judgement on the objective elements the customer can gather through the digital channel.
Antonella Cappiello

Backmatter

Additional information