Three Innovation Strategies Seen in Europe

Three Innovation Strategies Seen in Europe

René Schoenauer

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When a restaurant prepares an award-winning meal, ingredients matter. They may differ from recipe to recipe but choosing the freshest blend of food components usually satisfies the customer’s palette and judgment. Mistakes in the choice of ingredients, or in the cooking process, can mean the restaurant’s success or failure.

Such is the same with insurance technology, where the right—modern—ingredients and processes can fuel success in Europe’s growing and competitive market.

I had the pleasure of speaking with three insurance innovation thought leaders from different European countries during Guidewire’s Connections Reimagined event earlier this year. During our conversation, I learned that they all approach insurance innovation with different strategies in accordance with different market conditions and requirements. Yet they share a common goal: to use modern, proven technologies and processes to exceed their customers’ expectations and compete effectively.

Rafał Mosionek, president of the Management Board at BeeSafe in Poland, admitted that the Polish insurance market is still underdeveloped, but that is not stopping the Vienna Insurance Group’s (VIG) Polish subsidiary digital start-up from investing in AI, robotics, automation, and technology that supports higher customer-centricity. Now operating with fully cloud-native insurance solutions from Guidewire, BeeSafe provides high quality and unique customer services, setting innovative new standards in the Polish market. With the goal of making insurance convenient for its customers, Mosionek says this approach to modern technology will be applied to onboarding, claims handing, processes, and customer services.

In Scandinavia, known as one of the most digitally sophisticated regions globally, innovation trends are shaped by growing competition from traditional insurance companies as well as disrupters such as car manufacturers. This means that leading insurers, like general insurance provider Tryg, will continuously innovate both products and services. Steen Wung-Sung, Director, Finance & Development – Claim DK, Tryg, Denmark, told me that sustainability is another huge trend, as well as forming fewer technology silos, and a more “outside in” focus toward the customer. For example, along with Guidewire’s ClaimCenter, Tryg uses data from speech analytics to help employees, managers, and coaches improve the customer dialogue. Last year Tryg launched a prototype of its virtual coach, “Anna”. Ten months and an intensive onboarding programme later, “Anna” delivers proactive and individualized feedback to the claim handlers. Built on speech analytics data, Tryg’s use of A/B testing and feedback proves that continuous improvement is possible with modern digital strategies.

The Italian market, traditional in its reliance on brokers, was hit hard by the Coronavirus. As a result, companies such as auto insurer are focusing on data-driven strategies, such as AI, machine learning, and predictive analytics, to provide more tailor-made customer service via chatbots and virtual assistants. Andrea Cova, Technology Domain Manager,, reports that part of his company’s innovation strategy is tied to transitioning to an API architecture based on microservices, making it easy to integrate with new commercial partners and compete successfully. The insurer’s biggest accomplishment may be its new digital agent channel, which was launched in just six months. Today, the channel includes 500 intermediaries, satisfying the needs of customers was previously unable to reach.

Within these three unique, highly competitive markets it is clear that using the right modern technology ingredients to improve the customer’s journey and grow the business efficiently is vital for these leading players and will go a long way toward their future success.