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Wealth Management

HOW INSURERS CAN KEEP UP WITH A NEW WAVE OF MILLENNIAL PET OWNERS

Chris Blatchly, Chief Digital Officer & Consulting Leader for Insurance, Cognizant

 

In the midst of COVID-19, puppies and kittens have emerged as go-to companions to get us through the extended public healthcare crisis. This is one important reason pet insurance is touted to be the next hot growth segment for personal insurance carriers, as the global market is projected to surpass $10 billion by 2025 and grow 6.7% annually.

With the market evolving at such a pace, there are some core trends and themes that insurers should keep in mind as they look to keep up with the quickly evolving market and changing consumer habits.

 

Emerging trends in pet ownership: the millennials

The customer landscape has changed for the pet insurance industry, with millennials now the largest segment of pet parents. They own more pets (about 35% of total pet ownership) and spend more on their pets than any other generation currently, serving organic foods, buy flavoured medications, hire services, host pet parties and even take their pets on holiday.

Chris Blatchly

They also lead the charge in tech adoption. As they have grown up in an increasingly digital world, they expect quicker and more efficient service from insurance providers, and any other service provider for that matter, than ever before.

Such factors highlight the demand for customer-centric services within the pet insurance industry, that include personalised, nurturing communications and an interactive, immersive experience.

 

Increased demand for pet tech

Pet-oriented technologies (pet tech), such as wearables, are addressing increasing concerns around pet health and security. The pet tech market includes activity monitors, GPS trackers, RFID sensors and accelerometer sensors, among others.

Wearable technology has already demonstrated value in the life and health insurance space, so it is only a matter of time before it makes deeper inroads in the pet insurance market too.

The opportunities for pet tech are vast, from automated food dispensers and climate-controlled pet houses to pet doors with facial recognition. These types of devices and sensors help support a data-driven approach to underwriting and claims processes.

 

How pet insurers are keeping up with the market

Digitally native companies, known as insurtechs, are already bringing new capabilities to the pet industry, with a focus on enhancing the customer experience.

However, the rise in millennial pet owners and the growing use of pet tech wearables will be key drivers for future decisions and bring forth a new range of considerations, outlined further below, which will lead to some key themes that insurers should keep in mind as they plot their pet strategies.

  1. Considering different business models

A digitally enabled approach to product innovation can lead to new business models, such as peer-to-peer (P2P) insurance.

Millennials share many common interests in various social networks and they generally have a higher risk tolerance than older age groups, which suggests they would be open to joining online communities. P2P insurance leverages the power of social networks to reimagine the very old concept of a mutual insurance company. Social networks allow like-minded people to easily find each other and then pool their premiums to fund a pet insurance company.

Other approaches to consider include cross-selling complementary services. Millennials are more open to buying or using adjacent or complementary non-insurance services/products from their insurers, as demonstrated by their adoption of wellness offerings. For example, customers of Embrace can add onto the company’s Wellness Rewards plan to get reimbursed for the pet’s routine care or preventative steps to avert emergencies.

  1. Modernising core systems

Legacy core systems of existing pet insurers were built, patched and upgraded to support traditional manual processes. These aging systems are bound to affect the flexibility and scalability that are required for success. Insurers should reimagine and modernise their core systems, rules and processes to promote flexibility, agility, innovation and speed-to-market. The “core” of this effort should revolve around business capabilities such as flexible configuration of products and automated quote generation, as this will ensure that the derived technical capacities will best align with business outcomes.

  1. The role of AI

Pet insurance carriers can accelerate their digital evolution with advanced artificial intelligence (AI), which will enable them to automate core capabilities in new ways. For example, intelligent process automation (IPA) will enable the direct issuance of low-value/low-risk policies and the straight-through processing of low-value claims. IPA will also help integrate optical character recognition, intelligent character recognition and deep learning technologies. Some examples include reading unstructured scanned medical bills and intake claim documents, and creating an automated first notice of loss.

AI will also enable machine learning-based decision support for underwriters and claim adjustors and, when coupled with intelligent automations, will allow carriers to continuously mine case and claim data to identify fraud and security risks in real time.

  1. From indemnification to loss prevention

Finally, another potentially strong differentiator for pet insurers is loss prevention services. Pet owners’ two overriding concerns are their pets’ health and their security. One way that pet insurers can continuously engage with their customers and better promote safety are device- or sensor-driven alerts. By reducing injury claims, this can in turn translate into premium discounts. The growing use of devices and wearables provides a great opportunity for insurers.

By enabling their systems to integrate with third-party wearable-device data, pet insurers will gain significant insights. They can continuously monitor these data streams and pass contextual recommendations to the pet owner to help improve their pet’s health. Doing so means a proactive approach to reducing probable claim losses, versus the traditional reactive approach.

 

Barking up the innovation tree

The pet insurance market is ripe with significant untapped opportunity as evidenced by changing customer dynamics, the advent of pet technology and entry of insurtech players. Insurance carriers that take advantage of these developments to innovate with new customer-centric insurance products and services, by driving a holistic digital strategy, will be tomorrow’s market leaders. This journey will not be easy, given the challenges of updating legacy processes, modernising archaic systems and changing consumer behaviours. Designing a lean, cost-effective and digital-enabled operating model is critical, as insurers reimagine the future of pet insurance.

 

Wealth Management

WHAT LIFESTYLE DO YOU WANT IN RETIREMENT?

By Jaco Prinsloo, Certified financial planner, Alexander Forbes Financial Planning Consultants

 

The answer to this question will be different for everyone, so here are some things to think about:

 

Does it seem a long time away?

If you are under the age of 40, the chances are that thinking seriously about retirement may not be top of mind. The Covid-19 pandemic, sending the kids to school, disrupted holidays, and everyone’s health are more likely to be a concern. The fact is that you have time on your side, so now is the time to DO something and start saving. Consider this:

If you’re 25 and you save R500 a month for 40 years, with an investment return of 10% a year, you will have R3 188 390 at the age of 65.

If you’re 45 and you save R1 000 a month for 20 years, with the same return of 10% a year,

you will only have R765 697 at the age of 65.

The investment amount is the same, but it is compound interest (the interest on your interest) that makes the difference, because you have longer to invest. The key message here is: Make a start, no matter how small – it will add up over time.

 

Does retirement seem fairly close?

If you are over the age of 40, then retirement saving may well be on your radar, and if you are over 60 then you are probably seriously contemplating what retirement will look like for you.

 

Check what you have

Most people have worked in more than one job over the years and you may have a store of various pension pots waiting to be claimed as you moved from one place of work to another. Contact your ex-employers to see who administers these pensions or talk to a financial adviser to help you track down any hidden pots of gold. Those annual statements that are stuffed into a file somewhere may be very handy now. If you have moved address since you last worked at a company, make sure that you inform the scheme administrators so that they can send you up-to-date information – that is a responsibility many people forget.

 

Think about the lifestyle you would like in retirement

The days of working full time and stopping at retirement are now quite rare. People are generally still healthy in their 60s and many enjoy the social and mental aspects of working. Part-time working is becoming more common and now that ‘working from home’ is practically the norm, employers are being more flexible on hours. A ’phased’ retirement is much more common nowadays.

As a rule of thumb, you should plan for 60-75% of the amount you are earning before retirement once you actually retire. This can vary greatly depending on what you want to do. For many it can be the opportunity to travel or turn to a hobby full time. Some become carers for grandchildren or turn to volunteer and charity work. It is worth calculating a budget of what you think you will need. Don’t forget to factor in the impact of inflation; what you have today may not buy you the same in the future.

Often people focus on the early active years of retirement and forget that they may slow down over time. Some seniors will require nursing care and move to a frail care facility if their health becomes more fragile. It is best to start planning for that day early if you think you’ll need it.

 

How do I get there?

Once you have thought about what you might need in retirement and how long until you get there, you need to consider how much to save and to make your money grow.

 

Group retirement funds

If you are working and your employer offers a pension or provident fund, then make sure you join as soon as you can. You can contribute up to 27.50% of your salary – try to contribute as much as you can. Your employer will explain the fund rules to you and the investment choices available. If you’re not sure, then speak to a financial adviser.

 

Personal retirement funds

Suppose you don’t have access to an employer fund. In that case, you need to set up a personal pension, also known as a retirement annuity fund. Our advisers can help you with this.

 

Tax relief

You can contribute and deduct up to 27.50% of your taxable income or remuneration – whichever amount is the greater – against your personal income tax. This would reduce the amount of tax you are currently paying.

 

Investment decisions

How you invest your retirement funds will be important in helping you have the lifestyle you want in retirement. You may be new to investing and naturally want to avoid taking any risks with your money. The longer you have to invest, the more time your money has to recover from any downturn in the market, so don’t be afraid to take some risk.

Make sure you understand what you are buying and avoid anything offering outrageous returns; the current interest rate on bank deposit accounts is less than 6%, so anything offering returns above 10% a year must have considerable risk.

Our advisers will always recommend you hold some cash for emergencies but keeping your retirement savings in cash will not give you any growth on your money at all. Worse still, the impact of inflation over the long term will mean that your cash will buy less when you retire.

Understand how much risk you are willing to take; you don’t want to be up all night worrying that your money might be lost and you don’t want to sleepwalk into a retirement with no income. You need to take a sensible amount of risk to achieve a reasonable return.

 

Will I have enough?

 Remember that on average you are likely to live for 18 to 21 years after you retire and many people live well into their 90s now, so your money has to work hard to provide you with a decent income. Review your retirement plans once a year with your adviser to see if you are on track, be prepared to take action and stay focused on the lifestyle you want to live in retirement.

 

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Wealth Management

CHECKLISTS FOR CHOOSING A CORRECT TRADING MENTOR

The trading mentor should be proficient in the particular field and have proper cognition about the field. The duty of the mentor is to help the beginners to improve their trading performance. If the mentor has a lack of experience, he or she will not able to help others. The newcomers face different types of problems when they arrive in the field of Forex, so they become disoriented. At this time, a trading coach can help them to deal with the situation. So, this is very important to choose a good one. Let’s know about the checklist for making the selection of a good one.

 

Full-Time Trader

The mentor should be a full-time trader so that he or she can understand the current market position. If the person cannot practice now, he or she will not able to give the proper solutions to the beginners. So, the traders who trade regularly by managing the money can help others. You also find out that he or she has proper experience in your zone. When the person will invest time to learn about the market, he or she will able to gain more knowledge and ability to help others.

 

Be Successful

If the coach is not successful in his or her field, he or she will not able to help others. Successful investors have the power to inspire others. The fresher will also get motivation when he or she sees that the mentor has gained success. So, they try to learn from him or her properly. The person also needs to share his or her wisdom with others. People should bear in mind that 5% to 10% of traders are successful in the Forex field. So, when you make the choice, you have to be careful. You can also see the features of Rakuten. And we believe, if you analyze their premium offer, you will definitely say let’s trade with Rakuten as they provide professional environment to the retail traders.

 

Motivational and inspirational

If the person cannot able to motivate others for working hard, he or she will not become a good mentor. The coach should inspire the beginners so that they can go forward. The newcomers cannot ignore the emotional components so they cannot able to think for the better. In this situation, the coach can help by inspiring the. If the professional able to increase the confidence level of the fresher by motivating them, you should choose him or her. On the other hand, some are not so bothered about the beginners’ performance, so they should not choose them.

 

Should Respect the Fresher’s Trading Style

The investors have their own styles and preferences. People also need to give priority to their own patterns which will help them to trade independently. The person should try to demonstrate their individuality in the Forex market. If the coach tries to change the style of the trader, this will not better for him or her. When the mentor will not show proper respect for your trading style, you will not able to be comfortable with him or her. Here, he or she will always try to change you. So, investors should aware of this fact.

The coach will help the investors to identify the new opportunity and will increase the thirst for gaining knowledge. They will not able to ensure success but they can able to show the right path. Some mentors are not able to provide authentic information. So, this is not an easy task to find a suitable one. An honest coach can support people in a difficult situation. On the other hand, a dishonest mentor can destroy the career of the fresher. So, the investors are required to check the review and they can also take suggestions from the others to select a suitable person. If the coach demands money from you, then you should understand that he or she is not the right choice.

 

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