Remote Working Redefines Digital Insurance

As the trend towards permanent remote working opens the door to a new wave of ‘digital nomads’, Franz-Xaver Burner, Chief Growth Officer & Co-Founder at bsurance discusses the emerging role of location-based insurance on-the-go.

 

Franz-Xaver Burner

Gone are the days of sitting under the fluorescent lights of your office cubicle for eight hours a day, five days a week. As the pandemic saw millions of office workers forced to work from home, companies have come to realise that the rigid social and physical structures that were once believed essential for productivity are no longer relevant. With this, more companies are shifting to hybrid and remote working models, and even work-from-everywhere policies.

For the modern worker, this is game-changing. Traditionally, extended long-haul getaways might have only been possible during large chunks of annual leave, gap years or saved for retirement. Now though, workers can effectively travel the world with their work laptop in tow. The result is the continual rise of the digital nomad in all industries and locations.

But while this new way of working affords many benefits, it does come with new complexities. Insurance requirements, for example, can vary dramatically from country to country and according to the length of stay and associated activities, making it a cumbersome process for globe-trotting remote worker. Fortunately then, the digital insurance market has kept pace as seen in the latest innovation within location-based insurance on-the-go.

To begin with, let’s first look at what insurance on-the-go involves by drawing on the example  of travel insurance. Travelling to an individual country for work, a holiday or both isn’t too taxing, however, if you’re constantly making trips or going through multiple countries the process can get tedious. It’s not usually something that’s top of mind when you’re making all your other arrangements, although the consequences if something was to go wrong and you weren’t covered could be pretty disastrous. Imagine instead that your phone did all the heavy lifting. Using location-based data, your insurance could be automatically updated depending on where you are or what you are doing. This saves the customer a lot of time and potentially money and provides insurance companies with a way to automatically provide wide-ranging cover directly to consumers. If as expected the trend for digital nomads continues to grow – you can imagine just how valuable this service would be in removing pain points for health, travel and goods insurance.

The benefit also extends to other organisations such as banks as a value add to their proposition. You can easily imagine this type of service integrated into their app to enable customers to quickly opt in as they are managing their financial affairs ahead of travelling. We actually worked with Raiffeisen, one of Austria’s banks, to do exactly this with ski-accident insurance. Short-term insurance could be activated via smartphone instantly just before getting on the ski lift.

This is just one very straightforward example. This type of instant opt-in insurance that flexes automatically to a customer’s needs could have multiple, innovative applications. Combining location data with other data sources opens the doors to making fully personalised and dynamic insurance. For example, it could be applied to automotive insurance such as usage-based insurance (UBI) – which can modify based on the risks associated with certain behaviours or to be instantly insured on a car that’s not their own.

We have seen in the past two years just how quickly embedded insurance has taken off. Consumers are getting used to insurance being a product that they can instantly avail themselves of without a lot of research or paper work. The natural progression of the industry is towards insurance that readily adapts to consumers’ new needs and lifestyles. We also know that companies are under a lot of pressure to differentiate their digital offering and a valuable service such as insurance is a very straightforward option to add into the consumer experience. As more companies and people adopt insurance on-the-go the wider insurance industry will benefit from more insight via the large amount of data that will be generated. This will enable more innovation and bespoke products to be created. We only need to look at the fintech industry for inspiration.

Times are changing. Amid rapid changes to our lifestyles, the rate of digitalization, ecommerce growth and the shift to work-from-anywhere policies, we continue to see all industries ramp up the pace of innovation to serve new requirements. Alongside this, the insurance is preparing for a similar period of disruption, as embedded, digital, location-based solutions change the game.

 

 

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