Last week’s LIMRA 2014 European Annual Meeting was my first insurance conference, so I didn’t quite know what to expect. As it turns out, when you bring together a diverse group of people from Europe, Asia and Africa–and add a bit of Paris magic–you come out with some impressive results.
In this recap, I’ll cover key takeaways from LIMRA’s meeting including:
- Demographics is a key driver of change.
- Make customer experience essential to your organization.
- Gamification is important for engaging consumers.
- Bancassurance is here to stay and increasingly relevant in newer economies.
- Digitization will change how we interact with our consumers.
- Cooperation is key to organizational success.
Day 1: Improving the customer experience
Robert A. Kerzner, President and CEO of LIMRA, kicked off the event, setting the stage for changes happening in the insurance industry. Because demographics is by far the biggest driver of change, he argued, firms should give more focus to retirement as opposed to life insurance. He also believes that the world of insurance agents and commissions is changing, especially in developing economies.
Mr. Kerzner spent a greater part of this presentation discussing companies from other industries (e.g. Coca-Cola, Walmart, Disney, Virgin) and how the insurance industry can learn from their own efforts to improve the customer experience.
Other presenters from the first day hailed from diverse walks of life, providing more intellectual and innovative ideas to delegates in attendance.
For example, Dr. Barbara Fasolo, Associate Professor in Behavioural Science in the Department of Management of the London School of Economics, spoke about her interest in “choice architecture,” and how to present information visually so users can make smart choices. Both Barbara and Robert brought up gamification as a smart way to increase consumer engagement.
Boston Consulting Group partner and TED speaker Yves Morieux spoke about the need for cooperation within teams, which he believes to be critical for companies to excel. He showed a video of the women’s relay team of France winning in 2003 and argued that they won–not because they had the world’s best runners (USA did)–but because they were better at cooperating with each other before, during, and after the race.
Yves Morieux sharing the simple rules of cooperation in business.
Later on, Hearsay Social’s Olivier Maire (@olivier_maire) presented to a packed room of delegates on the power of social business. There were many questions on how to open up the social networks in a way that does not increase reputational risk.
On the second day we were treated to a magnificent view of the Eiffel Tower from our conference room for the duration of the conference. This provided a unique backdrop for the sessions presented by the CEO of Aviva France, CMO of Saxo Bank and others.
Day 2: Increasing digitization
The second day of LIMRA’s meeting was dedicated to practical advice on various topics ranging from social media to business models to affinity insurance. Nicolas Schimel, CEO of Aviva, gave a particularly enlightening speech around his views on where the insurance market is going and what Aviva is doing to adapt. He believes that the three biggest drivers of change for the insurance market are:
- Increasing digitization for communication and consumer interaction
- Bancassurance growing in newer economies
- Redistribution of the tied vs independent agent mix
Based on a study by Rolan Berger Strategy Consultants, the largest type of buyer by channel of access is going to be more a “hybrid buyer,” or one who is going to use both face-to-face and digital methods throughout the purchase journey.
All in all, the 2014 LIMRA European Annual Meeting was the perfect introduction to insurance conferences for me–it was fun and insightful!