People's mobility needs are changing. They want flexibility and convenience in their choice of means of transport at affordable prices. Insurers who want to play an active role in the mobility ecosystem must therefore become specialists for automotive insurance solutions, recommends Karsten Crede of ERGO Mobility Solutions. And adds: Along the value chain, there are many points of contact for embedding various insurance offers.
It has long been clear in which direction the mobility needs of people in different regions of the world will develop. Clearly recognisable paths are also emerging in technological developments. Roughly summarised: Customers want flexibility and convenience in their choice of means of transport at affordable prices.
The car will continue to be of great importance for individual mobility, but will be supplemented or combined with other modes of transport. At the same time, there will be a distinct premium segment of customers for whom design, lifestyle, smart services and driving experience are important. The regulatory framework, especially in the area of emission targets, will be further tightened. Technologically, there is therefore no alternative to the electric drive for the foreseeable future.
The car of tomorrow, networked and full of software and computing power, will offer comprehensive services around safety, performance and infotainment. Massive investments in autonomous driving functions will enable the first robot taxis and highly automated motorway journeys from 2023/2024.
Western car manufacturers are competing intensively with each other, with Chinese suppliers and also with Silicon Valley companies such as Google, Apple and Amazon, which think of mobility from a software-driven service approach. Innovation and investment power as well as efficient international networks and value chains are the most important competitive factors. The battle for new and efficient distribution channels will also be exciting.
From the insurance industry's point of view, car insurance, still one of the most important product groups, is coming under further pressure against this background. In the mature Western markets, the volume of vehicles sold is stagnating, claims frequencies are declining due to assistance systems, and car manufacturers are seeking access to the business with modern motor policies - embedded, on-demand and data-driven.
So the crucial question is, what are the strategic options for insurers to play an active role in the mobility ecosystem and what are the implications? The traditional approach, the optimisation of the core business, is not the subject of consideration.
In this respect, two main options remain. One is the attempt to build up an ecosystem of one's own, as practised by the Chinese finance and insurance group Ping An in its domestic market, in order to offer customers as many mobility services as possible. The technology required for this and the broad-based use of data are not realistic under the standards of Western legislation.
This leaves the option of taking an active role as a specialist for automotive insurance solutions within the mobility ecosystem. The degree to which this is done can vary greatly. Along the automotive value chain, there are many points of contact for embedding various insurance offers. Primarily through integration into the respective sales channels. The car dealership remains the central pillar for car sales, but online offers and platform approaches are gaining in importance. Further starting points can be found in the new mobility formats such as subscription and sharing.
Indispensable for a strategic partnership with the mobility industry, however, is an infrastructure that meets the high demands on data management, technology understanding, software/IT, international delivery capability and customer management.