Crisis creates cooperation for survival!

The Strategic Partnership

News from the year’s big car show in Geneva makes us wonder whether the insurance industry can start thinking along the same lines. Who would have thought a few years ago that American GM with its European brand Opel-Vauxhall would approach French PSA Peugeot Citroën? Or that Daimler would increase its cooperation with French Renault and Japanese Nissan? Common to these companies is that new environmental standards are increasing the cost of development.

Renault-Nissan has problems with profitability and plans to increase collaboration between the companies. They intend to double annual savings of 4 billion euro in 2016, report news agencies. But some collaborations also have to do with common factories where two car brands are produced in parallel, where for example engines and powertrains are identical.

If we apply this reasoning to the insurance industry, it won’t be surprising to see AMF and Swedbank get closer to each other on issues relating to efficient administration of collective agreement occupational pensions, where both are giants but have chosen different strategies to reach their customers. They both have the same need for really low costs for the administration of insurance. They would benefit from effective integration of Fora and Collectum and avoid having to develop and test integrations separately. In the new mobile market increased mobility is assumed to create a need for a cost-effective transfer process once the customer has chosen to switch companies. Shouldn’t there be a common interest in making the process more efficient?

If AMF is creating a new system for the payment of 800,000 pensions per month to handle more and more payments more efficiently, shouldn’t more players be interested in addressing the need for more flexible retirement ages and handling of payments in the same way? With more and more payments and discussions both about more flexible payment periods and retirement ages, should more players be thinking about how they can build in flexibility, not just in terms of payments, but also in insurance products.

Is it so far-fetched to imagine that the introduction of the ban on commission for independent advisers will mean more and more brokers linking more closely together and thereby creating a need to be able to effectively communicate both authorisations, quotes, risk assessments and agreements? And that they should be able to use the same means of communication between broker and company?

We are convinced that there are general challenges for insurers which can be solved much more effectively if companies begin to converge when it comes to costs. We also believe that it is in their offering to customers that companies should be unique. Not in managing or developing their own administrative systems. Car manufacturers see great advantages in collaborating in the development of what may seem to be a key component of a car – the engine and transmission – but they have found other ways to differentiate themselves. Not only in design, colour and comfort, but in the service offering and additional services.

Opportunities already exist today for insurance companies that share the same provider of their systems for the administration of insurance. Please contact our sales manager jan.paju@itello.se to find out more.