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Björn Freter in interview with the insurance messenger - Part 3

In the last interview of the three-part series of the insurance messenger with Björn (Freter) we again deal with the topic "E-Commerce in the insurance market. Björn is founder and managing director of sum.cumo. In our first interviews "Insurers are running out of time" and "E-Commerce in the insurance market - part 1" we talked to him about success strategies in the online market for insurance. You can find the whole interview here.

In our last interview you spoke about the fact that insurers not only have to catch up, but will continue to need a lot of staying power to remain relevant for their customers. What exactly do you mean by that?

Björn: The changes that the Internet and technological developments have brought about in recent years are continuing steadily. But it's only of limited help to deal with each new trend individually and to have to reinvent the wheel each time. Insurers must become experts in transformation and innovation. And this in an industry in which every change also entails a new risk and must comply with regulations. Those who manage to set up their teams in such a way that they can deal with new ideas efficiently and flexibly have achieved the most important thing: to build up an insurance company that can constantly adapt to the needs of the client and the offers of the competition.

Could you be more specific? What does it mean in detail to be able to deal with new ideas more efficiently and flexibly?

Björn: That has a lot to do with corporate culture. An efficient market and competitor screening, which in the best case is available to every employee in the company, should form the basis. Ideas must be derived from this, concretized and tested in the context of uncomplicated prototypes. Resources, methodology, tools and technologies must be made available for this purpose. In the first step, everything can only work if closely accompanied by experts who can also complete the team if necessary. This is how we like to approach our projects at sum.cumo, for example. The customer or partner should be as independent as possible - our services, employees and products serve as an accelerator and ensure that no gross mistakes are made which could have been avoided with more previous knowledge. This can also be very interesting for those responsible in the company: Since I actually have to implement changes in all areas of the company at the same time, the support of a partner who can not only advise but also understands how the operational implementation can take place in the company is a good idea.

Won't insurers at some point lose their independence if they depend on too much support from third parties?

Björn: In the IT departments of insurance companies alone, it is already apparent that it is no longer possible to do "everything" yourself. Let's take a look at a few key topics from recent years: modern online sales tools, interactive customer accounts, channel-independent communication with customers and in sales, self-learning price calculation, system operation in the cloud … Currently, I do not know of any IT department of an insurance company that could work on these examples alone in parallel with the operation of the existing infrastructure. But since even the traditional system providers do not yet have complete solutions to offer as an alternative, the market must learn to think more in terms of cooperation, to develop together and to share progress. This is the case, for example, with our "SCIP - sum.cumo Insurance Platform" system, which we have developed from the outset on an open source basis in order to offer interested partners the opportunity to play an active role in shaping the market.

In our first interview Björn accused the industry of being too hesitant and uninspired in its approach to the topic "Internet". The second interview of the three-part series dealt with the topic "E-Commerce in the insurance market".