BY Capgemini
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CEO, Allianz France

Jacques Richier, 60, is CEO of Allianz France. He began his career in the oil industry (Coflexip) before choosing the insurance sector in 1985 at Azur, where he held positions in IT,...


Allianz: "Connected objects reinvent our role as insurers"

4 Jan, 2016 11:42 am

With a multitude of smart wristbands, connected watches, digital built-in systems for cars and other types of domestic tracking devices comes the possibility of tailor-made insurance policies.

Connected objects are at the heart of the digital revolution. These devices allow for a 360-degree application of digital technology, which can govern all aspects of everyday life. They respond to a fundamental demand on the part of consumers, who aspire to obtain tailor-made services that are increasingly personalised and respond to their specific needs.

Furthermore, services must be fast, simple and affordable: these are the new standards that the digital age has set. Although this demand for personalisation may appear as contradictory to our role as insurers, given that we work in a sector based namely on the principle of pooled resources, it actually offers us a new opportunity. Connected objects linked to big data give us the chance to reinvent our role as insurers, thanks to unprecedented levels of data availability as well as data quality.

A shift from ownership to usage  

With a multitude of smart wristbands, connected watches, built-in digital systems for cars and other types of domestic tracking devices comes the possibility of tailor-made insurance policies.

Insurers who once insured material goods - a house or a car, for example - must now turn their attentions to intangible goods - a trip, a hire service, use of an item etc. This shift from ownership to usage is the real change that connected objects has brought about.

The changes that most affect the world of insurance are linked to cars, homes, healthcare, business and also the connected city. Let's not forget that the impact of a connected object lies in the service it provides and not in the object itself!
For cars, connected driving will reward better driving habits and lead drivers to adopt more virtuous practices. For driving, just like with homes and healthcare, connected objects will lead to enhanced safety.

Thanks to the smart watch, insurance policy holders will now be able to receive information about their health-related reimbursements, monitor the progress of compensatory payment procedures, find out what steps to take when faced with a crisis situation, locate health professionals and even benefit from forecasts linked to potentially risky weather conditions.

Improving safety at home as well as in the workplace
When it comes to work-related risks too, connected objects can do a lot in terms of improving safety thanks to better maintenance, as a connected factory is a better protected factory.

For all of these reasons, insurers are obliged to closely monitor the emergence of new services offered by the internet of things. Many of us have developed a climate in which we have built partnerships linked to innovation, as well as launching innovation labs or start-up accelerators dedicated to the theme of connected objects and Big Data.

Connected objects are already at the heart of our relations with our clients. The automobile industry is the clearest example of this today, with fully operational connected driving tools in place. That said, we must continue to move quickly so as to always be one step ahead of new usages and new needs, thus continuing to embody a valid reflection of the world as it is. 

Photo credits: Fotolia, Allianz