INNOVATION IN INSURANCE
The purpose of insurance is to make people feel SAFE! Primarily, financially safe, because if they do have financial peace of mind they can carry out their daily activities, pursue their goals and achieve their ambitions without the constraints placed by money-related worries. The economic crisis has shaken people’s core belief that they can obtain financial security simply by doing their job, or doing their job well, or working hard to obtain the qualifications that will lead them to a job that pays well.
For insurance-providing institutions, the ‘mission’ had never been to make profit simply by collecting vast amounts of money and distributing smaller sums to those that suffer a loss. Historically and philosophically the very existence of insurance companies has been to carry out a social and financial role – that of ensuring homeowners, merchants, businesspeople, travelers and generally everyone that is active in society, feels safe at all times. They will feel safe because there is a back-up in case something goes wrong.
Innovation in insurance will be in line with the ‘back to basics’ theme that is accompanying the current events in the financial world. Any new products will be innovative in that they will tend to the consumer’s most basic needs. The need to develop insurance policies that are completely breakthrough and radical, eg. ‘StockPrice PLUS’ or ‘Comprehensive Tax Liabilities’ or ‘CyberInsurance’, and the such, will take a back seat to enhanced simple policies for the home, the vehicle and the family. Innovation should not always mean original or avant-garde. In the case of insurance, it can mean, finding new ways of satisfying the inherent needs of simple people, especially in the midst of uncertain times such as these.
Policies with fewer exclusions, fewer small-print, wider covers, simpler procedures, policies with plain language that inspire trust in those that write them and produce a feeling of a security. – those would be innovative policies. Homeowners would not have to worry about what would happen should any rare weather phenomenon befall their house, or whether they will be able to afford a new television should theirs be stolen without using forced entry. Employers would not feel that their business is being threatened in case of serious injury on their site to someone not holding a valid contract of service with them. Car owners would not pay for mechanical damage themselves. The point would be to unload people from financial anxieties, instead of implicating them in complicated procedures in case there is an emergency.
Everywhere we turn nowadays, we see that ‘less is more’. Being innovative – that should not come with the ‘more’, but should adapt to the need for ‘less’. Simple, clear, basic, pure, plain, unsophisticated, comprehensible – that is ‘less’. Complicated, long, unintelligible, confusing may be more impressive, but it may conceal the bad behind ‘more’ trimmings. Innovation in this day is simple – to find the substance, to find good quality and integrity that may have been lost in the way of doing ‘big’ things. Innovation in insurance is as simple – to go back to helping people concentrate on doing what means something to them by easing some of their burdens. Making them feel safe again would be absolute innovation.