What does “Uberisation of Insurance” really mean?

Giving the Customer Control

According to Microsoft’s 2015 Global State of Multichannel Customer Service Report, over 90% of the consumers surveyed said that they expect brands and organisations to have a customer self-service offering.

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAdcAAAAJDIyODE1MTAzLTIyMGQtNDlhNC1hNmU4LWJjMDNhYTE2YWY5OAA couple of months ago, Day ran a story about Allianz Deutschland’s plans to invest €400m a year in their operations. The focus was on improving customer service and digitalization projects.

The line that drew my attention was;

“Half of all people who call us just want to know what the latest information is regarding their current claim,”

And Allianz receives 35,000 calls a day!

” is not a real word

Although you will find a definition in Wikipedia.And yet it is used daily all over the world to symbolise the shift towards a consumer focused, digital economy. Where individual and collective agency replaces corporate policy. Where under utilised assets are exchanged for near zero transaction costs. Where the dynamics between consumer and provider is equitable, transparent and fair.

The massive shift in customer service expectations has been driven by online retailers.  With Amazon’s Jeff Bezos undoubtedly leading this trend towards putting the customer first and offering digital access to anytime, anywhere service.

And when you add digital and mobile capability to this laser focus on the customer, it is easy to see how the likes of AirBnB and Uber are borne. With self-service (literally) in the hands of the consumer, these digital platforms enable consumers to determine what they want, when they want it.

As Trov CEO, Scott Walchek put it to me; this is the generation of the agent.

The consumer is in control and the entire demand economy is built on this shift in power from corporates to the individual.

It’s all about the Customer, stupid!

This “Uberisation” effect has come to insurance. Where the customer comes first and the insurance business is there to support and not confront in times of loss.

Which, for insurance, means the claims process. Having had your money, this is the moment of truth when the insurer proves their value to you. Sadly, all too often the experience is a poor one.

Which is not because the insurer doesn’t try hard. It’s simply that too much money is spent on winning a new customer and not enough on taking care of them once they become a customer. 

Operational inefficiency is the biggest culprit, which is why the shift towards self-service is so fundamental. 

It both improves the experience for the customer as well as reduce the cost for the insurer. Which in turn leads to lower premiums which the customer also benefits from. 

It’s a virtuous circle that is threatening the old world insurers who are tied down with legacy and creating opportunity for those enlightened enough to see it coming.

I’ve seen the future and it’s here, now

This is the subject of my latest post for InsurTech Weekly. In an interview with 360Globalnet CEO Paul Stanley, we talk about the move towards self-service, a crowd-sourced workforce and the Uberisation of insurance claims.

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The stats are very impressive from 360Globalnet too!

  • 250,000 claims have been settled using their self-service platform
  • 9 out of 10 customers select to self-serve a claim from a mobile device
  • customers score 10 out of 10 for ease of use
  • Net promoter scores for one UK insurer are in the 70s, putting them ahead of the field and on a par with the very best of online banking
  • settlement times are typically 90 minutes
  • indemnity cost reductions of around 15% for the insurer
  • 100,000 claims have been handled by WithYouIn5, their network of vetted, self-employed, fully qualified insurance agents

To read the full article at The Digital Insurer, go here.


 is an InsurTech thought leader and editor of InsurTech Weekly for The Digital Insurer.