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Insurance innovates despite COVID

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The Australian insurance industry is continuing to innovate despite the adversity of COVID and one of the most turbulent times in its history, Hollard-backed Kanopi Cover says.

Kanopi CEO and Founder Nigel Fellowes-Freeman says as other industries slow down and take a cautious approach, insurers are embracing technology and innovation and open insurance and other data-driven innovations will transform the sector from a “set-and-forget” product into a service that engages with the consumer and dynamically varies its premium depending on the need of the customer.

This drive to continue to innovate despite adversity is “perhaps what is most remarkable about the Australian insurance industry,” he says.

“Most companies would pull the brakes on innovation and consolidate but the exact opposite has been happening in insurance,” Mr Fellowes-Freeman said. “The sector has survived its Black Swan, and will thrive as a result of it. Innovations are in train, and with the help of disruptors in the sector will be rolled out within years.”

COVID accelerated consumers' expectations for tech-enabled self-service products and Mr Fellowes-Freeman says the period of disruption and innovation in insurance promises to see the sector emerge both more resilient and tech-savvy.

Kanopi expects consumers to be more conservative as we leave the pandemic, putting more consideration into long-term insurance products such as health, life and mortgage insurance. Products that take into consideration the usage of the asset – such as car insurance that factors in kilometres travelled – will increase in popularity.

“The way in which consumers and businesses interact and choose insurance products is likely to shift in the near future,” Mr Fellowes-Freeman says. “These innovations are in train, and with the help of disruptors in the sector will be rolled out within years.”