Instead of a short bio, let us know what are your top 3 books everyone working on digital transformation needs to read and top 3 tech gadgets one needs to have?
I believe that other than reading many books, most importantly you need to stay up to date with the news, reports and industry insights because it’s a very dynamic medium and keeps your brain hyperactive.
About tech gadgets I must confess I love working out so I’ll definitely tell you that the smart watch is a must. Apple is great but if you want to get more technical go for the Garmin watch – it’s the top choice for runners (Available in Germany, in the US, in the UK, in France and in Spain).
How did a former manager at BCG and Bain become one of the most influential people for insurance and insurtech topics?
I think it’s mainly due to my curious nature and the will to try new experiences when it comes to business. I saw great potential in the insurtech sector ever since 3 years ago and so I decided it was a good sector to invest in. But I never invest without getting to know the sector well beforehand so I became an expert in it. It’s also much more fun and innovative compared to “traditional” consultancy, so I find it stimulating to keep up to date with the latest technological developments going on in insurance.
You also founded an insurtech yourself. What is your vision for Neosurance?
We are the first startup to create a product based on artificial intelligence that proposes customized micro policies directly on the user’s smartphone in the most appropriate context and moment in time so as to maximize the probability of purchase. We at Neosurance believe that insurance is sold not bought and so you need to go after your clients where they spend most of their time, on their smartphones. Our long term vision is that Neosurance’s solution will be able to cover part of the existing protection gap both in developed and developing countries. Millenials are an important part of this protection gap and we are very optimistic that microinsurance used with a push approach has a great disruptive potential for the insurance industry: we need to reach them with the right message, at the right time, on a device where they swipe, tap and pinch 2,617 times a day according to Dscout. So in essence we want to help insurance go where it’s never been before.
You founded also two other companies: DigitalTech International and BusinessSupport SPA. Tell us a little more about the idea of both
DigitalTech is a proprietary idea incubator, it’s an ambitious project that aims to create and develop at a global level new digital solutions that can bring together new products and services in a highly innovative, unique customer experience. At the moment, we focus on two business areas that are digital health and insurtech. I see great potential in these two sectors and Neosurance is one of the first successful projects that have been created under the Digital Tech umbrella. The news website InsurTechNews.com is also one of Digital Tech’s projects and it’s a complete online destination for Insurers, Distributors, Tech Players, Investors and all Insurance Stakeholders that want to stay up to date with what’s going on in the insurtech sector.
I founded Business Support in 2012 right after leaving Bain & Company, determined to become an entrepreneur. The boutique consulting firm is based in Milan and is focused on servicing SMEs through a modern, efficient approach and with a high level of quality.
There has been a lot of media attention lately on the industry that is more known for avoiding the spotlight. How do you estimate the state of the industry?
After hundreds of years the insurance sector is finally evolving and tech startups are giving quite a push to move innovation forward. Also let me add that I see startups not as competitors but more as strategic partners of incumbents that can help bring new solutions for bridging the protection gap.
What do you think are the biggest chances for incumbents to use the digital transformation as a chance? What are the biggest hurdles in your opinion?
The main barriers are the institutions themselves and the way they are built on the one hand and on the other hand the fact that the laws and regulations are not adapting fast enough to the digitalization happening in the sector. The process is slowed down by these two factors and as previously said these could be overcome with the help of startups that bring a breath of fresh air and of energy in the picture.
In the last years now we have seen the first wave of insurtech companies aiming at parts of the value chain. Now it seems the time is ripe for full digital insurers. Do you think this will be successful?
Time will tell of course but in my opinion, they will have to work. This is because we are heading toward a near future in which the smartphone and in general online will be the way to get things, all things, starting from clothes and food to medical services. Insurance will have to transition to a digital state because you have to follow your clients and millennials are very attached to their smartphones.
Herbert Fromme, maybe Germany’s most famous journalist on Insurance topics, said a few weeks ago, that insures can reduce the majority of the tasks in the future and for the rest they need employees with different skillset. What are your thoughts here?
It’s a long run, for sure AI and technology in general will have an impact on the reduction of job positions but I don’t believe it’s one of the first things to happen in the industry. There is plenty of time to adapt to that possible outcome.
What are your Do’s and Dont’s for an insurance c-suite, that understands that he or she needs to act soon?
Don’t think that it’s enough to do tech in order to solve a problem and don’t think that the insurtech wave is just a marketing bubble.
Think customer first: what are their needs. Create a medium term strategy focused on addressing those needs and guide your company culture to follow through.
What would you advise young people that are thinking to enter the insurance industry?
If you’re planning to found your insurtech startup get some people with insurance industry expertise on board, don’t rely exclusively on technology which is core but not sufficient.
Andrea has over 15 years of experience in business & strategy consulting in multinationals (BCG , Bain&Company) and is Founder & CEO of Business Support, a strategy consulting boutique in Milan. He is co-founder of the insurtech startup Neosurance since 2016 and of DigitalTech International since 2013. He is columnist at Qurious (former Indian Economist), guest contributor at Insurance Thought Leadership (USA), InsurTechNews (Italy) and Füture Inese (Spain). He is 50insurtech influencer (insurtechnews.com), Top Fintech Influencer in Italy (letstalkpayments.com), Top 10 influencer InsTechPower100 (www.rise.global/instech), mhealth Kcore influencer (www.kcore-analytics.com), Digital Scouting Top 100 Insurtech Influencer (www.digitalscouting.de)