Digitalisation of the insurance sector in Switzerland: resumption of investments

Posted 30 June, 2022

Colombus Consulting publishes the 5th edition of its study on the digitalization of the customer experience in insurance in Switzerland. After a timid recovery in 2021, the insurance sector is part of an investment dynamic in 2022. There are many initiatives to develop the customer experience, in particular on mobile applications. Innovation also involves the development of InsurTech and the creation of new ecosystems.


Tight trio at the top of the 2022 rankings


Digitization is accelerating and Helsana, TCS, and Groupe Mutuel, which dominate the ranking, are progressing on average more than the other market players. Overall, health insurers are progressing on average more than other market players. Indeed, the customer relationship is more developed there, and the interactions are more frequent with more digital services (scanning and sending of invoices, change of franchise, request for new complementary products, questions relating to product coverage, etc.).

The budgets allocated to digital media have increased sharply (+31%), driven by health insurers, which invest more heavily than non-life and accident insurers (a difference of 10 points in the growth of digital media budgets between the 2 types of insurance ).


Insurers develop their audiences and services for more omnichannel


The trend in the sector is to develop differentiated interaction services with the return of instant messaging and chatbot functions, and better integration of social networks in customer service. “The objective of insurers today is to streamline customer relations on digital channels, without forgetting that agencies and advisers remain the main point of contact for customers. We are talking about an Advisor augmented by digital technology” specifies Jean Meneveau, associate director of Colombus Consulting.


Mobile apps drive industry innovation


While mobile applications historically offered functionalities covering basic needs (claims management, invoice scanning, contact with insurance), the offer is evolving: SWICA, CSS, Sanitas, and Helsana now offer digital health coaching on more advanced mobile applications.

The new Twint+ service offers travel or everyday items insurance, in partnership with Würth financial services on the “App Only” player market, while Revolut travel insurance remains only available in Europe and not in Switzerland.


The continued growth of insurtech is boosting the sector


Despite a slowdown in fundraising, InsurTech players are showing continued development in 2022. At the European level, the sector is split into 2 families: on the one hand, players who position themselves as front-end competitors of traditional insurers (e.g. the German Wefox, French Alan, and +Simple), and on the other hand, providers of specialized services and solutions (eg: French Shift Technology specialist in fraud detection, English Envelop Risk specialist in re-insurance). Like AXA Switzerland, which acquired the start-up Kinastic in 2022, the takeover or partnerships between insurers and InsurTech continue.


The emergence of new ecosystems is taking shape


The dynamic of InsurTech players has pushed insurers to innovate, giving rise to a new trend: ecosystems allowing players in the same sector to join forces to create new services. We note the arrival of Well, bringing together the insurance companies CSS, Visana, the telemedicine provider Medi24, and the online pharmacy Zur Rose, which offers new integrated services between players. In the same dynamic, Compensana brings together the insurers Groupe Mutuel, Helsana, and Swica and the health groups Medbase and Hirslanden, and should soon launch services that will also be scrutinized by the market. "Indeed, customer expectations are high in the insurance sector, where the digital customer experience often remains below other sectors", specifies Jean Meneveau.


Should digitization go through "open insurance"? 


Between the integration of new services, partnerships, and the creation of ecosystems, the insurance market wants to be more open. If historically the collaborations between actors had the objective of extending the range of services, Open Insurance must today make it possible to offer new end-to-end services, or even to integrate actors totally external to the sector. . “The excellence of the experience for customers and employees alike remains a strong driver of innovation in a market that is constantly seeking new avenues,” concludes Jean Meneveau.

Colombus Consulting presents below the world ranking of the digital index, which measures the digital performance of insurance based on 50 indicators divided into four areas: Web, Mobile, Marketing, and Social.

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