This is simply an extension of a panel session on Fintech & InsurTech at a panel session by Alain Peddle of PingAn health, Sumit Narayanan EY and David Wright Pacific Life Re. We are getting better and better at managing humans. We have sleep sensors, smart glasses, heart rate monitors, activity monitors and smart watches becoming more and more common and giving incredible amounts of data somewhere (maybe not given directly to Takaful operators). It will be up to us to hunt down where this data is and how to get access to it and use it to improve fairness and equitable pricing. We like to say this is a blue ocean but it can also be red ocean as there are significant risks involved. As actuaries we need to be open minded and curious.
In the aspect of underwriting if we can automate underwriting for the most part then we can have a policy issued while the agent or intermediary is with the client, or any issues can be discussed right then and there and the policy or coverage adjusted accordingly. Discussions can also extend to how to improve their insurability over time / improve their health. Now people will be excited to talk to Takaful agents!
The younger population has little desire for Family Takaful. They don’t want to think about coverage to age 65, which is so far away. They want coverage when they are in the process of doing something relevant such as planning for a trip, or coverage for a loss of cellphone or other things they value as a young person. This targeted protection will be more affordable in their minds (whether actuarially true or not). Trust is also an issue as all the exclusions and whatnot kill trust as they only find out about it at claims time. Thus we need automation in customer acquisition to ensure we are engaging customers at precisely the right time (at time or researching a trip, buying a cellphone online…) and building trust by explaining everything clearly and transparently.
We can go beyond simply paying when a participant dies or gets sick, we can actively manage disease and other risks. There is enough data online that we can do this now. We can then improve health outcomes rather than just paying. Isn’t this the core of Takaful, actively helping participants? This will also capture more and better data and allow us to price dynamically and actively engage the customer.