The case for platforms in insurance

Thought Leadership

The insurance industry has traditionally been a low-interest, low-interaction industry.

Today, insurance is often viewed as a requirement imposed by your bank when taking out a loan. And you, the client, will only see its benefits when you face some kind of issue and file a claim. Although, you might not use your insurance often, you are happy to have one to cover expenses which might otherwise be overwhelming.

Platforms and insurance

With the introduction of platforms, insurers have the opportunity to turn this model upside down. Now, you can provide immediate benefits to the policyholder and create an exciting new product offering.

But how can an insurer become more customer centric? First, they need to understand their clients’ biggest challenges. Taking out an insurance should be easy. The process of assessing and managing their risks must be made simple and relatable. Everything should be integrated with the underlying activity of the client, like buying a house or going on a holiday.

Create more value in less time at a lower cost. That’s what platforms around customer needs can do – break down silos and connect various partners around those needs, and at the same time, gather valuable insights on customer behaviour and wishes. This truly is key for the digital transformation and will shape the industry in the years to come.

Enough theory, time to show you some examples.


In Belgium, vehicle insurers are cooperating on the creation of a new platform which will show the real-time third party liability insurance status of all vehiculs.

The provision of immediate proof of insurance will reduce fraud with uninsured vehicles. Validated partners, such as the police, will be able to retrieve a cars insurance information instantly in case of an accident or day-to-day check.

This also generates a huge cost saving for the car insurers because the current paper green cards will become redundant.

Once in place, this platform will bring lots of opportunities. Just one example is enabling a customer friendly and seamless claims process. Data of the accident (location, speed, time) can be transmitted directly to the insurer together with pictures of the damage. These pictures can then be used to assess the damage (with the help of image recognition) and match the repair job directly to the best-suited allied repair shop on the platform.

Running a business

Toco, a Belgian company specialised in the automation of financial administration, aggregates data from banks and accounting platforms to offer easy to use process optimisation tools.

This financial cockpit brings together the different financial partners behind an SME into one space to simplify the accounting process. Accountants, banks, HR services and insurers can integrate on the platform to centralise reporting and generate financial transparency.

An insurer can leverage this platform by creating personalised pension products based on account information or credit insurance products based on invoices. The additional collected data within the platform could be used to enhance the insurer’s risk models, leading to better products hitting the market. Furthermore, the platform would also create an additional distribution channel for the insurer, allowing more frequent interaction with customers.


Vitality UK rewards clients for healthy living. Under parent group Discovery, South Africa’s largest insurer, Vitality have a bold mission to get 100 million people more active by 2025.

With their health and wellness programme, participants can save on their premiums, get better rates on loans (if banks are integrated on the platform) and even get discounts at other parties on the platform, such as gyms and grocery stores.

This model is rolling out across the globe. Discovery is a member of the Vitality Group Alliance, comprising of like-minded insurers seeking to overturn traditional life insurance and focus instead on a health data driven rewards model. Within the group are Generali, who have launched the vitality model in Austria, Germany and France already, and John Hancock in the US.

The gamification element behind the platform means that the more you use the available services, the better the rewards you’ll get. Behind the scenes, behavioural insights are being collected for all platform partners which in turn leads to a further improvement of the customer experience and better personalised offers.

And of course, the clients get healthier which will decrease health risks. John Hancock states as of June 2020, they have noted an average 47% decrease in policyholders’ BMI (body mass index) since the client joined the programme. This will, in the long run, have an effect on claim ratios and mortality tables which is also critical in the context of the ageing population. (Source : ThinkAdvisors)


Belgian bank and insurer Belfius recently took a stake in the Immovlan real estate platform. This a logical decision because, for many people, this is where the buying and hence loan journey starts.

Beflius has put a strong focus on their (mobile) digitalisation for a few years now, so it’s no surprise that they are looking outside the financial sector for new opportunities. Today, they’ve included the real estate platform on their own application. This means that their clients get support throughout the end-to-end process of buying a house, from finding their dream home, getting a mortgage and finally insuring themself and their home. The bank’s app even gives you access to Belfius’ partner network consisting of home renovators, solar panel installation and plumbers among others. Adding, for example, notaries to the platform would allow exchange of the necessary documents between involved parties on the platform. This would make the lives of real estate agents and buyers much easier.

Furthermore, the platform provides valuable insight in what clients are looking for when it comes to housing. Creating the one-stop-shop for buying real estate will increase client satisfaction. And with that, loyalty and customer retention.

Allowing the exchange of information between partners on this platform will also generate huge cost savings because it makes a lot of manual work redundant.

Delivering change to the financial industry

To create value with platforms, insurers have to overcome the challenges that come with implementing a digital strategy. They must reconsider their business models and look at possibilities to collaborate with other parties by means of platforms. They need to be able to plug their legacy technology efficiently into these platforms so they can interact with consumers, banks and other parties seamlessly, or overhaul it altogether.

They should put the data they have collected within the platform to work, of course taking into account how individual and personal data should be protected in line with the GDPR, for quick product innovations or creating entirely new offerings. Incumbent insurers who are not able to act fast will run the risk of losing out as clients preferences shift. This requires a more agile way of working and enhanced business efficiency to shorten time-to-market and time-to-value.

With our ecosystem and dedicated team of professionals, ::projective can help you rethink your business and operating model, and build the partnerships that will take you along the end-to-end journey of your platform strategy.