The UK insurance market is an incredibly competitive marketplace, with large incumbents, growing mid-market players, and a swathe of hungry new start-ups looking to make their way in the world of insurance.
But even in such a saturated marketplace, there are still a wide range of opportunities out there for willing participants looking to spread their wings and bring something different to a business line or product area.
One of the first things to do when looking for such disruption, however, is to understand the market you are looking to move into. And to understand it at depth.
Sonr CEO Matt Connolly said it is not good enough to think your existing success in one particular business area will necessarily lead straight to success in another.
“Each market, no matter how comparable from the outside, will have its own idiosyncrasies,” he said. “These need to be identified, understood, responded to and the product or business iterated accordingly.
“It could be as primary as determining customer need or perhaps something more nuanced such as behaviours, cultural differences or regulatory environments.”
“Ultimately, the fact a business is successful in one market does not predetermine success in another,” he added.
So, to help improve the likelihood of success, insurance firms must perform extensive market research before taking their first steps.
This initial analysis needs to cover everything from underwriting and financial performance of the key players, all the way through the claims landscape to the customer experience and how consumers are behaving.
Paul Harvey, founder and CEO of motor insurtech Adiona, worked with Insurance DataLab to help better understand the UK motor market and to help with their “strategic positioning” ahead of their full launch.
Once live, Adiona will offer consumers a new type of motor insurance – an end-to-end digital-first approach delivered on a mobile phone – and the team firmly believes that their use of technology can not only help drive better underwriting results, but also a superior customer experience.
To help build this proposition, Insurance DataLab undertook a benchmarking analysis focused on underwriting results, solvency positions, customer experience, and the complaints-handling performance of leading motor insurance brands across the UK and Gibraltar.
And such exercises are vital for established companies too, whether it be to aid moves into new business lines, or for maximising an established competitive advantage to drive growth.
Terry Dyson, business development director at HSB, has been working with Insurance DataLab to help spot such opportunities.
“Our strategy is based on targeting markets where we can stand out in; delivering profitable and innovative products; and partnering with insurers, brokers and MGAs that support our ambitions,” he said. “To continue to outperform our plans we know we’ll need to work smarter and use digital solutions to focus our expertise where the biggest opportunities lie.
“Working with Insurance DataLab is one of many steps we’re taking to build on our current data capability as an organisation and I’m excited that, with their data hub, we’ll be delivering market analytics straight to our sales and underwriting teams.”
By drawing on Insurance DataLab’s extensive range of financial and customer experience data, such firms can find those partners that are outperforming the market and offering best-in-class customer experiences and combining that with long-term financial success.
This data can also be used to find areas of the market that are not performing as strongly as other business lines, and could therefore be ripe for disruption.
Technology is often a key differentiator here, whether that be bringing in new underwriting metrics to better price risk, or streamlining the user experience. But whatever your approach to disruption, one thing is key – understanding this new market and its key players is essential.
Otherwise, the project will take more time, be more costly, and, most importantly, less likely to deliver the success you desire.
Insurance DataLab now offers free trials of its insight platform. You can register for yours here.