FIAR 2018: Brokers' Conference (II): digitization and technology are needed for efficient operations, but will not replace the human touch in consultancy

The second part of the Brokers' Conference taking place at FIAR 2018 analyzed the impact of European Union's legislative overhaul - IDD & GDPR -, also bringing into debate study cases and real-life scenarios of what the brokers face on the market, and, last but not least, trying to see whether digitalisation and InsurTech could truly lead to disintermediation.

Marc SCHMIELE, Specialist, Distribution Union, GDV - German Insurance Association
  • GDV is the German Association of Insurers. We have the headquarters in Berlin and we also have a European headquarters in Brussels. We have 450 company members. 524,000 people are working in the insurance industry in Germany.
  • In Germany, when it comes to insurance distribution, we differentiate between insurance mediation and consultancy. We have a total of 211,504 registered insurance intermediaries and consultants, out of which 317 are registered as insurance consultants and the majority consists in insurance agents and brokers.
  • As far as IDD in Germany is concerned, the rules are transposed in various normative acts. The law implementing IDD has been in effect since 23 February. There are still elements to solve at the second level, we have not solved everything yet.
  • There are a few EU states which managed to transpose IDD in the local legislation: Germany, Estonia, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.
Razvan RUSU - CEO, LEADER TEAM Broker part of The Londongate Group
  • A robot is executing processes a lot faster than our colleagues and it helps our colleagues get rid of boring tasks they have to do every day: making offers, creating dossiers etc.
  • This robot (RPA - Robotic Process Automation) we have recently introduced in our company is an intelligent app, which can be trained to learn all the daily tasks of an employee.
  • This app helps us become more efficient and it eliminates all human errors. Our clients' data are much safer.
  • Robots will not replace humans. Their purpose is to allow humans to be more creative, to invest more time in sales instead of taking one document from a department to another.
  • The robot app can solve in 25-35 minutes what a human can do in 6-8 hours.
Gabriel SIDOR - CEO - Future Workforce - Robotic Process Automation, Romania
  • RPA is a software solution, which helps us automate both back-office and front-office processes. It is a virtual employee that a company can program and train to repeat activities during a process.
  • To benefit from the RPA efficiency (Robotic Process Automation), we must look at repetitive processes. For example, if you have, in your company, an employee who introduces data from system A to system B, the most efficient solution would be to replace that person with a robot. That person does not bring any value to himself or the company through such a task.
  • RPA technology is GDPR compliant.
XPRIMM Circle of Debates: What are the operational issues brokers are facing more often in the interaction with the insurance companies? What solutions do we have?

Stefan PRIGOREANU - CEO, MILLENIUM Insurance Broker:

We are facing with an avalanche of additional acts to comply to GDPR. We are working with 19 partners and we have received 15 different models of additional acts. Rights and obligations are illegaly distributed in these 15 additional atcs. We weren't expecting that. We are waiting for a unitary approach from insurance companies, because it's the same regulation.

Solutions come from two directions: digitization and technology, on one hand, and, on the other hand, professionalism, good training and trust. I think the future is almost imprevisible regarding the evolution of technology. We can not imagine how the world will change over 20-30 years, but the professionalism will remain a value, trust between people will remain a value.

Georgeta SARACIN - Claims & Insurance Director, VERASIG:

We, at the end of alphabet, have received so far only one additional act. We are waiting for May 25th. If we don't have additional acts, we can't subscribe. Thus, for the insurers that don't send us the required documents, we won't be able to subscribe after May 25th. We are waiting the documents also from the other insurers.

I believe in professionalism, I still believe that it takes years of training to understand and apply to consumer's necessity, not to insurer's need for sale. The relationship that consolidates, in time, between client and broker is unique. No robot will replace the personal bond between those two. Don't understand I have something against robotics, I'm just seeing it applicable only for a part of business.

Cerasela CHIRIAC - Owner, INTER Broker: 

We've also faced a great deal of additional acts. One provision includes that all information must be secured. I wonder if, in the desire to conform, we're taking the wrong turn. Another additional act imposes that all documents must pe kept for 10 years... what is the meaning? From this point of view, it's necessary to find a system to apply and respect.

If we're going to extremes, I think no player on the market will have something to win.

Marius LASLO - Executive Director, DESTINE Broker:

We've also received additional acts. One has more than 30 pages. We're not signing such an act. That's a lot of business.

We'll find the solutions, easier or harder, through collaboration. We also underline the professional training. We believe that our clients still need advice. Let's not forget that financial education is at a very low level in Romania. At the same time, we are thinking about using IT solutions for issuing simple policies, because we're thinking at the young generation who wants to buy online.

Victor SRAER - Managing Partner, OTTO Broker:

I look at reconciliation - it consumes a lot of money and it's a matter that can be simply solved with a little concern for the partnership relationship. Our working relationships should be considered on the long run.

According to a recent study, the attention spam is already under 1 second. This is a reality we need to understand and adapt to. Balance is needed and we also need to identify the thing that will remain - and professionalism will remain.

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