DIA Amsterdam: Getting in touch with potential Partners

Digitalisation & innovation, 12.05.2017

Digital Insurance Agenda (DIA) is an important forum for digitalisation in insurance. The invitation to join a panel on innovations and collaborations with insurtechs honoured me – especially considering the long list of promising start-ups enlisted to present at DIA.

This year’s DIA was held in Amsterdam so the journey from Düsseldorf was easy for me. It was held in a gasometer – what a contrast to all the modern hightech displayed on stage. And DIA’s stage became quite busy right from the start. A large number of start-ups presented their solutions at a brisk pace of 10 minutes each. For example Rightindem offers insurers the necessary tools for their clients to report claims completely digitally – their system seemed to offer easy handling and consists of only a few steps. BigMi impressed me with a solution which uses artificial intelligence to recognise attempts on insurance fraud. Dacadoo's e-Health platform enables insurers to provide their clients with a chatbot intended to help them adopt a healthier life style – including scores and other gamificaton attractions.

During their talk I was really impressed by the ban of PowerPoint presentation; there was no slide bom-bardment this time! They either showed prototypes or a live demo was viewable on smartphones. Companies must have developed a "genuine" solution before they can present at DIA. This improved my DIA expe-rience. It was very clear that the vast majority of the start-ups did not want to disrupt insurances. The solutions were often intended to help insurance companies with digitalisation.

The panel I was asked to join was all about innovation culture and collaboration with start-ups. All of us agreed that a large measure of openness, honesty and flexibility is needed for collaborations to succeed. The topic Digital Transformation itself was also discussed. The consensus included that it was far more than only the use of technology - culture has to be changed and staff motivated. And: If we really want to make an impression on clients with our solutions we have to position them at the centre of what we do.

On the same day my colleague Stefan Rochlitzer of ERGO Direkt gave a lecture jointly with the start-up Faktor Zehn. The new online calculation system was shown which can be appended by new insurance services within only a few minutes work. In the live presentation the public liability product of ERGO Direkt was extended to additionally offer a notional cover against cyber risks; theoretically, clients would have been able to conclude this new cover swiftly. More from Stefan Rochlitzer about his lecture in the ERGO Direkt blog.

Jordi Rivera, CEO of D.A.S. Seguros, joined the start-up Traity on stage to present an impressive common case: They used targeted questions for collecting online reputations on business partners, thereby helping them to collaborate in business. The ERGO triple was therefore full at this high-value event.

It was a packed and inspiring day. I came back to Düsseldorf with three key learnings. Many start-ups are not classic competitors but rather potential partners. Artificial intelligence, particularly in chatbots, is successfully used by many start-ups. And: ERGO becomes the vanguard with its multi-faceted activities. Our organisational structure also helps: by separating our digital business from the traditional business and management focus it makes it easier for us in ERGO Digital Ventures to implement new ideas quickly and achieve synergies while venturing on digital opportunities.

I look forward to your comments, questions and suggestions.
Regards, Mark Klein

Author: Mark Klein

Mark Klein is Chief Digital Officer ERGO Group and Chairman of the Board of Management of ERGO Digital Ventures AG. Here you find Mark Klein on LinkedIn.

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