Our CEO, Dennis Barnes, was profiled on Knowledge@Wharton, the online business analysis journal of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania to discuss trends and leadership in insurance. The conversation provides insight into the challenges, advantages, and possibilities facing the insurance industry and offers a look at RGAX’s philosophy and mission in this changing landscape.
It’s no secret that disruption – from technology, changing social norms, and competition from emerging and longstanding companies – has arrived in the insurance industry. The forces leading to change don’t have to be frightening though and, as Dennis explains, they also create really interesting and exciting opportunities for insurance providers to evolve. That’s what RGAX is all about: helping clients strategically approach and navigate their own transformation journey.
Dennis believes that partnerships and the power of collaboration are at the core of the insurance industry’s next phase of innovation. “Last year alone, more than $4 billion was invested in insurtechs, and that’s continuing to increase. But it’s oftentimes in partnership with and in support of other carriers and reinsurers,” he explains. “Some of those who are focused on user-experience [at startups] got excited about trying to make it very simple and realized it’s actually a fairly complex process and sale. So, partnerships are really becoming the norm.”
Traditional insurers remain a vital source of expertise and strategic insight, even amongst fierce competition. To illuminate this indispensable value, RGAX is helping clients and the industry as a whole innovate their processes and tools. The main focus areas include: harnessing data and analytics, enhancing digital distribution, improving customer engagement and user experience, and supporting value chain needs in underwriting, administration, and claims with better technical solutions.
“Our objective is to help our carriers [embrace] product development more quickly and cost effectively. So in a matter of months, they can take a new product to market, and we can start to see if it will scale,” Dennis shared with Knowledge@Wharton on how product innovation and experimentation have become a crucial part of realizing these goals. “By working with us, they can do it significantly more cost effectively and in a more timely manner. It’s our way of trying to accelerate the product development learning curve for the industry.”
New products and solutions using machine learning, AI, biometrics, and blockchain are coming to fruition. While the technical backend, apps, and products vary, they are all being used to improve the wellbeing of consumers. Whether it’s enhancing agents’ ability to serve customers faster or allowing aging people to live independently at home longer, the developments are offering promising results for insurance teams and consumers.
“When I joined the organization a few years ago, I traveled around and started talking first with the employees. What I learned was their passion wasn’t for selling another insurance product, it was their impact on the consumer,” Dennis explained on the driving force behind the RGAX team and their innovation efforts.
“That’s what we’re rallied around — getting the right protection in the hands of the right people, absolutely what they need, but only what they need, and then engaging them in healthier behaviors. Our people wake up inspired to try to effect that.”
Looking ahead, he sees RGAX working to close the coverage gap and ultimately, to help people live longer and healthier lives.
Read the full article to learn more about insurance industry trends and the RGAX approach to leadership, innovation, and product development.