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Moving Fundamentals: Cashbacks to Platforms

A recent report from Deloitte Canada – “Insurance re-imagined” – focused on new techniques for to marketing, pricing, and  aligned supports. Forward-thinking insurers and distributors are creating new methods to increase the significance of insurance and the growth of new results for insurers, suppliers, and users.  What will this mean?

Let’s start with the easiest: Cashback …

Over the pond, RSA became ‘MORE TH>N REWARDS’. To wit, “a new cashback scheme to help loyal customers offset the cost of renewing their insurance.”

Here’s how it works:  loyal insurance customers get a cashback from their car, home, and pets insurance purchases, stored neatly in an on-line wallet.  These cashbacks can be used at a growing number of retailers.  This includes the insurance companies.

On renewal, customers will receive more in their bank account. According to RSA, the average earning is £300 cashback per year.

But this is open to the next levels …

Anthony O’Donnell – of IIReporter.com fame – penned a story on ‘Benefitfocus Benefitsplace’ in his March 29 column. He took us to the tendrils emanating from the core.

At the Benefitfocus OnePlace user group in Charleston, S.C., the company noted that there had been expansion to include personal lines property, as well as auto and renters coverage, through Benefitfocus Benefits Platform.

Key to all the emerging Platform business, Mark Breading, Partner at SMA (Boston), notes:

“It turns out that Benefitfocus has been on this path in the benefits space for a long time, and now they are accelerating and expanding their ecosystem into property/casualty and other ancillary products beyond their traditional base. Their scale, experience, and extensive network position them for further growth.”

It’s still early days, but…

Organizations such as Benefitfocus are developing and promoting integration of needs and benefits that will appear on Platforms.  Benefitfocus CEO, Ray August said “These additions to offerings available to brokers within BenefitsPlace reflect extensive research on what types of new products consumers wanted, identifying auto and home insurance as the biggest areas of need,”

August continued, “Offering property options through licensed brokers gives customers access to industry-leading brands and outstanding coverage at discounted rates they wouldn’t be able to individually access.”

Is the Status still Quo?

I know that there are reasons for caution, but I suspect that Platforms will become more ubiquitous and more standardized, allowing a new range of action.

What does this mean?  Let’s go back to the RSA ‘MORE TH>N REWARDS’ scenario.  I suspect, getting the first £300 cashback would be incentive enough to keep the savings.  However, most every one could marshal rebates with little analysis.

However, when we look at the changes in the integration of benefits and the implementation of platforms that meet insights above and beyond, we need new words for the platform and its relationship to fellows.

A good starting point might be: “I don’t think we’re in Kansas, Dorothy.”

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