Innovation in order to grow
Technology, connectivity and, above all, new forms of consumer behaviour will substantially transform the insurance sector.
As outlined in our new strategy Generali 2021, Innovation and Digital Transformation is one of the three pillars on which the strategy is built. We prioritise innovation in order to:
- become a life-time partner of customers: we will give our customers the flexibility of a modular product offering. They will also get a comprehensive 24/7 assistance proposition – complemented by 360 degree advisory.
- enable digital transformation of our distribution model, by launching a pan-European mobility insurance platform, and developing other B2B2C ecosystems.
- transform and digitalize our operating model through simplification, automation and artificial intelligence.
To achieve this, besides pulling all the resources and efforts required from the different parts of the Group, Generali will invest an additional 1 billion in strategic initiatives over the plan period.
To steer this investment, Generali has developed Generali Digital!, our digital ambition for enabling the life-time partner goal. It is composed of 5 Digital Enablers which will help us to achieve this digital vision, of which innovation is one:
The Innovation Digital Enabler aims to create a movement to democratise innovation right across our global business. We believe that innovation is not just a key lever for our long-term success but also an opportunity for Generali to guide the process of change as a leader of the insurance industry. Its purpose is to grow and foster innovation, everywhere, for everyone.
In this sphere we have adopted different approaches in both our internal and external activities:
- internally, we are focused on promoting innovative projects and solutions to advance the business across the value chain, with structured processes and methodologies for knowledge sharing and cross-fertilization among the individual functional areas and business units.
- externally, we collaborate with leading technology counterparts (from start-ups to large industry leaders from all over the world) that can enable the development of new high-potential services or business models scalable within the Group. We have also signed partnerships with venture incubators (e.g. from universities), Scouting & Relationships Hubs, and accelerators (the most notable being the one with Plug&Play Insurtech Hub in Munich).
Notable examples of inward-focused innovations are the brand new EuropAssistance MyClinic, Generali Italia’s Jeniot products and services, and LINGS – an on/off instant insurance startup, digital-native and fully independent from our operations that is registering good market traction in Switzerland. In 2020 we have also launched an Innovation Fund to co-fund bold ideas across the group. It is open to all the Generali people across all geographies.
On the external innovation side, the examples are even more. Among there are the famous Generali-Vitality joint venture with Discovery, the collaboration with Google’s Nest for the home insurance product in Germany, and the partnership with TicTrac for offering digital Health&Wellness solutions to employees of our multinational corporate clients outside EU, among many others.
Both the internal and external approach which we are taking will provide Generali with the innovation it needs in order to grow, helping us to guide the process of change as a leader of the insurance industry.
In January 2020 the Generali Innovation Fund was launched as part of the Innovation & Digital Transformation pillar to support innovative initiatives across the Group, this aims to stimulate and accelerate innovation across Generali by triggering and feeding local and global innovative ideas. Anyone at Generali is eligible to apply: the only requirement is a good idea.
The first round of the Fund saw enthusiastic engagement from across the Group, with over 50 ideas submitted from 18 different Business Units, spanning all the Generali Hallmarks and Digital Enablers. Out of 50 ideas received and evaluated, 20 have been co-funded:
- An AI-based health partner platform that will give Generali customers, and the wider public, access to tailored health advice online.
- A digital client onboarding platform, allowing all aspects of the process to be done remotely.
- Two solutions co-funded in Round 1 help customers save for their future: one is a Unit Linked for Youngster; the other a rounding up of card transactions.
Not only do these, and other, impactful innovations support our Hallmarks and Digital Enablers, they also support our Lifetime Partner ambition.