Dr. Johannes Ospald, Chairman of MOUNT ONYX, in an interview with Jane Flemming gives some insights into trends, opportunities and needs of the online insurance industry in Europe. He also talks about the researches and future plans of the company.
“Can you tell us some interesting trends about the online insurance business in Europe?”
Dr. Johannes Ospald: “In Europe, the online insurance business is becoming more and more part of daily life. There is no way around online shopping and products any more. I would note here that new online insurances mostly supplement traditional channels, but do not replace them.
Through the last 30 years, more than 400 online channels of insurers and even more online aggregators/ brokers and insurtechs have entered the European insurance market. The result is a 100 billion EUR market.
We have identified 250 future trends in the online insurance business. Two examples include: There is a trend in the direction of better and faster IT/ processes and online self-services for the customer. Also, the trend towards mobile marketing and mobile responsive web design has massively increased especially in the last 2 years.”
“Do you see possibilities for optimization of online insurance channels in Europe?”
Dr. Johannes Ospald: “Sure, as we are regularly evaluating the performance of existing online channels of insurers in all of Europe, we can say that there are many opportunities to enhance business growth. To name only a few examples: on the product side, out of 35 measured product types, on average only 4.9 own brand product lines are currently offered per channel in Europe, 81.8% of the players feature their own motor insurance products, but only 12.6% bank products.
On the marketing side, few direct insurance channels utilize the huge potential to build a strong and unique brand, which should gain more customers at lower cost & higher loyalty. Or the fact that only 21.2% of the players are currently present with Google ads and only 10.4% use affiliate programs. On the sales side, for example, only 16.0% offer the possibility of a live-chat.”
“What are the major needs of your business clients?”
Dr. Johannes Ospald: “Companies all over the world are currently planning or considering investments in developing a new distribution channel, leveraging aggregators as a channel or expanding services and experiences provided on the internet or over the phone.
We are following senior executives and their teams in the insurance and banking sector on their way to new opportunities and more success in the online/ direct business.
In this regard MOUNT ONYX is one of the leading experts in Europe, with clients in more than 25 countries. We are a lean competence team and specialized. Although the needs of our clients are very different, the main target is always to work out a pragmatic approach on how to significantly decrease cost and increase business growth.
Our individual projects are focused on strategy and business development or on start-up implementations. That also includes workshops, from seminars with 30 people with simultaneous translation to one-to-one meetings, from Spain to Russia, from Scandinavia to Greece. Additionally, since 2012 we have been publishing international trend studies, which are highly appreciated.“
“You have mentioned international trend studies, what is your research approach?”
Dr. Johannes Ospald: “Well, we are the only company who can offer a complete big picture of Europe and who can give our clients the international ”glasses” to maximize their business success. In general, the availability of European online insurance data is very restrictive.
Together with our partner, the University of Vienna, we are regularly tracking the entire online insurance market following a holistic multi-step approach:
First, we are conducting extensive international desk research, systematic market observation and final plausibility analyses with more than 50 industry experts in Europe and North America.
Second, we perform qualitative pre-studies about online insurances in all of Europe through website analyses, mystery shopping, Google und Youtube research, etc. The outcome are key success factors, respectively 30 growth & cost drivers with more than 300 measured and weighted criteria.
Last but not least, we are regularly carrying out extensive on-going quantitative researches of all online insurance channels in all of Europe, including multi-step data evaluation, control and preparation. The result is the biggest quantitative database about the online insurance business in Europe.”
“As I see millions of data available, what is your concrete offer to clients?”
Dr. Johannes Ospald: “We are offering added-value information: clearly summarised and presented facts and figures for relevant topics going far beyond a mere description of the online insurance industry. And all this for an investment of one consultant day or even less.
Depending on the subject of interest, we offer the following studies about online insurances in Europe: “The Best of Online Insurance”, “Business Models & Trends”, “Best Practices/ Trends/ To-dos”, “Country Reports” or an “Individual Benchmarking”, which means a detailed real-time SWOT analysis of single players and competitors benchmarked with Europe, across all business functions.
In addition, we are regularly honouring the best online insurance channels in all of Europe. Only the top 3% of existing channels are selected for the Europe Awards in 8 categories.”
“Well, many interesting facts and figures available, but what are the real benefits for senior executives and their teams with limited time resources?”
Dr. Johannes Ospald: “We are offering added-value solutions. Based on our motto “think big, act cheap” we would like to assist executives to focus on doing the right things and then doing things right. Our studies are full with practical success guidelines of what to do. Also in our workshops we support people to additionally translate facts and figures into customer-specific and successful solutions.
People often think they know enough about their business in their markets. Our international view means a huge resource for further improvements and innovations. It is not the 80% you already know, it is the 20% of new information, ideas and suggestions in our studies which counts. You can eat an elephant, but cut it in pieces. Sometimes only one sentence in a study can produce at least a small change and a “quick hit” improvement can have a high impact on business success.”
“What is your company’s plan for the future?”
Dr. Johannes Ospald: “To name just a few strategic directions for our clients: on-going international researches and updates of our database, software development of data cubes and tool-boxes for individual self-made evaluations and of ready-made solutions, development of an innovation lab together with selective partners in the industry.”
“And your vision, summarized in one sentence?”
Dr. Johannes Ospald: “The first point of contact and expert platform for online insurance and for insurers, brokers, banks, IT-suppliers, consulting companies and financial investors in Europe.”