Germany’s insurance market is dominated by large established players that offer car insurance at breakeven prices in order to sell other products, a scenario that makes it difficult for newcomers to compete for car insurance on its own. But with the country’s car insurance premiums topping US$30bn annually, the incentives are clear. And technology has the potential to fundamentally redefine the dynamics of the business, drawing new online players into the mix.
FRI:DAY, the German subsidiary of Basler Versicherungen Luxemburg A.G., decided to enter this market with a pioneering, comprehensive insurance platform. The company’s strategy was to develop a highly automated digital back end to keep costs low for a launch in the third quarter of 2017. The timing was critical: Most auto insurance policies in Germany renew at the end of the calendar year, making this the most important selling season.
Enter PwC and Guidewire InsuranceSuite™, a core insurance system from one of the world’s leading software developers, Guidewire. The task was daunting. The team had to create the digital infrastructure for FRI:DAY in less than 60 days instead of the usual nine to 12 months. The project completed on day 59, one of the fastest implementations Guidewire had ever experienced.
The team used the Guidewire platform to create a system that managed policies, claims, collections and disbursements and tested it fully to ensure it met customer needs. To speed up development ,the team deviated from Guidewire’s standards only when there was a solid case that the extra time and effort would add value. The whole project implementation was executed using the Agile approach.
The platform was able to handle FRI:DAY’s most innovative auto insurance offerings, including a product with premiums based on the distance customers drive (pay-as-you-drive), and the option to cancel a policy on one month’s notice instead of being committed for a year.
FRI:DAY made the deadline and recorded sales on its first day of operation, and sales continued strongly during the renewal period, with thousands of new contracts sold. By combing cost-effective digital operations, a pragmatic approach to implementation, a compelling online customer experience and innovative products, FRI:DAY is now well placed to become a formidable competitor in the German auto insurance industry.
"The development and swift implementation of product innovations require a solid and scalable structure. The core system implemented with our partners PwC and Guidewire enables FRI:DAY to introduce digital processes right along the value creation chain. With the digital insurance platform, we are therefore not only offering a novel user experience for customers, but also laying the foundation for partnerships."