Allianz aims to grab e-mobility opportunities
The insurance heavyweight is evolving its role as twin revolutions play out
It was a theme of this year’s IAA Mobility event in Munich that the auto industry is not experiencing one seismic shift, but in fact two simultaneously. One is the move away from ICE to EV and the other is the rise of the software-defined vehicle.
Both have huge impacts on every step of the value chain — OEMs, component suppliers, selling agents and drivers themselves. But, as Fernando Comenge, global head of mobility at global insurance firm Allianz Partners, tells EV inFocus, it also alters the role of service providers.
The ways in which greater flow of data can change how insurers serve their customers can vary from the mundane to the radical. “It opens a lot more possibilities of really integrating additional products and additional points of touch with the customer and elevating that customer experience,” says Comenge.
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That can manifest itself in relative simply ways, such as how insurance is bought. “Customers are not so interested in selecting a car and then completely separately from that process selecting an insurance, they are much more interested in the convenience of having a package,” suggests the Allianz Partners´ mobility chief.
“We are seeing car brands more and more allowing you to configure your car online — and even complete the purchase online — so it is only a natural step that our cover and our services are part of that purchase process and not an independent one. Nobody wants to move to another website or to another process, you want to have something seamless and indistinguishable.”
But there are also more fundamental changes that increased data can bring. In its simplest form, more data availability around the car you own can automatically flow to your insurer. If you have safety features as part of an advanced driving assistance system, you need no longer declare it on a lengthy form if such details can be accessed through some sort of API instead.
Greater real-time data from the road itself is even more promising, both for drivers and insurers. “More data will become available that allows to you to have a driving score and, if you are a good driver and have a good score, it is going to lead to cheaper premiums,” says Comenge.
But it is not just about rewarding better drivers; more actual, rather than estimated, data will increase the efficiency of insurers’ models. “Calculation of premiums will become more refined, which should turn into better premiums for the customer, because you are not adding an ambiguity or lack of certainty buffer,” Comenge predicts.
There are also several areas of the e-mobility revolution that are impinging on Allianz Partners´ model. One is micromobility, where the insurer can boast of being one of the global leaders.
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“Civil liability, the rider's liability as we like to call it, as well as personal accident insurance for the rider is already embedded in the price per minute you pay,” says Comenge of the service it offers for shared micromobility operators— e-scooters, e-bikes and e-mopeds — across close to 30 countries globally. The firm now insures more than 1.5bn minutes/year of such micromobility vehicles.
And Allianz Partners is able to leverage existing business lines such as home services into the hardware required for EV ownership, such as charging cables and home charging systems. “If you are transitioning into the electric world, you need a charger in your home, or office or in the community where you are living, and this can be part of that service. We have been doing home repairs for many years, so it is only one step more where we can use our network to then provide the customer with this offer,” Comenge says.
It offers an advantage to OEMs in that partnership with a reputable brand such as Allianz “reduces uncertainty for them and produces that commitment that, when you sell the electric car, you can integrate our services, maybe provide the wall box etc.” Allianz Partners aim is to provide services meaning that “you can transition into the journey of electric mobility as smoothly as possible”.
“Sometimes it is not easy, but as smoothly as possible,” Comenge concludes with a smile.