Major insurer raids Google, Amazon ranks to get tech-savvy

by Insurance Business Wholesale04 Nov 2015
Mark Wilson, Aviva PLC chief executive, stated that the insurance industry is in the “Stone Age” due to its lack of technology and innovation. His company has been hiring staff from tech giants Google and Amazon in an attempt to update its technology and improve its customer experience.

Wilson remarked that Aviva’s customers would be more likely to purchase insurance products if they were made conveniently available online, in user-friendly forms. He believes that by investing in technology and the skills to use it, he can deliver on such promises.
Aviva currently spends £100 million on technology, Wilson asserted.

Unlike banks, the insurance industry as a whole was not quick to adopt the accessibility and convenience of online business facilities. Just last year, Aviva unveiled an application that allowed customers to access their accounts through their smartphones.

Insurers are hoping to catch up in the technological race through marketing their products online and handling their customers over the Web. The industry is also looking into other innovations that could improve the way claims are processed and risk is monitored. For instance, a number of insurers in the US were recently authorised to use remote-controlled drones to assist in assessing the damage of insured property.

Wilson gave his remarks during an Aviva trading update. Through the update, the corporation announced that it had successfully integrated Friends Life earlier this year; the insurer was acquired for £5.6 billion.

Aviva increased its value of new business written by 20% to £823 million for the group. Morgan Stanley analysts said that the figures displayed “a solid operating performance”.