Insurance Company: The competitive advantage of tomorrow won’t be determined by one company alone, but by the strength of the ecosystems it chooses
Businesses are increasingly integrating their core business functionalities with third parties and their platforms. But rather than treat them like partnerships of old, forward-thinking leaders leverage these relationships to build their roles in new digital ecosystems—instrumental to unlocking their next waves of strategic growth.
As ecosystems rise, they blur the boundaries of old industries and create new ones. General Motors no longer considers itself only as an automaker, but also as a transportation-on-demand company. Last year, GM invested $500 million into rideshare platform Lyft and launched the Express Drive service—an offering that lets Lyft drivers rent cars directly from GM and get to work right away
Beyond ride-hailing, GM is using Lyft’s platform to join an entirely new digital transportation ecosystem—one that connects a traditional auto manufacturer with leaders in ride-sharing and autonomous vehicles. Similar ecosystems are emerging across the smart office, the connected home, healthcare, agriculture and more. Insurers must decide where they will play in this new world.
As the world moves to platforms and ecosystems, core insurance business functions—from customer service to distribution and underwriting—will rely heavily on a complex network of digital partners, reaching far beyond the walls of a single organization. We’re already starting to see insurance platforms and ecosystems come together. One example is a recently announced global strategic partnership between AXA, Alibaba and Ant Financial Services.
The partnership will explore opportunities to distribute AXA’s insurance products and services through Alibaba’s global ecommerce ecosystem. This includes insurance products for e-commerce customers, commercial insurance for small and medium businesses on Alibaba’s wholesale marketplaces, and travel insurance for Chinese Ant Financial Services customers traveling overseas.
China’s first Internet-only insurer, Zhong An Online Property and Casualty Insurance, is another example of a platform and ecosystem power play. The joint venture between Alibaba, Ping An and Tencent has a multibillion dollar valuation, offers more than 300 insurance products, and claims to have written 7.6 billion policies for more than 535 million customers.
Around half of its business comes from selling shipping return insurance to customers shopping on Alibaba’s e-commerce platform. The company also offers flight delay insurance through online travel agencies and smartphone screen insurance to Xiaomi smartphone users in China.