Pieter Coopmans (GB Life): Taking life insurance into the digital age
GB Life Luxembourg is aiming to make taking our insurance as easy as booking a hotel room, through digitalisation, transparency, simplification and close co-operation with intermediary partners, says CEO Pieter Coopmans.
What factors are driving your strategy at GB Life?
A key driver of our strategy is to make the provision of insurance simple for clients in our core markets of Luxembourg, Belgium, France, Spain and Italy. In recent years we have seen market participants focus increasingly on tailored business, which increases both complexity and cost tremendously. We believe that although clients’ needs and the advice they require to manage their wealth are more and more complex, the insurance solutions they use should be simplified as much as possible: easy to create and to adapt. If there is a long list of participants in the value chain, it is the client who is paying, so our approach is to standardise as much as possible. For example, there should be no need to provide the same piece of information, like a change of address, four or five times. This is a very traditional industry, one that has not so far embraced technology rapidly, and we believe it’s ripe for disruption.
« We see increased regulation as an opportunity.»
In what way are clients’ needs evolving?
The end-client today is no longer ready to hand over all the decision-making power to the professionals. While the role of a trusted adviser is as important as ever, clients are looking more for help and advice in taking the right decision themselves and ensuring that the providers around them are the best available. We work closely with intermediaries, with whom we develop our products and processes to ensure they are as efficient as possible and attuned to the requirements of the ultimate client. One important element of this is incorporating digital technology to replace clunky paper-based processes – which is what clients expect today in many areas of life, from shopping to banking. With our intermediary partners we are seeking to improve the client experience, including being more responsive, eliminating errors and offering transparent and proactive reporting.
What challenges must the industry tackle to succeed in the future?
All this is happening against a backdrop of increased regulation, which we see not as a burden but an opportunity, because it is providing protection to clients. By ensuring our platform is compliant as well as easy to use, we are supporting our partners meet their own compliance requirements. And regarding fee transparency, we have just launched a product in Belgium without entry, exit or transfer fees. It’s all part of a vital process of modernisation within the industry, from the seamless exchange of information to creating a more efficient value chain. Our goal is to make insurance as easy as booking a room in a hotel – and in the same way as with hotel reservation apps, the critical factor is trust in the information – which is why the role of the adviser is so critical.