All lights are green for assistance. In addition to very positive results, players in the sector have developed new services for policyholders. In 2021, they are establishing themselves more than ever as partners of choice for insurers.
If the 2016 results were mixed for insurers, this is not the case for assistants. They indeed achieved a turnover of 2.8 billion euros (+ 7.7% compared to 2015). This growth is drained by all sectors of activity.
Representing nearly 62% of turnover, the automobile remains the main provider of assistance activity. The other sectors are not to be outdone, with a strong dynamism for medical, personal services, and concierge services. With a 15.7% increase in the number of cases handled, the concierge niche market also offers good prospects for assistants.
The good results of assistance are correlated with the high rate of claims. Indeed, the economic model of assistance is based on the principle of mutualization and the calculation of an S / P ratio (claims/premiums) between frequency and intensity risks. The cost of assistance is included in the premium paid by the insured (5 to 10% of the amount).
In the event of a claim, the insured directly contact the assistance provider, who checks the correct coverage of the risk. The assistance provider mobilizes service providers and remunerates them.
It then invoices this amount back to the insurer, together with management fees. Faced with this model, we can easily understand the good results of the assistants. The year 2016 saw a record loss experience, due in particular to the severe bad weather in May and June. As a result, the number of insurance claims has jumped, particularly in the auto and home sector.
Beyond a favorable context, the assistants make efforts in terms of innovation. In up-to-date years, many digital enterprises have been growing. Whether it is to strengthen prevention or facilitate care, the goal is to improve the customer experience.
Notable initiatives include “Act's Diag” by Acta Assistance. The concept is simple: give priority to on-site repair in the event of a vehicle breakdown. Thanks to a connection box and an app, troubleshooters have access to fault codes.
They can determine its severity and decide on the appropriate intervention method (on-site repair or towing to a garage). In the event of towing, the information is sent directly to the nearest garage to anticipate the repair and possibly prepare a replacement vehicle.
For the insured, the benefit is major in terms of saving time. If the breakdown is minor, their vehicle is immediately repaired. They don't need to take a detour through a garage. If the problem is more important, the communication between the repairer and the garage allows a faster intervention.
Various offers concern personal assistance. For example, Europ Assistance has just launched its DOMVEIL offer. In addition to a box comprising a call button or a fall detector and the associated intervention, the assistant offers a listening platform aimed at detecting and remedying loneliness or psychological distress. Depending on the option chosen, the insured may benefit from daily services (taxi, meals, etc.).
In addition to medical teleconsultation, there are solutions to support hospitalization (eg Hospizen d'Allianz) or devices for monitoring chronic diseases such as diabetes. Mondial Assistance also offers, via Sogecap, the Ultralert application .
This application is intended for Société Générale customers holding a long-term care guarantee autonomy contract. In case of emergency (medical or security), the insured can press a button or shake his phone to trigger an alert and be geolocated.
In the event of a health problem, the SAMU is mobilized; in the event of a security problem, the appropriate means are implemented (alerting the emergency services, the gendarmerie, or the police). The objective of this application: to offer very rapid intervention in the event of an extreme emergency.
How can assistants offer these innovations? For Mondial Assistance France, it is the setting up of a Lab that makes it possible to imagine and test new concepts.
Behind the mobile applications developed, the objective is to digitize the customer journey to make it more fluid. To better achieve this, the emphasis is on co-creation. In addition to the assistance employees, customers participate in this dynamic of innovation by giving their opinion on the concepts developed at the Lab. At stake: new services adapted to customer needs.
Claims management is a key moment in the customer relationship for insurers. Indeed, once the contract is signed, exchanges between policyholders and insurers are rare. The connection is triggered at the annual renewal of the contract and in the event of a claim.
This moment is critical: demanding customers expect the compensation for the premiums paid. The stakes are high for insurers, who must prove their reliability and expertise. A positive experience makes it possible to retain policyholders; a negative experience prompts them to change insurers.
Faced with this observation, insurers and assistance providers must work together to guarantee optimal claims management. Allianz understood this well. In 2016, the insurer set up a “single customer journey” to streamline its handling of auto claims. In the event of material damage, policyholders can contact the Mondial Assistance emergency number. The assistance provider will take care of the intervention but also the management of the claim, including compensation. In this unpleasant moment for the insured, the procedures are thus simplified with a single interlocutor.
Moreover, while insurers suffer from a lack of confidence, assistants are appreciated. In 2016, Europ Assistance was cited as the most benevolent brand by consumers. In 2017, Mondial Assistance reached the Top 10. Assistance providers help policyholders in difficult times and thereby benefit from a positive image.
This notoriety benefits both insurers and assistants. Indeed, the assistance services are often carried out on the white label. The insured calls the emergency number listed on his insurance contract, without distinguishing between the assistance provider and his insurer. Insurers can thus communicate on these assistance services as part of their offer.
In doing so, they can capitalize on the positive image conveyed by the assistants. The trend is therefore towards collaboration, with insurers having every interest in selecting quality assistance to allow their policyholders to be satisfied.
In the context of increased claims, assistance is successful and appears to be an essential component of insurance. The pan-European eCall project illustrates this preponderance of assistants.
They have succeeded in positioning themselves as managers of the emergency call platform for this system embedded in vehicles. Informed manually by the driver or automatically in the event of an impact, they will be responsible for determining the urgency of the calls and implementing the necessary means. As a result, they consolidate their positioning as a trusted third-party and partners for insurers.
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