Maksym Yemelyanov - Fotolia

Axa offers on-demand insurance via mobile app

Insurance company launches app that offers quick and easy insurance cover for individual items owned by customers

Axa Insurance is inviting customers to insure individual possessions via a free smartphone-based app from a startup known as Trov.

Insurers are increasingly using apps to serve customers who want instant and easy access to insurance services.

Using the Trov app, which automates processes, consumers can upload items to a cloud-based inventory and buy insurance cover for each item separately for a chosen period of time.

Digital technology is already revolutionising the retail banking sector through technology, provided by small suppliers known as fintechs. The retail banking sector, which previously did little to improve customer experience through technology over the decades, is now rapidly adopting customer-friendly digital technology such as mobile apps. These apps have one thing in common – convenience.

In the insurance sector, which has also been slow to take up digital and relied on mainframe technology for decades, there is also a revolution with the arrival of what Gartner calls insurtechs. Trov is one such company.

Gareth Howell, managing director at Axa Insurance, said the firm wanted to offer “a simple, hassle-free and cost-effective insurance solution for consumers who want to insure specific items valuable to them without being tied to traditional types of insurance policies”.

He added: “The UK insurance market is evolving and we are responding to the changing environment and increasing consumer appetite for on-demand services. It is essential for insurers like Axa to adapt and innovate. As such, we are delighted to play an instrumental part in the introduction of on-demand, single-item insurance to UK customers.”

Read more about IT in the insurance sector

According to Gartner, 64% of the world’s largest insurance companies have invested in small tech firms, and the analyst firm predicted that 80% of life and property/casualty insurers would partner with startups by the end of 2018.

Gartner said the number of technology startups in the insurance industry had more than doubled globally in the past three years, with digital customer engagement, mobile insurance management and analytics the most common technologies they focus on.

Research from software quality testing company Cast, which looked into the structural quality of IT applications, revealed that insurers still rely on large amounts of legacy Cobol software to implement their systems. These often large and complex programs are “ill-equipped to deal with the demands of the digital age”, said Cast.

Cast’s research of 250 applications, from 38 organisations in eight countries involving 174 million lines of code, found that 69% run legacy Cobol applications.

Read more on IT for financial services

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