Health insurance without health issues is the future
Digitization in health insurance – many people think about lifestyle and fitness data, so-called “pay as you live” rates. These would mean an even stricter selection of the insured, because more and more sensitive data collected by the insured. Clemens Muth, CEO of DKV, also thinks in the other direction. In an interview with the insurance carrier, he explains why digitization is allowing PKV tariffs with less data hunger.
Mr. Muth, more and more supplementary health insurance can be completed directly on the Internet. Will you soon need no intermediaries for this?
But. Although online sales are becoming increasingly important and the trend in the market is exactly in this direction. That is why almost all supplementary insurances can already be locked online at DKV. But I am convinced that we should not fool ourselves here: Until now, selling via the broker or the broker is still the most common way in which supplementary health insurance is taken out. That’s not going to change that fast in my view. For a good reason, most people prefer to be personally advised, especially when it comes to their health. The distribution partners provide comprehensive and competent advice and know the appropriate tariffs. Strategically, we want our customers to be able to decide for themselves: Everyone should come to us as they wish – whether through their own brokers, brokers, Internet, or the telephone customer service. Or today and tomorrow.
What does that mean for the products if all paths are to be open?
For us at DKV this means that we do not offer any extra online products. All products are the same on the different channels, the prices, by the way, too. Above all else, products that can be purchased online must be intuitive, simple and inexpensive. In order to achieve this, we place this simplicity and comprehensibility at the very top in the process of product design. Today, we also critically question whether a product needs aging reserves or not. For many supplementary insurances, aging provisions are superfluous. And finally we have to find a solution for the health check.
Where is the problem?
In the whole discussion about digitization, fitness data and special tariffs, it is often a matter of insurers or those who want to become more demanding or needing more data from their customers. I see a trend in the completely different direction, especially in the supplementary insurance: Most people have little desire to disclose their health data to their health insurer or to answer rows of questions. Any additional health issue is a nuisance – especially if online completion is to be as quick and easy as possible for the customer. So: products without health issues are the future. And if health issues, then they must be completed in a few clicks, otherwise the customer aborts the process.
But without health issues, there is a risk of anti-selection: The products are too expensive and healthy customers look for other providers. How can this be solved?
On the one hand about appropriate waiting times or Leistungsstaffeln, on the other hand over the law of the large number. Especially the supplementary health insurance is a mass business. Here, the big providers have an advantage because they get even in tariffs without health issues, a favorable risk mixture.
What about the offers of occupational health insurance? So far this is a comparatively small niche market. Is more momentum coming in with digital offers?
I am sure about that. The requirement that a product must be transparent, simple and inexpensive, applies just as much to company health insurance. The employer wants to know quickly what he can get for his employees and explain it to them. We have not had any health exams here for a long time. Again, the trend is towards online solutions. However, the same applies to the employers as to all customers: personal contact is and remains enormously important.
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