In 2016, disruptive innovation continued to redefine the competitive Landscape of the insurance industry. Within this dynamic environment, RGA worked to identify opportunities to improve the customer journey and help lead the industry into a new era.

From left: Mark Showers, Interim CEO, RGAx Americas and Chief Solutions Officer, RGAx; Sandi Hubert, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, RGAx Global.

Innovation Goes Global with RGAx

Change in the insurance industry continues to build momentum as trends in demographics, technology, and consumer behavior converge. More and more people, for example, are living longer, engaging with the world via smartphones, and transacting business online. Solutions at the intersection of these trends are redefining the way insurance is bought and sold.

Innovation, always a key differentiator for RGA, has helped fuel the company’s sustained success for decades. In recent years, this drive to move the industry forward has taken on a new identity. RGAx, a wholly owned subsidiary of RGA, was formed in the U.S. in 2015 to build and accelerate transformational businesses in the life insurance industry. Its mission: to create tools, data, products, and digital platforms that advance consumer-centric solutions and improve the insurance buying experience.

In 2016, RGA developed innovation engines around the world under the RGAx name and branding. By creating regional teams – RGAx Americas, RGAx EMEA, and RGAx Asia – under one global mandate, associates will realize efficiencies and opportunities through shared knowledge, capacity, and capabilities. RGAx will leverage its global platform to determine the most promising markets in which to introduce new initiatives and transfer successful ideas from one market to another.

From left, from RGAx: Tim Rozar, Senior Vice President; Farron Blanc, Vice President, Innovation Studio.

RGAx Americas Reaches Out to the Underinsured

The ultimate goal of RGAx Americas is to improve trust and transparency between the buyers and sellers of insurance in order to facilitate a simple, engaging, and valued consumer experience. In North America, that goal is pursued relentlessly by teams of RGAx associates with various professional backgrounds and skill sets. Through dozens of partnerships, investments in other companies, and original business models, these teams are bringing insurance innovation to market.

In 2016, RGAx partnered with insurance carriers and leading digital concept develop-ment and digital execution companies to launch a number of forward-thinking consumer businesses. These online platforms leverage social media and other digital channels to connect with consumers around their interests and life events as a precursor to a conversation about life insurance needs. Far from simply generating leads, these platforms provide content and communications designed to educate consumers and prepare them for a life insurance purchase decision.

RGAx also partnered with and invested in cutting-edge companies and innovation accelerators in 2016. These investments provided opportunities to more quickly develop capabilities and create products and services to bring value to insurance companies and consumers. They also enabled RGAx associates to gain knowledge and experience in areas adjacent to the life insurance industry. Everplans™, for example, offers a suite of content and product services for online estate and legacy planning, including tools for consumers to organize their digital lives. RGAx is exploring ways to leverage this platform to reach the millions of underinsured U.S. households and promote the value of life insurance.

EMEA Team Works to Make Insurance Mobile

RGAx EMEA worked with a wide range of clients and partners in 2016 to develop pioneering digital tools and distribution models. In Africa, for example, associates again teamed with Inclusivity Solutions to expand that company’s mobile microinsurance platform, this time into Uganda. Inclusivity Solutions links up insurers and mobile operators to deliver digital insurance services to mobile consumers in emerging markets. Meanwhile in the U.K., the RGAx team explored microinsurance for developed markets, challenging the common misconception that life insurance is expensive and complicated. This initiative seeks to minimize costs and remove inconveniences in buying coverage to make the decision to purchase much easier for consumers.

The U.K. team also partnered with a key client to expand the customer base for QuickCover, an insurance application website designed specifically for a mobile device. Launched in 2015, QuickCover provides a user-friendly life insurance application journey and a start-to-finish underwriting process to dramatically improve mobile sales conversions.

RGAx joined partner roadtohealth, a digital health company based in the U.K., on a major update to the Quealth™ app in 2016. Quealth is a mobile health app originally launched in 2015 that provides users with a score to measure their relative health and ways to improve it. The updated version adds the ability to set clear health goals and engage the Quealth Coach, a chatbot-like interface, to achieve them. RGA is studying how users interact with Quealth, what the data reveals, and how insurers might use digital health apps to create and fulfill demand for life and health coverage.

From left, from RGAx EMEA: Richard Verdin, Managing Director; Andre Dreyer, Director, Investment Solutions; Jonathan Hughes, Vice President, Strategic Development.

RGAx Asia Invests in the Future

RGAx Asia’s Innnovasia initiative during the first half of 2016 united associates from all areas of the business around a shared set of strategic goals. The team worked through a variety of process and best-practice considerations to develop the innovation methodology to guide their work moving forward.

RGAx Asia made forward-looking investments and developed strategic partnerships throughout 2016. In Japan, for example, the team is working with a Silicon Valley-based start-up company to digitize health checks and applicant declarations. In related work, associates are developing a continuous risk-assessment engine. With the expected flood of new data sets in the coming years, RGAx is preparing the infrastructure now to be able to convert that data into practical insurance solutions.