Fremtind, the third largest insurance company in Norway, is redefining the way people manage risk – creating a positive impact towards a safer society and healthier lives.
What does the mobile phone and insurance industry have in common? That both industries now play a major integrated role in our lives. Whether it’s our mobile phone in our pocket, or our complex insurance policies, both industries are now embedded in our daily lives and routines.
In 2007, Apple launched the first iPhone, challenging and raising the standard for so-called smartphones at the time. The iPhone influenced various industries for years to come including telecommunications itself, GPS navigation, social media and e-commerce. In later iterations of the iPhone, we saw the introduction of third-party apps, which is a platform that consequently gave rise to the sharing economy.
Fast forward 12 years, Accenture reports that 96% of insurers think digital ecosystems are having an impact on the insurance industry. The disruption taking place, commonly referred to as Insur Tech, is propelled by emerging technologies coupled with laser-focus on customer experience. Various industry players describe this concept as the creation, distribution and administration of new insurance business. In short, we are connected, participate in virtual communities and wouldn’t dream of leaving home without the new insurance products.
But what does connectivity have to do with insurance? How is technology creating smarter insurance for policy holders? How is it that Fremtind, a company newly established in January 2019, has become Norway’s third largest insurance company? The answer is in Fremtind’s drive to create a more sustainable, safer and healthier lifestyle for dynamic insurance customers.
Factory of smart solutions
According to a 2019 report by Accenture, insurers are facing disruption and need to evolve quickly, citing that 86% believe innovation must happen at an increasingly rapid pace to retain a competitive edge. With this framework in mind, Fremtind is the result of innovative partnership – leveraging expertise longevity, digital competence, market reach and complimentary goals. In January 2019, SpareBank 1 and DNB merged their insurance departments to create a new insurance company, with almost 1000 people, dedicated to digital innovation.
In addition to Fremtind’s main mission – help people take care of themselves and their valuables- the goal is for all customers to have access to even better and more relevant insurance products and services. Fremtind is working to make the settlement of claims even easier and better, and it will be easier to buy and change insurance. In addition, to strengthen customer centricity, Fremtind is focused on creating new ways to engage with its customer base. But what exactly is smart insurance?
Øyvind is Head of Machine Learning and AI. He is responsible for deep analysis of multiple data sets. Øyvind leads research-heavy processes to create predictive models of behavior and has extensive experience in mathematics. Øyvind earned his master’s degree in mathematics from the University of Oslo.
Stine is the Manager of Smart Insurance, working with a team of 14 responsible for developing new smart insurance products, including Smart Car Insurance (formerly known as Spinn). Stine has extensive experience in IT and Analytics.
Smart car insurance
Traditionally, factors like age, details of the object and marital status can affect the premium in car insurance. However, confining the analysis to traditional demographic data can have some limitations. There is a move towards smarter solutions, including behavior insurance models to assess and capture risks.
“Smart insurance is a whole new category in the insurance industry, making a significant impact in people’s lives,” says Stine Bakke-Haugseth, Manager for Smart Insurance at Fremtind. “It uses technology to motivate and encourage safer behavior,” she says. For example, today Fremtind offers Smart Car Insurance to over thirty thousand customers via its mobile app called Spinn. This first generation of smart insurance solution uses an On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) plug to connect to the car and links to the app. Various aspects of the driver’s behaviors and routines are measured, including focus, anticipation, smooth and legal driving. An overall score is calculated, and users can even compete at a national or local level.
Fremtind is currently developing the next generation smart car insurance, using only the costumers’ smartphone as the sensor.
“Our role as an insurance provider is to provide security,” says Stine. “The new smart insurance app transmits automatic notifications when an accident is detected via data streams from sensors,” she says.
Because the predictive analytics through the machine learning algorithms are more robust, well-behaved drivers for example, could get a 15% discount on their premium. That said, when trying to modify behavior, even bad drivers will not get a worse premium, it will remain.
In addition to the insights uncovered by machine learning, it’s crucial to continue developing strategic partnerships. The automotive industry is also involved in financial risk management through their loan processes. Collaboration between the two industries can yield valuable loan discounts to car buyers as well.
Smart health insurance
Fremtind believes deeply in providing a measure of safety to its customers, beyond financial risk management. Today, there are some who still do not have health and life insurance.
Øyvind Indrebø, Head of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence at Fremtind, states that the situation can be turned around. “If we can predict with high certainty that an accident will happen, we can put in preventive measures. To do that we need to establish a new ecosystem, including health device producers, sensor technology, distributors, caretakers and alarm companies,” he says.
The coupling of home and health care devices can help protect an aging population that may create pressures in society. With devices that can monitor and prevent accidents, insurance companies like Fremtind are well-positioned to develop or take part in both healthcare ecosystems and smart home ecosystems to provide timely notifications of accidents at home.
In addition to elderly care, Fremtind is now looking into and gaining insight related to the possible development of other smart insurance products. This might result in an ecosystem, for example with smart watch and a healthcare provider working in partnership with Fremtind to develop a rewards system for people actively engaging in physical activity. An above average score for example could indicate a discount on a new pair of running shoes or other types of rewards.
The road ahead
The mass-consumption and transmission of data through smartphones creates a flood of information. Perhaps one of the major challenges of our time is the handling of sheer volume of data. Øyvind’s machine learning and AI team is driven by this challenge – to gather and contextualize data silos and uncover valuable insights to develop new products for customers.
When asked about customers’ stance on data sharing through the various platforms, Øyvind maintains that “It comes down to the value proposition. Trust is everything we do – transparency is important.”
Smartphones fundamentally changed the way we live today. The disruptions taking place in InsurTech are bound to have an effect in our lives. Fremtind is leveraging expertise, digital competence, data sets, technology and partners to in a winning combination. Customer experience is a focal point to build deeper relationships and maintain them over time. It’s a story about community. Finding solutions for new services that are integrated in our daily lives.
More and more people want to live a sustainable life – therefore damage prevention, insurance services and knowledge sharing are essential to ensure a vibrant community.
Fremtind Insurance - a new insurance company with long experience.
On January 1, 2019, the insurance departments of SpareBank 1 and DNB merged to form Fremtind.
Fremtind’s main mission is to help and motivate people to take care of their health, their valuables and their surroundings. They fulfill their mission through the smart use of technology, data capture and the development of new services.
Currently Norway`s third largest insurance company, and the largest with bank distribution. Offers all non-life and personal insurance for individuals and companies.
Revolutionizing the way people are traveling
The vision for the future of autonomous travel that Volvo Cars are presenting in it’s new concept, can be seen as a holistic view of future travels that is autonomous, electric, connected and safe.
“The 360c concept could open up new growth markets for Volvo Cars – for example in the multi-billion dollar domestic air travel industry,” says Trosby.
Under the hood of the 360c, there is a fully autonomous, fully electric car without a human driver – without pedals or a steering wheel. Experts are talking about this car’s abilities as the fifth out of five levels of autonomous driving.
The fifth level is also the last. This level of autonomous driving requires absolutely no human attention, and the autonomous vehicle system controls all critical tasks, monitoring of the environment and identification of unique driving conditions such as traffic jams.
Today’s development of all the five autonomous levels is today on level two. Last year, a few car producers have released cars with autonomous driving level three – in other words, we will have to wait some years before fully autonomous vehicles are fully entering the mass market.
The 360c represents a new era of transportation where flexibility is one of the
most important factors that lays within this concept - either if you are looking for a sleeping environment, mobile office, living room and entertainment space. All of them are reimagining the way people are traveling.
“The car business will change in the coming years and Volvo wants to lead that change,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and CEO of Volvo Cars. “Autonomous drive has the potential to allow us to take the next step in safety but also open up exciting new business models and allow consumers to spend time in the car doing what they want to do.”
Volvo has been a frontrunner in developing advanced driver-assistance technology, by many regarded as the first step towards an autonomous and driverless future. Even though autonomous technology as envisioned in the 360c concept isn’t fully developed yet, it’s a first step towards a broad discussion about the potential for autonomous driving technology that has the ability to fundamentally change society in many ways.
“When the Wright brothers took to the skies in 1903, they did not have a clue about what modern air travel would look like,” said Mårten Levenstam. “We do not know what the future of autonomous drive will hold, but it will have a profound impact on how people travel, how we design our cities and how we use infrastructure. We regard the 360c as a conversation starter, with more ideas and answers to come as we learn more."
The future of car safety
Since Volvo invented it’s three-point safety belt in 1959, the Swedish car producer has been a frontrunner within car safety.
With the 360c, however, this milestone may be exceeded. Autonomous driving and safety are closely linked and the technology has the potential to deliver the most significant improvement in traffic safety since 1959.
A McKinsey-report from 2015, predicts that driverless cars could reduce traffic fatalities by up to 90 percent.
Volvo is picking up the thread exploring how the 360c concept tackles one of the main challenges around the introduction of autonomous technology and calls for a new global standard in how autonomous vehicles safety can communicate with all other road users – with or without built-in technology.
However, driverless technology will not be introduced overnight, but will enter the markets gradually. As a result, fully autonomous cars will be introduced in a mixed traffic situation where driverless cars without a human driver are sharing the road with other road users.
In such a traffic situation, it will no longer be possible to make eye contact with and learn about another driver’s intentions – which is a central element of today’s everyday traffic interaction.
Additionally, the focus was to create a universally applicable standard, so that other road users do not have to consider the make or brand of individual autonomous cars.
The 360c addresses this challenge with a system comprising external sounds, colours, visuals, movements, as well as combinations of these tools, to communicate the vehicle’s intentions to other road users. This means it is at all times clear what the car will do next.
Crucially, while the design of the 360c safety communication technology focuses on making the car indicate its own intentions to other road users, it will never issue directions or instructions to other road users.
“We strongly believe this communication method should be a universal standard, so all road users can communicate easily with any autonomous car, regardless of which maker built it,” said Malin Ekholm, vice president at the Volvo Cars Safety Centre. “But it is also important that we do not instruct others what to do next, in order to avoid potential confusion. Our research shows this is the safest way for fully autonomous cars to communicate with other road users.”
NIVÅ NULL – INGEN AUTOMATISERING
På nivå null utfører sjåføren alle driftsoppgaver av kjøretøyet.
NIVÅ EN – FØRERHJELP
På første nivå kan kjøretøyet bistå med noen funksjoner, men sjåføren utfører alle driftsoppgavene som styring, akselerasjon, bremsing og overvåking av omgivelsene. Det kan eksempelvis være en bil som bremser litt ekstra for deg om du kommer for nærme en annen bil på motorveien.
NIVÅ TO – DELVIS AUTOMATISERING
På nivå to kan kjøretøyet bistå med styrings- eller akselerasjonsfunksjoner og tillate at sjåføren gir slipp på noen av oppgavene sine. De fleste bilprodusenter utvikler for øyeblikket dette nivået. På dette nivået må likevel føreren må alltid være klar til å ta kontroll over kjøretøyet og er fortsatt ansvarlig for de fleste sikkerhetskritiske situasjoner og all miljøovervåkning.
NIVÅ TRE – BETINGET AUTOMATISERING
Det største steget fra nivå to og oppover, er at selve kjøretøyet kontrollerer all miljøovervåking ved hjelp av sensorer. Sjåførens oppmerksomhet er fremdeles kritisk på dette nivået, men vedkommende kan frigjøre seg fra «sikkerhetskritiske» funksjoner som bremsing og la teknologien ta kontrollen når forholdene er trygge.
Mange nåværende nivå tre-kjøretøy krever ingen menneskelig oppmerksomhet til veien ved hastigheter under 60 kilometer i timen.
NIVÅ FIRE – HØY AUTOMATISERING
På nivå fire og fem er kjøretøyet i stand til å styre, bremse, akselerere, overvåke kjøretøyet og kjørebanen, samt svare på hendelser, bestemme når du skal bytte felt, svinge og bruke signaler.
På nivå fire vil det autonome kjøresystemet gi beskjed til førerer når forholdene er trygge, og først da må sjåføren selv sette bilen i denne modusen. Denne graden av automasjon kan ikke avgjøre mer dynamiske kjøreforhold som trafikkork eller fletting på motorveien.
NIVÅ FEM – KOMPLETT AUTOMATISERING
Nivå fem er autonomi. Dette nivået av autonom kjøring krever absolutt ingen menneskelig oppmerksomhet og det er ikke behov for pedaler, bremser eller ratt. Det autonome kjøretøyet styrer alle de kritiske oppgavene, overvåkning av miljøet rundt bilen og identifisering av unike kjøreforhold som eksempelvis trafikkork.
This article is produced in
Text: Mauricio Andres Funes
Photo: Edvard Moseng
Video: Edvard Moseng & Mikkel Press
Layout & Graphics: Lars Erik Fjøsne