Reaping the Benefits of Web 2.0: European Insurers Strategies that Work

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17 June 2009


While many people refer to Web 2.0 as a technology, Celent considers it more of an attitude. Web 2.0 combines the need for more mobility, faster information flow, a higher degree of openness, and reliance on collaboration and community.

In a new report, Reaping the Benefits of Web 2.0: European Insurers' Strategies that Work, Celent reviews the elements of Web 2.0 and defines the technologies supporting the Web 2.0 attitude. Celent also analyses the current status of insurers' adoption of Web 2.0 technologies and tries to identify how insurers evaluate the benefits generated by Web 2.0 initiatives.




Enabling Technologies



Mobility: Getting access to social networks or being able to communicate from anywhere in the world have become important aspects of today’s communication. Web 2.0 requires low restriction in terms of communication capabilities.

Wandering electronic goods such as mobile phones, portable media players, and extra-light laptops.



Spontaneousness: Impatience is one of the key elements of the Web 2.0 attitude. People need information more quickly but they also want to share it more rapidly. Systems allowing instant communication like chats, instant messaging (IM), Really Simply Syndication (RSS), and to a certain extend SMS and Voice over IP (VoIP).



Openness: People have an increasing need to share all kind of information with others. This attitude sometimes involves deep privacy concerns. The need for more transparency is supported by the increasing number of social networks and communities (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) as well as blogs.

To whom?


Collaboration: There is a social focus in Web 2.0. People like sharing information and opinions, but they require collaborative actions in order to feel part of a community. Platform allowing free change of information content such as Wikis and blogs or other types of collaborative online sites.


The easiest way Usability: Web 2.0 has a specific focus on usability and any kind of technologies enabling or easing interactivity improve usability. AJAX, Flash, Flex, Tagging or Mashup.

"The components of the Web 2.0 attitude do not only affect core processes such as distribution, new business acquisition, administration, etc. but also key supporting processes like human resources," says Nicolas Michellod, senior analyst with Celent’s insurance practice and author of the report. "What Web 2.0 has contributed to create in an open environment (the web) and at an international level (the world), insurers try to emulate in a closed environment (their intranet) and at a corporate level (their internal hierarchy)," he adds.

The most important section of this report is dedicated to a review of initiatives launched by European insurers in the Web 2.0 area. More particularly, these projects are classified in three different domains: online sales portals, social networking and community and underwriting. In a final section, Celent provides a view of how insurers should analyse Web 2.0 initiatives and strategies and what kind of initiatives might be the preferred ones from insurers in the near future.