Next-Gen Platforms in Group & Voluntary: Exploiting new opportunities across the worksite ecosystem

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12 September 2021


Group & Voluntary is an active market attracting interest from both existing players and new entrants, many of which would not have existed five years ago. Insurers active in the Group & Voluntary sector are well positioned to take advantage of the changing landscape, provided they choose to embrace emerging new ecosystems, innovate with partners, and invest in new open and flexible capabilities that spur portability.

Insurers are well placed to take advantage of the changing employee benefits landscape. Put simply, they need to:

  • Increase engagement with employees, creating a positive offer and frictionless digital experience that places the employee in control.
  • Increase relevance through diversified plays, extending beyond traditional coverage to provide more holistic wealth, health, and protection services that meet their total needs.
  • Increase durability, making portability a desired and very real possibility for employees who want to maintain their benefits when switching employers.
  • Extend reach through new partnerships encompassing the emerging startup-fueled distribution and partner services landscape.
  • Stake out a position by either commanding more of the total value proposition or becoming a specialist in someone else’s ecosystem.
  • Invest in capabilities that embrace openness by investing in talent and technology and adopting an open, API-centric, next-gen platform

Figure: Typical Employee Benefits Ecosystem

Technology is a critical foundation for turning these things into a reality. A wave of next-gen platforms is beginning to emerge that are:

  • Open by design with a flexible technology, where open APIs form part of the DNA to enable co-creation and where configuration is achieved in a low-code way.
  • Moving to the middle by serving up new propositions quickly while managing the legacy back end and delivering an enjoyable, frictionless user experience at the front.
  • Leveraging data in new and interesting ways, adding analytic improvement to employer- and employee-driven processes, and applying the power of the cloud to put AI to work at scale and at a fundamentally different price point.

The paper explores the opportunities, the emerging landscape for partnerships, and the technology capabilities required.