Louise O’Shea shares her thoughts on distribution, collaboration, innovative trends and the platform economy
“Collaboration has always been and always will be crucial to success“
Louise O’Shea, Chief Executive Officer at Confused.com
Insurance Innovators spoke to Louise O’Shea in an exclusive interview about the future of insurance distribution, Confused.com’s newly launched marketplace for car insurance, deep learning and how success in the industry is forged upon communication and partnerships.
How do you see insurance distribution evolving over the next 5 years?
L.O. The power of consumer choice is undeniable. It’s been pivotal to the remarkable success of the comparison model; a model that’s stood the test of time for 17 years. I expect the next five years will focus on achieving an even greater customer-centric product, although not through new distribution channels or even a revolution of the existing ones, but through continued evolution and improvement of what you know and understand today.
Transforming technologies such as AI will help us to continually improve the customer journey, but in a way that enhances an already dependable model. Wholesale revolution is extremely difficult to achieve because of the many stakeholders involved and therefore won’t happen overnight.
Tell us about Confused.com’s newly launched marketplace for car insurance with ClearScore. What do you hope to achieve from the marketplace?
L.O. We’ve provided our tried and tested marketplace technology to power ClearScore’s services. Due to our advanced cloud capabilities and incredibly talented tech team, we were able to deliver the project from conception to market in only eight weeks. This partnership aligns to our company values, by helping people make better buying decisions and improve their financial wellbeing. Also, it helps to provide clarity for customers in the confusing world of insurance, by making it easier to buy the right product, at the right time for the right price. Partnerships like this are very important, insurance comparison is highly complex and new consumer brands benefit from working with us – we’re doing the hard work so they don’t have to! We have one hope – to reach more customers and save them more money!
To what extent is collaboration crucial to future success in the insurance industry?
L.O. Collaboration has always been and always will be crucial to success. Success in the industry is forged upon communication and partnerships between insurers, distributors and other organisations within the insurance distribution chain. Confused.com works with hundreds of insurance and financial services providers and we’re a highly trusted partner to them. We also work extremely well with other consumer brands such as USwitch and Money.co.uk, where success is achieved when objectives, teams and cultures are aligned. The end result? Both companies achieve more.
What innovative trends are you most excited by right now?
L.O. Right now, I’m obsessed with deep learning, which is a learning technique that teaches computers to do what comes naturally to humans: learning by example. It’s the key technology behind what makes driverless cars recognise stop signs, or how we can voice control hands-free speakers. I come from a tech and finance background, so I’ve always been passionate about tech and data, but particularly the way we can harness it to benefit ourselves, and more importantly, customers! So, concepts like deep learning leave me in awe of what we can achieve.
Do you think the platform economy is set to transform the insurance industry as we know it?
L.O. I certainly think the platform economy can facilitate better customer experiences. We’re part of the Penguin Portals Group, which is a global group of online financial marketplaces. This is giving our collective companies greater insight into what customers want and need all over the world, and this allows us to further improve their experience. We can all see that insurers need to work on better meeting customer’s needs. But it’s an age-old matter – insurers need to offer customers a product that’s right for their needs.