Beyond Insurance: Drones, storage & Phil at Home

Most of us would agree that insurance is a “necessary evil”. But with digital disruption, the industry is at a crossroads. How are traditional insurers staying ahead of the game while staying true to their core values?


This question was explored from multiple perspectives during the first Accenture Alumni Connect of 2019 at Vlerick Business School in Brussels. Accenture’s recent Market Pulse Survey revealed increasing indifference among Belgian consumers towards insurers. This is creating space for digital disruptors to enter the market. However, traditional insurers are also looking for innovative ways to provide the meaningful experiences consumers are looking for, as highlighted in the Accenture/Vlerick Digital Chair report Digital Innovation in the Belgian Insurance Market.

Three leading Belgian insurers joined an audience of around 70 Alumni to share concrete examples of how they are staying relevant in the digital economy, followed by a lively Q&A moderated by Alumna Anne Romagnoli (Executive Partner Gartner & former CIO Delta Lloyd Life).

New ecosystems: Medical transport by drone 

Alumnus Mikael Shamim and Pieter Vandenbussche (Bâloise Insurance)

Drone transport is not yet authorized in Europe. But it soon will be. To build safety and best practices for autonomous vehicles in our skies, the European Commission is partnering with the private sector with a view to rolling our EU-wide legislation. As an established insurer of the transport sector, Bâloise is a privileged partner in the EU-funded Helicus project, where it joins organizations from the medical and aeronautics sectors to test aerial logistics for hospitals in the skies over Belgium.

We are not building the drones. We do risk assessment and develop new insurance products. So, when a drone is in the sky, it is covered.

New partnerships: The sharing economy

Véronique D’Haese (P&V Insurance)

The Belgian startup So we store (FR, NL) addresses the need for storage space in Belgian cities. Similar to Airbnb, it provides a platform for city dwellers to access storage space that is cheaper and closer to home than traditional storage companies and hosted by other people. Less anonymous and more accessible to a broader audience, users can rate their experience online and are secure in the fact that their content/storage space is insured by P&V. By linking up with this startup, P&V is learning more about the digital customer experience while responding to new needs and being socially responsible, values that are embedded in this insurer’s DNA.

The sharing economy is based on trust, a key component of insurance.

New services: To do something for humans, you must involve humans

Alumnus Benoît Fontaine (AG Insurance)

AG Insurance’s pledge is to be a “supporter of your life”. Five years ago, it began exploring new ways to do this in the digital era. Talking to AG customers was the starting point. What emerged was that as people grow older, they want to be able to stay in their homes. Currently being piloted, Phil at Home (NL, FR) is a complete service combining people and technology. It answers an emotional as well as a practical need: aging people who want to stay in control of their lives and relatives who want the reassurance that they are safe and cared for. Developed with partners in the medical and security sectors, Phil at Home is local, customer-centric and a true extension of AG’s traditional spirit of prevention. Read Benoît’s career story >

A new offering designed to help the elderly to live safely, comfortably and qualitatively at home for as long as possible.

Keen to host an alumni event yourself? Please contact Karin Poullier to discuss all the possibilities.

Author: Liz Morrison