As the industry comes face-to-face with technological development and a changing customer base, the Kardashians could be key in keeping up with the way customers think.
Perry Abbott, CEO of insurance disruptor Friendsurance, told Insurance Business that keeping an eye on popular culture could assist in making informed decisions when dealing with younger customers.
“I will actively engage with and often enjoy popular culture because that gives you a good sense of what is coming up next,” Abbott said.
Abbott, who was announced as the leader of the Australian branch of the German firm last year, said that dealing with an insurtech business makes it important to test ideas any way that he can.
“I have twin 13-year-old daughters,” Abbott said. “They are the unofficial advisors of Friendsurance.”
While his methods may be new to the insurance industry, Abbott is a seasoned professional.
His first job after studying economics and finance at university was with a captive insurer for a multi-national mining company now part of Rio Tinto. Abbott described his industry debut as “like an insurance apprenticeship” and said that the role helped him understand all facets of the industry.
“I got exposed to actually having to run a little insurance company in Australia,” Abbott said.
“We were buying every piece of insurance and it was for a global company.”
After a stint away from the industry, Abbott returned to a position with Wesfarmers before a chance encounter during the London Olympics in 2012 saw his path steered towards Friendsurance.
In the UK for the Olympics, Abbott was able to set-up a meeting with Friendsurance in its HQ in Berlin. He has witnessed the business blossom from there.
With six staff currently based in Australia, and several new hires on the horizon, Abbott hopes to pass on what he learned during his first insurance role to a new generation of staff.
“It wasn’t all about money; it was actually about real people, real things and real risks,” Abbott continued.
“I never thought I’d be here but I’m happy I am.”
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