Will our kids need to learn to drive, let alone buy insurance?

Change is changing faster they say, and has a profound effect on our lives.

How do people keep up? How do businesses and teams keep pace? Are we going to be driving cars in five years’ time? Perhaps we’ll all get hoverboards?

People are adopting new technology faster than ever before. But will insurers keep up? It’s often said big businesses are usually the slowest to change. Why might that be?

When I moved to the UK as a child, leaded petrol was the norm for my mum and dad. In the future, I suspect the car my children drive will be electric—generated from a renewable source.

When I reached age 17, I got a tiny black Mini Cooper with a third party policy from General Accident Insurance UK. For my children, there is a possibility they may never need to learn to drive—let alone buy insurance.

The next big change in my life was the arrival of the internet. It was incredible. I first started using it at uni in 1993. It was text only. I got my first dial-up in 1998. By early 2000, I was on Napster slooooowly downloading MP3s.

Just a decade later and boom… iPhone plus Spotify meant my entire CD collection, LimeWire, Napster and my MP3 player became redundant and I stopped worrying about where the nearest audio electronics store was. It took about 10 years to make all that obsolete.

OK. Where am I taking you with all this talk of change?

A couple of months ago, I got an email from a customer. Let’s call him John.  John had bought a BMW i3 series - one of the fully electric ones. And he was part of a club of electric vehicle enthusiasts too.

John had called us up to get his i3 insured – and because our systems weren’t set up back then to insure the new model, we weren’t making it very easy for him!

“Hold on a second,” I hear you say. “John’s the fast-moving progressive type. He’s thinking about the future; he already is the future He’s the one with the electric car. You’re the slow-to-move old executive. This is no way to run a railroad, Aaron. Look how fast new technology is being adopted compared to the past.”

Well this old executive must be willing to look at the future, whether it’s John’s electric car or his solar jetpack. Because the future is coming at us faster than we’ve experienced before. Technologies like telephones and televisions took 20-plus years to become mainstream.

The tablet? Two years.

Insurers like AA Insurance must be flexible to this new and constantly changing world.

Our Underwriting team – who make the rules - plays a pivotal part in opening up our business to look after customers whose needs are changing.

They’re working to insure more electric vehicles, new models, new BMWs, new Teslas, the next Nissan Leaf—and being able to quickly insure any vehicle that might appear on New Zealand roads in future. Oh, and we insured John’s BMW too.

So, what’s next? Maybe we’ll all have Toyota Jetpacks and Tesla Spaceships. More likely is that we’ll have electric vehicles, connected cars, health devices, smart homes, connected homes, personal cloud storage, blockchain identities, Amazon’s Alexa - and with around 50 billion connected devices predicted by 2025, we are going to have to keep up. What our customers want from us next week, month and year is going to change because everything around us is changing too. Our company doesn’t operate in isolation of that.

In fact, by the time you reach the end of this sentence, you’ll already be living in the future.

But let me leave you with something Stanford lecturer Tony Seba calls the Clean Disruption of Energy and Transportation, which is the significant disruption to motor vehicles he sees in the next decade.

Tony is a futurist with a background in disruptive technology. He talks about solar, lithium ion storage, electric vehicles and autonomous technology - and he’s likely to convince you that you’ll never buy a petrol car ever again.

Check out his talk here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2b3ttqYDwF0

Aaron Dickinson

GM Strategy, Insights & Analysis, AA Insurance

About AA Insurance

AA Insurance is an independently operated, New Zealand-based joint venture between the New Zealand Automobile Association (NZAA) and Vero Insurance New Zealand Limited (VINZL). Since 1994 we have demonstrated trusted expertise in home, contents and car insurance in New Zealand, and in 2018 introduced commercial small business insurance. We underwrite our own policies and sell direct to New Zealanders. Our 930+ staff look after over 480,000 customers with 970,000 policies.

We proudly partner with Variety NZ and Eden Park and have been consistently recognised by: Reader’s Digest Most Trusted Brands (since 2011) and Quality Service Awards for Car, and Home and Contents Insurance (since 2015), Kantar Customer Leadership Index (since 2019), Canstar Blue Most Satisfied Customers (2011-2018), and the Colmar Brunton Corporate Reputation Index (since 2015) that recognises New Zealand’s most successful companies. AA Insurance was also named Consumer NZ People’s Choice award winner for car, home and contents (2019 and 2020).

AA Insurance has an AA- (Very Strong) Insurer Financial Strength Rating given by Standard and Poor’s (Australia) Pty Ltd. For further information visit aainsurance.co.nz.

For more information please contact:

Rachael Joel, Botica Butler Raudon Partners, (09) 303 3862, 021 403 504 or rachaelJ@botica.co.nz

Amanda Fifield, AA Insurance, 027 406 1787, amanda_fifield@aainsurance.co.nz

Media contacts

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Rachael Joel

Group Account Director, Botica Butler Raudon

DDI: (09) 303 3862 Mobile: 021 403 504 Email: rachaelj@botica.co.nz

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