Hermann Fried: Playing the Role of an InsurTech Interpreter

Hermann Fried | Managing Director | bsurance GmbH
Hermann Fried | Managing Director | bsurance GmbH

Any relationship needs clarity of communication. Errors in communication and comprehension can lead to mistakes or substandard functioning. In such a scenario, a person who can bridge the communication gap is vital and plays a crucial role in maintaining effective communication with coherency.

Such is the expertise that Hermann Fried brings to the table as the Managing Director of bsurance. Hermann helps drive innovative digital solutions for insurance companies and sales partners using his expertise and knowledge of the insurance and IT field.

Hermann is a top insurance expert and former Member of the Managing Board of Wiener Städtische Versicherung. At bsurance, he is responsible for the expansion of the company’s insurance partnerships. In addition, he has developed innovative insurance products together with sales partners from retail, telecommunications, banks, energy suppliers, mobility providers, and start-ups.

Hermann Fried, in an exclusive interview with CIOLook, describes the changes that technology is bringing to the insurance industry.

Brief our audience about your journey as a business leader until your current position at your company. What challenges have you had to overcome to reach where you are today?

I was born in Vienna in 1964. After completing my studies at the Vienna University of Economics and Business, I gained experience working for social security and the hospital sector. In 1998, I joined the Wiener Städtische insurance group, where I held various management positions.

Key milestones in my career include the management of health and personal insurance lines, management of the Vienna regional HQ, and responsibility for Marketing, Sales, Advertising, and Property Insurance as a member of the board of directors.

I also served on several supervisory boards and as a lecturer at the Vienna University of Economics and Business. Always interested and engaged in digital insurance, I finally quit my job at the insurance company and made courses about digitalization at Chicago Booth and Oxford University. For the last three years, I have been working for an InsurTech company, bsurance.

Tell us something more about your company and its mission and vision.

bsurance is a leading B2B2C; white-label InsurTech focused on Embedded Insurance. As an enabler with both SaaS and MGA capacity, bsurance provides Insurance-as-a-Service, including product development, onboarding and real-time policy issuing, FNOL, claims handling, and settlements.

Our mission is focused on simple, relevant, and fair embedded insurance products, which adds value to customers, businesses, and insurers alike.

Enlighten us on how you have impacted your niche through your expertise in the market.

My role is best understood as an interpreter. The insurance industry is very conservative and has its difficulties understanding and implementing digital solutions. Techies have their own difficulties in understanding the basic needs and functionalities of insurers. Being able to understand both sides and speak both languages, it is my task to bring together those opposites and develop innovative, client-orientated insurance solutions. At the basis, those solutions are still insurance coverages, but due to our technology, it is unparalleled, available, easy, and fast for the customer.

Describe in detail the values and the work culture that drives your organization.

Our culture is rooted in our diversity and collaboration. We have 9 nationalities within our team and are of varied backgrounds– from insurance specialists to technology entrepreneurs. Our power lies in our ability to brainstorm new solutions according to our partners’ needs and bring them to fruition in a short time frame. Comparing it to my work in a big corporation – everything is focused on our projects with a fast, high-quality implementation.

Undeniably, technology is playing a significant role in almost every sector. How are you leveraging technological advancements to make your solutions resourceful?

Our solution combines the power of data and the simplicity of online product offerings to create real-time and relevant offers of insurance policies to the right customer at the right time.

One example is our short-term ski insurance which we created for a major bank in Austria. Based on purchase data (and in the future, also location data), our short-time ski insurance product is offered by push notification within the bank’s app. This way, the customer can buy, with a few clicks, the insurance directly in the app – no need to contact the insurer.

What change would you like to bring to your industry if given a chance?

We will be part of changing the insurance industry and making it fit for a more and more digital world.

What, according to you, could be the next significant change in your sector? How is your company preparing to be a part of that change?

This might sound funny, but we do not believe in B2C insurance sales on a web page. But we do believe that the current offerings are much too complicated and not as available as people are used to these days. So, the only chance to bridge that gap is by offering insurance contextual. Sounds easy but has a lot of consequences on product design, sales journey, and distribution channels.

B2B2C is one of the ways to offer insurance contextual. And the industry has just started! Currently, this kind of insurance is offered for a manageable number of products. In the near future, we will see that kind of insurance dominating all end consumer insurances like car and house insurance. The instruments are ready; we just have to find partners who also see a big opportunity in this.

Where do you envision yourself to be in the long run, and what are your future goals for your company?

In the long run, I will be the Managing Director of one of the market leaders of B2B2C insurance solutions in Europe.

What would be your advice to budding entrepreneurs who aspire to venture into your sector?

Look for innovative insurance people!