Is Insurance Reaching a Tipping Point?

YuLife CEO Sammy Rubin talks about how the principles from Malcolm Gladwell's book "The Tipping Point" can be applied to the disruption of the life insurance market.

Sammy Rubin - 29 June 2020

I want to talk this week about our positioning and our mission within the insurance industry as a whole. Insurance needs to be about more than just paying claims and, as insurance partners, we aim to inspire people to be their best selves. With that in mind, the question I want to address is: Are we reaching a tipping point in the insurance industry?

The term “tipping point” was originally coined by five-time bestselling author and lecturer Malcolm Gladwell in his book of the same name. Gladwell sets out three laws that can be applied to paradigm shifts in business, economics or with behavioural changes that can cause a tipping point.

The law of the few.

Change comes down to a few passionate, influential individuals or businesses. Through the behaviour of these select few disruptors, you end up with totally new perspectives and ways of doing things that can affect widespread innovation.

Gladwell compares this idea to the Pareto Principle, or 80/20 rule; 80% of change comes from 20% of the causes. There are a few companies and individuals, in key positions of influence, that are making a difference.

The law of “stickiness.”

The law of stickiness states that whatever change happens needs to be impactful and memorable. Like the age-old question - “if a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” - change can’t just happen, it needs to be talked about, remembered and adopted widely for it to make a difference.

The law of context

The final law examines the change that happens in relation to our context. Gladwell emphasises how human behaviour is strongly influenced by its environment, and tipping points are sensitive to the conditions and circumstances of the time, making the context in which we're living really important.

Bringing together the three laws to create an industry-wide tipping point

Examining these laws in depth, I believe the insurance industry is certainly at a tipping point.

Firstly, the change is being brought about through the law of the few; Coverager and Scor recently co-wrote an interesting report that shows all the different initiatives that insurers are doing to integrate wellness into their propositions globally, from niche providers to the big players.

Whether companies are providing a wellbeing app or talking about wellbeing in their marketing and positioning, there's been a demonstrable shift. We're seeing, through this report, the amount of initiatives that link insurance and wellbeing, and making the transition toward a much more integrated approach.

Secondly, the law of “stickiness” and memorability; the survey YuLife recently completed with YouGov showed that two thirds of people are more likely to stay with their employer if they have a commitment to well being. Two thirds of employees value benefits and insurance which promote a healthy lifestyle. This shift is happening on the ground and people are talking about it.

Thirdly is the law of context; Corporate Advisor recently released the Workplace Protection and Wellbeing Report which highlights what employers are prioritising for their employees post Covid. The report really brings to the forefront that the most popular benefit being recommended at this point in time are wellbeing services.

Wellbeing services are the most likely service to be bought by employers post-COVID, as the current climate has triggered a whole paradigm shift in the way businesses operate. This may be the trigger for a larger-scale tipping point.

YuLife sits at the intersection between data, tech, insurance and wellness. We are pioneering a new model of insurance. I see a global movement starting to happen around us in the shift towards linking insurance with the rise in corporate wellbeing and wellness, which represents a huge opportunity to touch the lives of millions of people.

Click here to find out more about how YuLife can help your employees to live happier, more healthy lives and protect what matters.

Sammy Rubin

Sammy Rubin is the Founder & CEO of YuLife, a life insurance company that strives to offer effective life cover and improve the health and overall wellbeing of its users.