AC/DC, Black Ops, data protection & valuation, digital currencies, farmville Coins, Identity, identity theft, insurance, Liquid Modernity, new insurance products, on line personas and PINs, possessions, precious items, Rewards Cards, trading personal data, valuations, virtual lives, You Choose! Nick Sharrat, Zygmunt Baumann, Zynga
With the relentless and dynamic shaping and reshaping of our criss-crossing, inter-lapping, over-weaving worlds and the multiple identities we present in the spaces in which we now exist, the old simple silos of identity, property, chattels, finance, vehicles, travel and health and the old actuarial model of valuing and securing them has all shot straight out of the window.
In an increasingly complex world perhaps the insurance actuary and the new product designer should move to the simplest Newtonian equal and opposite – one of an Insurance Product and service offering that owes as much to the children’s book You Choose! by Nick Sharrat as it does to Zygmunt Baumann’s concept of liquid modernity and its fluid, flexible and evolving needs.
For the insurance companies this is not really discretionary – with the newly assertive persona of the consumer activist and the people power of the networks, if you don’t build it, the customer will simply demand it!
Because I’m standing here in the long shadow of big data, t’internet of things, multiple device living and tracking, physical monitors and behavioural metrics all tied up with super hi-speed fibre-optic string thinking I WANT BETTER!
And I don’t mean, ‘hey could someone aggregate a few more insurancy things for me?’
Rock my world. Blow the bloody doors off.
I want Me Shaped Insurance, what ever shape Me might be. I want insurance that breathes in and out with me. I want mutant super powered insurance with shape shifter abilities – one that tailors itself to my identity – or to be truer to the shape of our multi dimensional multi platform highly connected on and off line lives – my Identity Cluster
Identity Clusters are the bundled collection of identities that embrace the real time, online, any time, any place any where’ version of me – from my formal ‘show us your passport-registered-driving-license-that’s my address where I live’ Identity to my device enabled spiritually GPSd, online shopper, social networked, reward points, nectar drinking, Farmville-coin collecting, Call Of Duty/Black Opps massacring self.
So I want Insurance that radiates out like my wonderful self – starting with Me. And I want it simple – a sort of You Choose for adults (You Choose! is a perfect product service selector/aggregator hybrid model for any Insurance company wishing to recreate the whole product sector!!)
So. Here I am. I need the stuff covered off that secures me as I stand here. Health & Well Being stuff. Yup. Based on age, general condition and a few top facts and life style truths about me. So general health cover. A bit of dental in there (we live in a celebrity teeth whitened world and Austin Power’s stumps don’t roll any more). Oh and family planning: lets be fair there’s a whole lot of ‘struggling to get pregnant’ stuff going on out there so lets get a bit of cover for that. And I can pop some monitors on me just for good measure to ensure that my real-time monitored, healthy living regime drops my premiums at an almost inappropriate speed. (Bar the odd lager kebab frenzy where I slip in my own excitement outside the Underworld Club in Camden Town and break my neck!!)
Speaking of which, along with general health I need some grown up stuff – critical illness and Life Insurance layered in there. But I want my breathe in breathe out insurance to make sure that they’ll adjust the premium accordingly depending on where I live without me having to ask!!
Then there’s the next big question to insure for and secure: is it just me who’s being insured or am I in good or otherwise company?
Who’s that person next to me? Is that my: partner? Spouse? Shagbuddy? GF? BF? Flatshare? Civil partner? Intimate lodger? Turkish wrestling partner? platonic’ friend’? one-night stand? (Please Tick box accordingly.)
And while we’re at it, are those small people mine as well? And that small terrier?
That’s the next bit I want the breathe in breathe out insurance to cover for: health and life policies for my precious loved ones – even those of the furry, scaled or beaked variety. And don’t forget that with the cost of university fees and such out there why don’t you build in a premium top-up that on maturity pays out an interim dividend to help secure my kids access to higher education!?
I also want the family to enjoy a sliding scale of insurance premium wonder. Mainly so that I can chip away at that premium with a few healthy family weekends and general well being regimes. Hell, you can link straight into my nectar card data and reward me for healthy shopping baskets as ‘data day’ living proof of why I should pay less – no big macs and child waistlines pouring over over-priced kiddy denim like melted cheese in this home! And if we’re members of a health club or a gym you can reward us for the regularity with which we visit it.
Then its time for the Me Shaped policy to breathe out further and insure general ‘stuff’ – so that starts with the close to me stuff, the stuff that’s in my every day – the intimates, trappings and wrappings – valuables, devices (with valuable data caches or access to them), clothing (the good stuff anyway) and family heirlooms or meaningful stuff – antiques, pictures and paintings.
NOTE If uncertain and you need more clarity; apply the ‘a little piece of me died when that xyz got lost/burned/eaten/broken/ravaged/soiled’ filter to see whether it qualifies.
Importantly, this bit needs to be virtually complete, able to encompass all of the ‘valuables’ of the my online persona. That includes all that Identity Cluster stuff I mentioned earlier – and the super-fast fibre-optic bandwidth its travelling on. One small glitch in that and my life needs contingency planning built into the policy.
My data and its protection should be included in this – identity theft and on line PIN theft for financials, etc. should be attributed a value and insured for. C’mon insurance companies! I’m a revenue stream here! Value my personal data – and register it – and if you find that someone has jacked it for personal gain – sue them and compensate me. Sounds like a lovely little earner in our modern hijackable on line world.
Also any currencies that I have that exist should be covered – the latent value of my on line reward cards, saver cards and reward points schemes should be calculated in along with standard on line bank account details.
Then there’s the ‘other’ stuff – general contents. Suspiciously styled mirrors. Kitchen Tables. Spurious prints. Capricious curtain fabric. Barbie Boats, a grand’s worth of lego pieces in various boxes, one slightly self consciously striped grand sofa, a rather battered pouf, soft furnishings, plasma screens, shoe collections and blah. All of it. The stuff that’s a shame to lose or damage but it falls into the no one died category.
Great, so that’s the human and the physical close to me stuff ticked off – with some reassurance and peace of mind built in!
Now what wrappers am I choosing – where do I live? What do I live in? Flat, house, shed, tent, bivouac, doorway, canal boat, crack den, skip, log cabin, castle, space station, volcano, cottage, tree, cave?
In my perfect world I would just tick the box with a small calibration to clarify whether I own it/rent it/stole it/squat in it/married into it – and if it’s ‘Own’, then to what percentage.
After that the policy just opens its doors to the big wide world and the planes trains and automobiles part steps in.
The minute I step out of the front door, whether I choose to take a train to work, a hybrid to the farmer’s market, a rocket to the moon, a bike to the seaside, shank’s pony to the library or a death star speeder to oblivion, my Me Shaped policy should just recalibrate to allow for it.
And if I even think of crossing state or national borders, or consider entering slightly more treacherous terrain or taking up a trickier mode of trajectory, its should adjust and cover me accordingly.
So European cover should kick in the minute my GPS position shows I am abroad, and more importantly should rack up accordingly if it shows I am both in an supercar and in the Brenner Pass – especially if the satellite using point-to-point speed assessment and my cloud content monitor show that I am in fact tanking it along at 210 KPH listening to AC/DCs Highway to Hell.
So Me Shaped Insurance on a You Choose model. Simple. Fluid. Evolving. Efficient. Make it happen please.
BUT when you do, please remember my sense of identity ; what’s valuable to me right now, and in the future; and that the concept of what’s precious to me straddles the real and virtual worlds in amazing and complex ways. So give me a simple way to deal with them.
Sure, swing me a dash-board I can tinker with BUT given the sophistication of the technology out there, I would rather the smartest thing if did was to disappear from sight.
You measure it, value it, and secure it so I can just get on with doing lovely stuff safe in the knowledge that Big Brother is actually acting as just that – looking after me even when I might not be doing so myself as I am far too busy hurtling through the Brenner Pass with my pants on fire singing Whole Lotta Rosie.