Sometimes, the stakes are too high or things are simply worth too much to take any chances, especially in the entertainment business. For this reason, Olivier Héger founded the insurance company Circles Group in Luxembourg at the turn of the Millennium, to cover the risks of the film industry. Since then, the company has grown into a global giant and insured many movie shootings, concerts and worldwide events. BEAST sat down with Olivier Héger to know more about the specificities of online insurance and Circles Group.
Circles Group was founded more than 15 years ago. How have you seen the market change over the years?
For the last 5 years, the insurance market and its players have become aware that the «Digital Revolution» was under way. Today, we have the feeling that a desperate race has started, with some companies «overreacting» and trying not to miss the train this time, despite not even knowing or understanding where this train will lead them.
We went from paper, to e-mails, to websites, to corporate showcases, to distribution networks, to social media, to big data, to Artificial Intelligence, and most probably to quantum computers tomorrow. How do you expect the traditional insurance market to digests all these revolutions without any injury?
But even more, mainly as a consequence of these revolutions and the new possibilities of disarrays that they generate, national and supranational regulators have been willing to impose new rules and new constraints to control the market. All these new regulations rapidly force the market to digitize itself, but not all actors have the means to do so.
We are now in the process of experiencing a major disruption in two phases: a new market concentration in fewer but more powerful hands, risking to be surpassed by players emerging from the digital world, working today on tomorrow’s revolution. We might face the fusion of these two worlds or their collision.
How did you come to this particular area of insurance?
I was lucky to be born (professionally) in the Internet age, when insurance was dusty and misunderstood, and I had the chance to start my career when compliance was easily digestible. Finally, I was fortunate to be able to develop innovative products, not decaying through unbridled competition.
I combined all these chances to create a global innovation: full online underwriting and management tools, initially for film productions, and later on for global events and show producers. Since then, we have expanded our offer to many other products such as bloodstock, over-redemption, jewelry, fine art, ticketing, D&O, and so on. Our underwriting tools ensure more than eighty percent of our total online market, up in only 10 clicks.
On the other hand, what kind of innovations do you bring to the insurance, entertainment and Art markets?
Our in-depth knowledge of all these different sectors and our digital risk analysis tools allowed us to drastically reduce the underwriting turn-around time. In addition to our online tools to edit and modify offers, to underwrite and to manage risks, we created a document-editing tool as well as an API communicating between the major market players and us.
In the ticketing market, we have launched the first insurance without any exclusion and without human intervention, other than the one of the ticket buyer. In the art market, we have created an online inventory tool allowing the client to add and to insure automatically all the new works of art he acquired.
You insure online concerts, movies, Ticketing, Fine Art, etc. all over the world while being based in Luxembourg. Is it challenging? How does the long-distance relationship with your customers work?
No, Luxembourg is an important hub in the Finance and Insurance world. Distance is not a challenge, as we work with a selected network of local brokers who are close to their clients. In addition, we have opened two offices in Brazil (Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo) to meet the needs of the Brazilian market and one office in Hong Kong for Asian and Australian markets. We plan to open other subsidiaries worldwide.
How do you think Technology and innovation will change your experience in the years to come?
I think Insurance will become an omnipresent consumer good. It will systematically be offered during any purchase or any consumer action that could be insured. Just as any e-mail is sent to you without your knowledge, insurance will be systematically and automatically suggested to you. I would call this “Push Insurance”.
Publié le 08 juin 2018