Under the guidance of Carlo Cimbri, the insurance company born from Coop has reached the top spot in non-life insurance in Italy and has become one of the largest insurance companies in Europe. Now a new phase of consolidation and innovation has begun, starting from black boxes for customers' cars

Carlo Cimbri

Carlo Cimbri

Unipol’s consistent progression over the past few years has initially consolidated and then massively boosted its output through an unprecedented external growth operation, taking over the Fonsai Group in 2012. This sums up Unipol’s last five years, since Carlo Cimbri has been in charge as Ceo. The merger with Fonsai has allowed the group to become the second in the Italian market, the first in the non-life branch –occupying 24% of the market– and among the top ten in Europe.

Today, Unipol can boast a widespread presence across Italy, with 3000 agencies and a sales force of around 30,000. The company implements an integrated strategy, in terms of distribution (between agencies and new technologies), as well as of products and customer loyalty. These are the foundations on which Unipol is developing the strategic lines for its 2016-2018 industrial plan.

The previous plan ending with 2015 was focused on the Fonsai operation. Now, a new phase has begun, focusing on consolidating, developing, specialising and innovating in a market that is passing through a complicated stage. On the one hand, there is fierce competition and price compression in the car sector with a substantially stable claims frequency; on the other, there is as huge demand in the life insurance sector, which needs to be managed with caution given the strikingly low rates. As for the car sector, the black box is certainly the upcoming innovation. Four million units have already been installed across Italy. UnipolSai –the European leader in this sector with 2.5 million devices– is behind approximately 60% of them.

By connecting these black boxes to a Unipol service centre, customers will receive added-value information on traffic and security services. Up until now, the black boxes have had a positive impact on Unipol’s claims management; however, further evolution will be chiefly concentrated on profiling the clientele and adapting price policies to each insured party.

The home box  –a black box for households to provide an intelligent policy, thanks to sensors that detect intrusions, flooding, gas leaks or smoke, thereby solving claims at a lower cost– will launch soon.Technology will also lend an important hand to health policies with wearable devices (bracelets, watches etc.), which encourage the customer to check their physical conditions regularly and improve prevention services.

At the same time, Unipol does not hide from the social responsibility that derives from its market leadership. The coordination of public and private systems in natural disasters prevention, welfare, and health can act as a catalyst for Unipol to generate resources and spark a beneficial cycle for the economy.

This will lead to a beneficial collectivisation and professional organisation of the demand for health services –beginning with what fuels private expenditure today– guaranteeing high levels of prevention and healthcare for everybody, regardless of income. Other important advantages include the improved efficiency in managing healthcare expenses and the creation of new enterprises in the sector to promote growth.