Last year, a set of disruptive trends—among them, the Internet of Things, big data, the sharing economy, digital channels and artificial intelligence—posed both threats and opportunities for insurers, and enabled the rise of new competitors from outside the insurance sector. Here’s a recap of some of the major topics we discussed on the blog in 2016.

The sharing economy

One of the big stories of 2016 was the sharing economy. While my colleagues and I have blogged extensively about the sharing economy and its implications for insurance, a Pew report shed new light on the US sharing economy. The research discovered that use of the sharing economy isn’t as widespread as many would think. However, users of the sharing economy use multiple services. 

Read New Pew report sheds light on who’s really using the sharing economy

Read What ride-hailing customers really think, and other findings from a Pew report on the sharing economy

Read When it comes to innovation, insurance for home-sharing services lags behind those of ride-hailing services

Personalized insurance experience

For insurers, offering a personalized insurance experience is no longer an option—it’s an imperative. But it’s about more than simply tailoring the interaction between customer and insurer. Personalization can enable an insurer to improve customer outcomes through loss prevention and protection, optimized pricing and coverage, and value-added or lifestyle services that extend beyond the traditional confines of insurance products.

Read Insurers cannot afford to ignore the opportunities of personalizing the insurance experience

Read Customers crave personalized offers—and insurers win by providing them

External data streams

Insurers have been using data and analytics to make underwriting decisions, price risks, predict losses and manage claims payouts for years. But they have generally relied on their own data and on structured information from bureaus and agencies to make their decisions. Now, though, new data streams are presenting insurers opportunities to gain new insights into risk and improve their loss ratios. 

Read New data streams give insurers a chance to break away from the competition

Read New horizons appear to insurers willing to access external data streams

Read Insurers can establish momentum and build economic value from external data

Next week, I’ll have a look at some of the Accenture thought leadership that resonated with our blog readers.

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