As the pace of innovation rapidly advances past regulatory frameworks, it’s crucial for insurers to step up—to help create space that enables innovation while still protecting consumers.

When the sharing economy first emerged, one of the big questions for claims leaders pertained to liability and insurance—whether personal policies covered what was arguably commercial activity, and whether commercial policies accurately covered the scenarios that arose from the sharing economy. In other words, innovation and technology was more advanced than the existing regulatory and government frameworks.

While many insurers and start-ups have stepped into the gray space of offering insurance for sharing economy users, the underlying issue still remains. Digital ecosystems and emerging technology aren’t just pushing the limits of existing regulations—they’re many steps ahead of it.

61 percent of insurers agree the regulatory environment for their industry or business is outdated.

Considerations for regulating uncharted territory

Today there are many regulatory gray spaces that can pose some challenges, but in equal measure they are an opportunity for insurers to take a leadership position and help define future regulatory frameworks that enable innovation while still protecting consumers. Considerations include:

  • Data privacy, digital trust and ethics, especially as more and more customers agree to provide personal data in exchange for more customized services or preferred pricing.
  • Liability, both civil and criminal, especially as technology takes over tasks that were previously performed by humans (for example, autonomous vehicles) and sharing economy services become more commonplace.
  • Gig economy and workforce transformation due to the increase of remote workers, freelancers and contractors, and on-demand employment platforms.

The uncharted: Action items

If the sharing economy dominated conversation a few years ago, other innovations are on the tip of everyone’s tongue today: blockchain, e-signatures and smart contracts, to name a few. In light of the increasing speed of innovation, insurers must take a seat at the table in guiding regulators to maintain standards while also creating space for innovation.

Overall, this year’s Accenture Technology Vision for Insurance 2017 highlights the tremendous opportunity available to insurers. From artificial intelligence to emerging ecosystems, new workforce paradigms to human-centered technology, insurers have opportunities to create new value chains that haven’t been possible before.

To learn more about Accenture Technology Vision for Insurance 2017 and the era of the intelligent insurer and our 100- and 365-day plans to help insurers strategize for the uncharted. If you’d like to discuss how Accenture can help claims leaders lead the charge ahead, please email me.

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