Distributed ledgers, AI, Extended Reality and Quantum computing—forward-looking insurers are employing these technologies to gain a competitive advantage.

New technologies can be catalysts for change, offering extraordinary new business capabilities. DARQ technologies—distributed ledger technology, AI, extended reality and quantum computing—will be the next set of technologies to spark a step change, enabling insurers to reimagine the industry as a whole.

How do I see these technologies affecting insurers?

  • Distributed ledgers will expand networks by eliminating the need for trusted third parties, while promising to deliver significant cycle time and efficiency gains.
  • AI already plays a role in optimizing the customer experience while improving processes and influencing strategic decision-making.
  • Extended reality, an immersive technology, creates entirely new ways for people to experience and engage with the world around them while eliminating traditional barriers like distance.
  • Quantum technology will usher in novel ways to approach and solve the hardest computational problems.

Some forward-looking insurers are already using DARQ technologies. Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance, for example, plans to use AI to recreate vehicle collisions from GPS, dashcam and historical accident data. This will enable them to shorten the time between an auto accident and an insurance payout from about two months to two weeks or less. AXA XL is piloting AI and natural language processing software to help populate and process information on commercial business properties to free underwriters from a tedious, manual chore. And Accenture and Zurich Benelux introduced a blockchain-based solution that helps the insurer’s customers manage surety bonds.

Individually these technologies offer a wealth of opportunities for insurers, but used together they generate even greater value. Seventy-one percent of insurers agree that the combination of all four DARQ technologies will be transformational or will bring extensive change to their business. Ping An Insurance, the Chinese financial services giant, is one insurer with a vision for using the combinatorial effect of several emerging technologies to transform its industry and business. The group is employing AI, blockchain, cloud, big data and security to drive its “finance + technology” and “finance + ecosystem” strategies.

To take advantage of the transformational capabilities that DARQ technologies will offer, insurers must start to explore the possibilities all along the spectrum. From the growing pervasiveness of AI in insurance today to the potential of quantum computing in the future, carriers should continue experimenting with and applying these technologies to transform their businesses.

In my next post, I’ll look at how insurers can reframe the risk around ecosystems.

In the meantime, to learn more, read Accenture Technology Vision for Insurance 2019.

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