Accenture’s latest global consumer survey reveals three distinctive emerging consumer groups: Nomads, Hunters, and Quality Seekers. While the preferences of these groups overlap in some places, in many others they diverge. Forward-looking insurers may be wondering whether it is possible to appeal to more than one group at a time. Accenture’s analysis suggests this is not only possible but imperative.

Nomads are the youngest, fastest growing segment of the global consumer market. Insurers must consider the preferences of this group to stay relevant. Yet an exclusive focus on Nomads is as dangerous as ignoring them entirely. How can insurers find the right balance?

Accenture research and analysis suggests that insurers will need to change their product- and process-focused business models to instead focus on the customer. Accenture has identified five different distribution models that place the customer at their center and use data and analytics to drive most experiences.

1 The virtual insurance advisor

This model leverages data embedded within web, mobile, and voice-based platforms, including company websites, mobile apps, messaging apps, chatbots, virtual assistants, and social media. Insurers combine analytics and their access to consumer-focused information to provide personalized advice and insights to customers wherever they make insurance-related decisions online.

2 The everyday risk coach

This approach applies the insights described above to customers’ lives rather than just their insurance product decisions. Modern technology means insurers can combine their risk-management expertise with customer data to offer personalized advice on everything from reaching financial goals to reducing risk of loss or injury at home, at work, or behind the wheel.

3 The plug and play insurer

This model is built on partnerships. Insurers can team up with complementary firms to offer just the right product at just the right time to a prospective customer. That might mean partnering with an auto manufacturer or home dealer to make an offer after a major purchase, or teaming up with an internet retail giant.

4 The ecosystem coordinator

This model mixes risk and non-risk insurance products to address consumer needs across industries and disciplines. Insurers will develop strong relationships with ecosystem partners to develop insights into the needs and preferences of clients. For example, they might assist customers who are moving to a new city or starting a family.

5 The P2P network operator

Insurers using this model will distribute products to pools of customers linked by affinities. This will reduce distribution and claims costs, while tapping into a base of potential new customers attracted by a value proposition centered on the common good.

None of these models on its own is likely to be a magic bullet for insurers. Accenture anticipates that successful insurers will experiment with multiple distribution models in parallel, expanding what works and changing what does not. Even the most successful new model is unlikely to work for every customer, especially those identified as Hunters or Quality Seekers in the survey.

But as customer expectations continue to rise and new entrants increasingly focus on distribution, the need to experiment with new distribution models is more apparent than ever. Distribution is not the only area that will determine the future success of insurers, but it is where many of the decisive battles are likely to be fought.

To download the full Accenture report on disruptive opportunities in insurance distribution, visit here.



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