Insurance Blog | Accenture    

Our Technology Vision for Insurance 2020 highlights five key tech trends that insurers should harness to overcome the looming tech-clash.

In my previous blog post, I looked at how insurance companies that will lead the industry in the future are reimagining their fundamental technology approach and aligning to customers’ and employees’ values and expectations. This is because people don’t just want more technology in our products and services— they want technology that’s more human.

Accenture Technology Vision for Insurance 2020 reveals five insurance tech trends to watch. Each of them shows new models that organizations must build to overcome tech-clash. They are all based on collaboration. Successful insurers will invite customers, employees, partners, intermediaries, regulators and the public to build their new course for the future together.

Here are the trends:

The I in Experience

Leading insurers are working with customers to create digital experiences. People still want the many benefits of customization and personalization, but they are skeptical of the non-transparent methods that some companies use to deliver it. They want more ownership of their data and of the experience itself. The rise of 5G and augmented reality (AR) put more pressure on leaders to make this a reality.

Verimi, a European identification, registration and data platform, offers an example of how companies are giving people more control over their data. Allianz, the major insurance group, collaborated with the likes of Axel Springer, Daimler and Deutsche Bank to form the platform. The open identity platform allows partners to provide relevant services to customers, while letting customers manage access to their data.

Recently, the launch of AIA’s COVID-19 alert service through its AIA Connect mobile app; the Alipay Health Code developed by Ant Financial, sister company of Alibaba; and TraceTogether in Singapore, a Bluetooth-powered app that creates an encrypted “handshake” between a user’s phone and the phone of anyone they came into contact with, all illustrate further how personal digital experiences can potentially be made, in this case with government support and authorization.

86% of European insurance executives believe that to compete in a post-digital world, organizations need to elevate their relationships with customers as partners.

AI and Me 

The full potential of artificial intelligence (AI), has moved beyond the automation of simple tasks towards becoming a collaboration tool that enables human employees and machines to work closely together. In years to come, we’ll see insurers take advantage of advances like augmented reality and natural language processing (NLP) to help employees collaborate with AI on a large scale. This will position companies to reimagine all aspects of their entire business from the ground up.

There is a rapidly growing number of real-life applications by insurance companies and insurtech firms. Lemonade, now deployed in Germany and very soon in the Netherlands, is probably one of the most well known within the insurtech community. Many incumbents have similarly impressive implementations, from Kyobo Life in Korea with BARO, its real-time AI underwriter designed to minimize evaluation time and maximize underwriting efficiency for simple cases; to Nordea Life and Metlife US using robotics, analytics, machine learning and AI to increase operational efficiencies, improve pay-out speed and accuracy and simplify the employee and customer experiences.

74% of European insurance executives acknowledge collaboration between humans and machines will be critical in the future to expand their innovation space.

The Dilemma of Smart Things

The idea of product ownership is changing in radical ways. When people buy products, they are in many cases no longer purchasing physical, finished items but conduits for evolving experiences. Companies are embracing a new “co-ownership” paradigm with customers and are working to design their products and ecosystems to accommodate ongoing change.

This applies to insurance as much as it does to other industries—a once-stable product is evolving into a set of dynamic living services with insurers’ mobile apps and smart devices as customer interfaces. In some cases, the aim is not only to gather richer data for underwriting or marketing, but also to interact with customers more often and deliver value-added functions such as lifestyle services or business advice.

68% of insurance executives in Europe say their organization’s connected products and services will have more, or significantly more, updates over the next three years.

Robots in the Wild

Robots are moving out of the warehouse and factory, into the larger world—helped along by falling hardware costs and the rise of 5G networks. As robotic capabilities extend beyond controlled environments, companies will face challenges around talent, questions of human-computer interaction and a testbed that consists of the entire world.

As such, robotics may introduce new coverage and liability issues in lines such as commercial general liability, product liability, workers’ compensation, and cyber-insurance. A report from Lloyd’s and the University of Surrey says the new risks, include the potential for robots in motion to cause damage to public or private property and cyber-risks related to the level of sensitive data robots will gather in homes and workplaces. Many commercial insurance products are not yet tailored to these risks.

59% of insurance executives in Europe expect the use of robots in public spaces will raise ethical, legal and security and privacy concerns.

Innovation DNA

Insurance organizations can transform how they innovate by focusing on three key building blocks of their company’s innovation DNA. Maturing digital technologies, scientific advancements, and emerging DARQ technologies (distributed ledgers, AI, extended reality (XR) and quantum computing) can constantly inject new skills, technology and ideas to the organization.

Leaders are weaving these technological building blocks together to set a course for their company’s future. Allianz and Microsoft, for example, are working together to move Allianz’s global insurance platform to the Azure cloud. They are also jointly developing Insurance-as-a-Service offerings for commercialization.

49% of insurance executives in Europe state rapid advancements in new technologies and scientific innovations are poised to disrupt their industry.

Reimagining the insurance industry

This reimagination of the insurance enterprise offers tremendous opportunities for those that take the lead. Getting there is one of the greatest challenges the C-suite will face during the next decade. When insurance leaders successfully build technology that delivers a human focus, they will be poised to do far more than meet expectations. They’ll set the new standard that every competitor—in every industry—will be forced to try to meet.

In the meantime, I hope that you are all safe and wish you the best in these unprecedented times.

To learn more about this year’s insurance technology trends, read Accenture Technology Vision for Insurance 2020.


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