I recently had the privilege of addressing a group of Asian insurance CEOs on the subject of disruption and innovation, and how important it is for today’s insurers to fearlessly embrace both.
A big part of innovation is being able to take an honest inventory of your assets and figure out the best way to leverage them. Today’s successful insurers have customers, a big balance sheet, and “unique content” in the form of knowledge resulting from claims information and underwriting assessments.
In this respect, insurance shares many similarities with the media and entertainment business, which is similarly challenged to survive against nontraditional competitors. It’s no longer enough for the big networks and film studios to simply act as distribution channels—they must also create new, original content. Case in point: HBO and “Game of Thrones.”
Up to now, an insurance company’s blockbuster “Game of Thrones” is its unique data and information culled from claims and underwriting. But what happens to the uniqueness of this data in an Internet-of-Things world where more issues are mitigated rather than claimed as a loss? Quite simply, a safer world will diminish the insurance industry’s knowledge advantage and therefore its value.
There is a way for our industry to stave off this threat, but we need to be thinking about where we can “corner the market” on new and unique content, whether that will be through performance information on new risk pools like home care robotics, or other areas where they would “make markets.”
Obviously the concept of telematics in cars and human telematics via wearable computing could also represent unique content. But lots of people are thinking about those usages. Insurance companies need to be thinking ahead on these new risk pools if they are to have something that is their own.
What will be your business’s “Game of Thrones”? I’d love to hear some of your ideas!