Insurers are under intense pressure from analysts and shareholders to deliver strong sales growth, despite sluggish market conditions. While the World Bank forecasts 2.4 percent global growth, analysts expect company revenues to increase 3.8 percent in the United States, 2.4 percent in the Eurozone and 7.8 percent in Asia. Accenture’s equity analyst survey found high-performing property and casualty insurers were expected to grow 6.4 percent in 2012, and life insurers 9.6 percent.
Where to look for opportunities
Achieving these numbers will be difficult. Insurers will need to excel in their understanding of consumers, and watch for signals of consumer change that can influence business growth. They need to stay one step ahead of their customers; at the moment, most would admit they are one or two steps behind.
Accenture recommends insurers:
- Focus on market segments where there is significant consumer change, because this indicates the potential to exploit latent growth and also to capture market share from competitors that are slower to react.
- Develop a cutting-edge analytical toolkit that enables them to continuously assess and respond to changes in consumer behavior.
- Instill an adaptive mindset that helps them anticipate or respond quickly to disruptive market forces. Insurers that achieve this see disruption as an opportunity rather than a threat.
- Create an agile organization that has the right capabilities to act on fast-developing opportunities, turning insights into action.
In my next post, I’ll look at how high-performance insurers can keep pace with changing customer behavior, and why this can position them favorably for future growth.