Insurers may recognize the importance of ecosystems in the future, but that doesn’t mean that they are completely equipped for disruption. In fact, many carriers currently overestimate their ecosystem capabilities. While 97% of the companies surveyed considered themselves a highly attractive ecosystem partner, less than 5% actually have the attributes of ecosystem masters. The reality is that, while ecosystems are critical to its future, the insurance industry still falls behind other sectors in terms of its maturity.

If insurers create relevant and robust ecosystems now, they will reap the benefits of future disruption. They can do this by taking the following steps:

Shape the market play. Winning insurers will channel their energies into creating a clear ecosystem strategy. This will encapsulate the company’s vision, business case and prioritization, and a roadmap for the ecosystem’s integration into the market. A clear roadmap will include the ecosystem’s incubation period, its launch, and plans for scaling ecosystem products and services.

Assess the current state of your insurance ecosystem. If insurance leaders take an honest look at their business and identify the gaps they need to close in order to be an effective ecosystem player, they can take constructive steps in adjusting every facet of their business towards this goal. Ultimately, an insurance ecosystem will thrive if it is lead from the top.

Find the right partners. An ecosystem is as strong as its partners. Pioneering insurers will seek out partners that bring a collaborative mindset, domain expertise, customer relationships and data, as well as complementary capabilities. This is a long-term relationship, built on trust between the partners and a shared vision.

While the disruption promised by ecosystems may seem daunting, insurance leaders should see it as a positive, constructive call to action. Those that build long-lasting, highly relevant ecosystems now will stay ahead of the curve and reap the benefits in years to come.

To read more about how insurers can create the right ecosystems, download Accenture’s ‘Insurers: Go all-in on ecosystems’ report.

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