In general, North American insurers haven’t been subject to as much regulatory pressure as insurers elsewhere, especially in Europe. How has that affected North American insurers’ risk appetites, especially given the push to digital and changing customer expectations? That’s the topic of this Insurance Chart of the Week.

Appetites for risk are growing

Figure 2. Compared with two years ago, how has your senior management's appetite for risk changed when it comes to decisions made in the following areas?
Click the image above for a large version of the Insurance Chart of the Week (opens in a new window).

In general, the Accenture 2015 Global Risk Management Study found an overall increase in insurers’ risk appetites, as measured in six areas:

  • Alliances and partnerships
  • New product development
  • Major digital initiatives
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Geographical expansion
  • Business model change

For the most part, North American insurers have similar risk appetites as their counterparts elsewhere. But when it comes to alliances and partnerships, North American insurers have almost twice the risk appetite as insurers elsewhere: 60 percent, compared to 34 percent.

As identified in Accenture Technology Vision for Insurance 2015, it’s becoming more important for insurers to look beyond the walls of their business, to partner with other companies on digital platforms. That might mean an auto insurer partnering with a car- or ride-sharing company, a home insurer allying with a connected home or security firm, or a travel insurer aligning itself with a lifestyle brand.

All these alliances have the potential to make more data available to insurers, especially at point of claim. And it’s not just tactical data, like the location of the vehicle or how fast it was going, but also information on customer preferences and behavior that can help an insurer offer a tailored, personalized claims experience. Further, the frequent touchpoints offered by these alliances can improve customer engagement, and even help insurers prevent risk—and claims—in the first place. So in many ways, this increased risk appetite may actually turn out to be a play to better manage risk in the long run.

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