As technology becomes more invisible in, and indivisible from society, insurers must look at how they can help people live and work better.

Each year, Accenture aims to identify the technology trends that will have the biggest impact on business in the next three to five years. For the Accenture Technology Vision for Insurance 2018 report, we interviewed 623 insurance executives from 25 countries.

This year’s report identifies the five technology trends that will soon start to appear on the C-level agendas of insurers:

  • Citizen AI. How can insurers “raise” AI to benefit business and society?
  • Extended reality. How can augmented and virtual reality bring about the end of distance?
  • Data veracity. How can insurers protect themselves against inaccurate, manipulated and biased data that leads to corrupted business insights?
  • Frictionless business. How can insurers take advantage of partnerships that are essential to long-term growth, overcoming the obstacle of their legacy systems?
  • Internet of thinking. How can insurers shift computing power to be closer to devices on “the edge” of computing?

 

Today, insurers can create new services and products they couldn’t have even imagined a few years ago. Consider AXA’s fizzy, a blockchain-enabled automated platform that offers parametric insurance against delayed flights. If your flight is more than two hours late, the platform automatically triggers compensation to your credit card. Talk about a seamless customer experience.

However, insurers’ ability to create new opportunities depends on two external factors. First, their customers must be willing to participate. Second, carriers must ally with partners to expand their value proposition outside the traditional confines of insurance offerings. This has several consequences. One is that when customers trade their personal information for better, more personalized service, they have expectations for how insurers will behave and interact with them. Another is that insurers need to explicitly define the nature of their partnerships—in other words, to define their corporate social contract.

Consider Lemonade. It might be best known for its AI capabilities, which allow it to process a claim within three seconds. But it has used its social contract to differentiate itself from competitors. The provisionally B-Corp-certified insurer enables customers to identify a charity, then pools their premiums accordingly. Each year, after all claims are paid, any remaining funds are donated to the designated charity. Lemonade has also waded into arenas that most organizations try to avoid—for example, by limiting coverage for guns.

How can insurers improve the way people work and live?

How can insurers improve the way people work and live? At first glance, it seems an odd way to frame a discussion about the technology trends that are shaping insurers’ futures. But think back to the role that insurance plays in society—the transfer of risk from an individual to a greater community—and the value it provides to its customers and employees. Maybe it isn’t so odd after all.

Join me over the next few weeks as I look at some of these trends in more detail. In the interim, learn more about  Accenture Technology Vision for Insurance 2018. To discuss how Accenture can help your organization define its social contract and use it as a point of differentiation, get in touch.

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