Artificial intelligence (AI), data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) continue to enable mass personalization. Many insurers invest in insurtechs that focus on these areas, as they view them as critical to delivering better outcomes for customers. In fact, a recent  Accenture report indicates that the number of insurtechs focused on analytics and big data has nearly tripled in the last two years.[1]

If you’re among the 80 percent of insurers[2] who prioritize ease of use and simplicity in the user interface to ensure a more human-like experience, then you’re poised to deliver on the promise of AI to augment human interactions. According to the Accenture Tech Vision for Insurance 2017, over the next three years your customers will spend as much time interacting with your AI as they will talking to agents[3].  What this means for life insurers is that part of your company’s brand will depend on the experience consumers have of your AI. It’s also an opportunity to drive new business among insurance customers who are willing to accept computer-generated advice on the type of insurance coverage to purchase.

Digital insurers leverage existing technology platforms to expand their businesses by expanding their digital capabilities. A platform strategy connects insurers with ecosystems of partners who, together, drive better outcomes for the businesses and their customers.[4] In some cases, it’s more cost-effective to leverage existing platforms to enter new ecosystems. For example, you may be exploring the use of data from wearables to assess underwriting risk and provide more personalized policies aimed at a discrete market segment. Thanks to your platform provider’s standardized interfaces and APIs, you’re able to connect to another ecosystem partner or even a completely new ecosystem offering data insights from wearables and other connected devices.  You may not own or have an investment stake in the technology, but your new business and underwriting platform enables you to quickly and easily connect to the right ecosystem of potential partners.

Whether you own the platform, integrate with it, or orchestrate the ecosystem, you should develop a holistic strategy that offers the greatest flexibility and profitability. Our Technology Vision for Insurance 2017  indicates that an overwhelming majority of insurers—94 percent—say adopting a platform-based business model and engaging in ecosystems with digital partners are critical to their success[5].

If insurers are to remain competitive and relevant to consumers today and tomorrow, we must innovate rapidly. However, our innovation decisions must be guided by the interests of the consumer. Therein lies the greatest challenge and opportunity. Fortunately, we’re already poised to deliver on the promise of digital.

Today, every business is digital. However, we’re first and foremost in the “people business”. The more we design technology tools for people first, the more successful we’ll be in business. I invite you to learn more about how our life and annuity software platform can improve the way you, your channel partners and your customers live and work.

(1) The Rise of Insurtech: How young startups and a mature industry can bring out the best in one another

 

(2) 2017 Technology Vision for Insurance -Technology for People page 14

 

(3) Accenture Technology Vision for Insurance 2017, p. 15

 

(4) Evolve To Thrive In The Emerging Insurance Ecosystem

 

(5) Accenture Technology Vision for Insurance 2017, p. 25

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