In my previous post, I introduced the Accenture Digital Insurer Network. In this post, we’ll look at some of the key insights that arose from our meeting in March 2015 at the Accenture Technology Labs in Sophia Antipolis in France. Over the two days, we focused on two main areas:

Exploring the Digital Insurer Ecosystem

The Digital Insurer Ecosystem is evolving at a rapid rate. In the past twelve months, Google launched Google Compare for car insurance, Metromile partnered with Uber to offer pay-per-mile insurance, 145 million eBay accounts were compromised in a cyber-attack and Virgin Galactic launched its highest supersonic test flight for public space travel. By 2020 there will be 4.2 connected devices for every person on the planet, the wearables industry will be worth $11.61 billion and 20 percent of the FTSE 100 will be made up of companies that don’t yet exist. And that’s just the beginning.

For meeting participants, these changes highlighted the digital and physical blur, and prompted:

  • Concern about legacy systems and the amount of unstructured data available.
  • Awareness that there’s a huge opportunity for disruption, that insurers need to develop the ability to change very quickly and that the user base is the new value over profit.
  • Excitement about the potential for generating new jobs and the creation of jobs across ecosystems.

We also explored the connected home, the connected life, digital channels and the advisory branch, and how these technologies and scenarios will influence insurers.

Understanding how to realise value

Participants recognised that these are not the only changes that will affect the ways people buy and sell insurance. Insurers also need to consider:

  • Internet of Things. What is the role of the internet? How can we maximise interest? Where are the opportunities to develop partnerships? Can we use smart devices to mitigate risk and prevent claims, rather than simply reacting to them? These and other questions led participants to wonder if finding a gap in the customer journey could help us link products together to tailor the insurance premium.
  • Cyber security. How can we protect the cloud? How do we protect data? How can people assess their risk when they don’t understand the issues? In a collaborative situation or within an ecosystem, who owns the customer? From these questions, participants anticipated that credit monitoring services, call centres and bundling outsourcing services to deliver to the client will be growth areas in the market.
  • Artificial intelligence. Participants discussed the current state of artificial intelligence and concluded that in the future it might help insurers anticipate or predict customer needs, even before customers know themselves.
  • Peer to peer. Although this is where insurance began in ancient Greece, peer-to-peer networks continue to have a place in the modern day. For example, self-employed people cover for each other when they are sick and Friendsurance in the German market helps customers connect to form individual insurance networks. In the future, insurers need to look at being more of a facilitator to create a win-win situation.

Ultimately, a future vision for insurers includes customers choosing their preferred channels and insurers balancing trust with the ability to offer valuable insights to customers. But questions remain about the role brokers, agents and aggregators will play.

To learn more about the Digital Insurer Network, visit our website.

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