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The future of insurance will be customer-centric and value-driven. Trends in changing consumer behavior point to a much more complex insurance landscape full of connected ecosystems offering a multitude of value-added services and products. How will insurers keep up with change and adapt to these rising consumer demands?
In one word: technology; specifically, technology to enhance the customer experience. Consumers want more personalized services, options that help them lower costs, and more convenient ways to purchase insurance. Insurers can no longer operate in siloes, but must seek ways to collaborate with complementary service providers and embed insurance products into their partners’ offerings.
Accenture’s 2017 Global Insurance Distribution & Marketing Consumer Study found several trends that have a host of implications for insurers as they rethink their distribution models.
Redrawing the ecosystem
Increased product and process simplification, automated support and virtual intelligent assistants could accelerate the move to non-traditional distribution channels. Insurers can build strategic partnerships to offer a broader suite of services for customers. An example would be the development of smart contracts on blockchain, which could streamline the payment of claims and the administration of insurance.
Embedding products within larger ecosystems requires demonstrating how your service adds value to your ecosystem partners. How, for example, could your enterprise collaborate with emergency services or even fitness brands?
Delivering personalized service with artificial intelligence
Consumers seek more personalized services. Many are willing to exchange more personal data for this. Advances in machine learning and cognitive computing offer opportunities to deliver computer-generated advice that is more personalized than ever before.
Accenture’s study found that consumers with the highest income levels, such as the digitally-savvy Nomads, are the most willing to receive computer-generated advice.
Become an everyday insurer
The trend towards greater personalization requires that insurers’ services become more relevant to their customers’ daily lives. The customer must become central to the products and services offered to them. Insurers must manage information both tactically and strategically, using data and analytics to drive decisions as well as personalization.
The way consumers want to interact with their insurers is changing. Increased digital connectivity, including additional personalized services, and new distribution models can add value to customers, insurers and their new strategic partners.