We surveyed 141 C-suite insurance executives as part of the Accenture Digital Innovation Survey. We found that one key to success is radical extension of the insurance value chain, such as investments in innovative companies, broadened product offerings or new partnerships.

Seizing the digital opportunity in insurance - radical expansion of insurance value chain
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Insurers have made the most progress in distribution, with 72 percent having a partnership, or planning a partnership, with new distribution partners. The top three targets for partnerships are banks (69 percent), Internet players such as Google, Apple and Facebook (44 percent) and aggregators (44 percent).

But there is more innovating to be done. Sixty-one percent of respondents are expanding their risk landscape to offer related non-insurance products, such as loyalty rewards, home services or lifestyle-based services. This aligns with our findings in the Accenture Consumer-Driven Innovation Survey, which found that customers are interested in having their insurers help them manage risk, not just insure it.

Notably, acquisitions play a prominent role in helping insurers better position themselves in the digital world. More than half (59 percent) of respondents expect their peers to make acquisitions of digital insurance startups over the next three years. Other acquisition targets include telematics specialists (47 percent), aggregators (43 percent) and analytics experts (38 percent).

This indicates that digital is more than a technology issue—it has become a board-level issue. Selective acquisitions can enable insurers to keep up with technological change, get a leg up on innovative new products and services, and radically extend the insurance value chain to drive growth.

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