Rapid product innovation and market delivery can have multiple benefits for insurers. An insurer with the ability to identify customer demands and quickly introduce products to meet those demands can improve its customer acquisition and retention rates and can create competitive advantage, even in a crowded marketplace. This can contribute to top-line growth.
However, insights from our own research — including a recent Accenture survey of 559 insurance underwriters and product managers — suggest that insurers struggle with product speed to market. Only 28 percent of respondents said they are able to roll out new products within a six-month time frame, while 40 percent said they still take 12 months or longer to take a product from idea to implementation. In addition, only 45 percent consider their existing product development tools to be “very effective,” with nearly 60 percent either currently investing in new product development tools or planning to do so.
Accelerating product innovation isn’t as easy as it sounds. Companies seeking to speed the pace of product innovation face many challenges including the difficulty of forecasting customer demand; the barriers posed by regulatory compliance; and the need to set prices at the right levels. In my next post I will discuss new approaches to rapid product innovation and delivery.