This is the third in a series on technology trends in life insurance. If you haven’t already, check out the first two posts in this series:

This week, I’ll look at how the right technology choices can help insurers support global expansion, deal with changing value propositions and meet the challenges ahead.

Supporting global expansion

In a global Accenture study, more than three-quarters of insurers stated that international expansion is a critical or important driver of economic value. However, geographic boundaries are becoming invisible, whether we’re talking about product types, technical capabilities or consumer behavior. Increasingly, insurers that apply technology consistently across their organizations will be more efficient than those that don’t. At the same time, insurers must balance global consistency with local relevance.

Dealing with changing value propositions

Life insurance distribution is based on branded, captive agents and a wholesale capability that makes use of independent brokers. But in the property and casualty insurance market, online aggregators have made a significant dent in the industry, especially in the United Kingdom. The salient feature of these aggregators is that they offer guidance to people at the moment of decision-making, essentially charging for advice, not just products.

Life insurers should take a chapter from the aggregator’s playbook. By positioning themselves as trusted sources of advice, they can be competitive. From a technology standpoint, that means engaging with customers in any way they can—including social media.

Meeting the challenges

Advanced software can provide insurers with a platform to facilitate an industrialized approach to product development—one that’s flexible and agile, targeted for customer segments and based on advanced analytics. Attributes of such an environment include:

  • Design and configuration capabilities.
  • Product development productivity and quality tools.
  • Deployment management utilities.
  • Run-time environment.

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