The insurance industry is already feeling the dramatic impact of emerging technologies such as autonomous vehicles, the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence. Savvy new rivals are entering the market every day, while established players are exploring new products and new ecosystem partners. It’s clear that change looms large on the insurance horizon

Here at Accenture, we wanted to gain more insight into how insurers are rising to the challenge of change and recently commissioned a global study.We interviewed 787 senior financial services (FS) executives (including nearly 300 insurers) who are responsible for developing their organizations’ change strategy and/or implementing their programs.

According to our FS Change Survey 2017, insurers across the board are taking change increasingly seriously. They are currently investing in all aspects of change, with 53 percent expecting to increase these investments over the next year (averaged across all programs).

Internal and external drivers are focusing these change programs on cost, the customer experience, digital and regulations. Cost reduction is currently a priority for most insurers and is the investment category most likely to increase over the next 12 months. Risk and regulatory compliance is another change priority. Eighty-one percent of insurers are investing in it now, with 54 percent expecting to increase their investment. Eighty-three percent of executives believe their strategic change portfolio is inhibited by the need to invest in regulatory change.

Most strikingly, the FS Change Survey found that a small group of insurers are significantly better equipped to fight the battle against rapid disruption. Approximately 10 percent of the insurers surveyed are achieving much better results from their change investments, and report markedly better commercial performance as a result. All agreed or strongly agreed their organization had received benefits from their change programs, compared to 72 percent of other insurers. In cost reduction and efficiency programs, 87 percent reported better commercial performance compared to 69 percent of the other insurers. The same applies to all other change investment categories, with the biggest difference being in regulatory change.

FS Change Survey results for commercial insurers

Clearly, these change leaders are doing something differently than the rest of their peers in insurance. In my next post, we will look into the key attributes of these insurers to learn how they are achieving such better outcomes in change management.

To learn more, read our full Financial Services Change Survey 2017 Insurance Report.

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