I have been discussing the Accenture High Performance Insurer study, in which we surveyed 60 leading carriers around the world to find out about the challenges facing insurers, and what attributes allow insurers to address those challenges.

To recap, the five challenges facing insurers today are:

  • Tougher economics.
  • More demanding customers.
  • Evolving technologies.
  • Altered global market structure.
  • Competitive forces.

Get an overview of the study and read more about the challenges in part two and part three of this series.

Well, enough with the doom and gloom. I want to talk about the attributes that insurers must develop to be able to address these challenges. Today, I will discuss the first two: effective customer-centric distribution and responsiveness to the market.

Effective customer-centric distribution

Successful insurers will develop strategies to raise customer acquisition and retention rates. How? By using analytics and data to identify market segments, and in turn, to create the right products and marketing plans to target those segments. Multi-channel distribution strategies can give insurers a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Not only do these strategies retain customers, they create opportunities to cross-sell products, reduce the cost of acquisition, and support increases in premiums.

Responsiveness to the market

As discussed last week, competitive forces in the market will require insurers to act quickly and decisively. As part of that capability, insurers must be able to identify opportunities and risks as they emerge.

Successful insurers must be one—or several—steps ahead of their competitors by entering and leaving markets, launching and modifying products, and taking advantage of new technologies while others are still assessing their impact. This translates into a competitive advantage with prime positioning for acquisition opportunities, before anyone else hears about them.


These are only two of the five key attributes of the high performance insurer. Next week, I will discuss two more: consistent operational excellence and relentless pursuit of cost reduction.

Download Accenture’s High Performance Insurer study here.

Does your business have these attributes? If not, how do you plan to develop these attributes?

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