Partly predictions, partly wishful thinking, I hope you’ll be entertained—and stimulated—by what I think could happen this year.
First of all, welcome back and I hope you had an enjoyable, peaceful break with family and friends. I look forward to sharing my insights on the insurance industry with you, and to interacting with you over the various social channels—or maybe even face-to-face.
Here are some of the things that we might see this year, or that we could see if only somebody recognizes the opportunity!
- We see the launch of the first pay-as-you-drive—or rather pay-how-you-drive—auto insurance in Europe, enabled by an app downloaded to the vehicle’s audio/ media system.
- A big player cuts through all the connected car clutter and establishes itself as the owner of a network of connected cars—or, rather, the data from that network. When there is too much fragmentation, an industry is in danger of failing (Cecil Rhodes saved the diamond industry by consolidating all the players into De Beers.)
- The ultimately counterproductive fashion for crafting elaborate “digital strategies” is replaced by integrated business strategies to meet the needs of empowered, online customers. Strategy is strategy!
- A telecommunications company starts offering insurance (possibly context-based) on the fly through your mobile phone—smart emulation of microinsurance techniques. The big question here: what role will the insurance partner carve out for itself?
- We see a big insurance company partnering with a building protection/ security network to take the concept of the connected home/ office to a new level—risk management delivered as a service!
- We see MicroEnsure, BIMA or some other small-ticket insurance platform enter one of the big developed markets—the United States for choice. If that happens, I would expect to see them really giving the big players a run for their money as they apply intense customer focus and smart use of technology to delight customers. I predict a microinsurer could make headway reaching the large numbers of poor Americans (who are rich by Third World standards), as well as the more affluent.
- A related possibility would be the sale of one of these leading small-ticket insurers to a non-insurance company (a telco maybe, or perhaps this is when Amazon, Google or a similar online player makes its move).
- The big reinsurance companies start to venture further into the primary insurance markets.
Who knows, perhaps some of these might come true in the coming year. But tell me, what do you foresee for 2015—and why? I’d be interested to hear.
Meanwhile, very best wishes for the year to come: I’m sure we have some interesting times ahead!