2021 insurance industry outlook

Acceleratin recovery while pivoting to thrive

While the COVID-19 pandemic and its related disruption has affected insurers on all fronts (operations, technology, talent, and finance), the biggest challenge may still lie ahead. How can you help your company prepare for and cope with “the unknown of unknowns” in the coming year and beyond?

Our 2021 insurance industry outlook, based on a global survey of 200 senior insurance executives, explores how investing in innovation and digitalization across products and services, sales strategies, operations, and customer experiences may be insurance companies’ biggest differentiator in 2021 and beyond. 

Key messages:

  • The COVID-19 pandemic severely disrupted insurer operations, prompting an overnight shift to remote work and virtual customer engagement while exposing gaps in digital capabilities and raising cybersecurity concerns.
  • Deloitte’s global outlook survey of insurance executives found expense management more strongly emphasized than before the outbreak. However, rather than cutting costs across the board, most insurers are likely delaying or scaling back prepandemic investments in part to free up capital for higher priority projects and talent that can help them adapt sooner rather than later.
  • The need to accelerate digitization and enhance virtual operations turned headwinds into tailwinds at many insurers, driving faster action to deliver within the coming year what might originally have been three-to-five-year transformation plans.
  • Necessity might have been the mother of reinvention for many insurers during the pandemic, but the speed of change and much greater reliance on connectivity and remote access may also generate a host of new exposures for carriers and their policyholders, particularly in terms of cyber risk and business interruption.


What can you look forward to in 2021?

Discover insights on driving transformation across banking and capital markets,
commercial real estate, and investment management from Deloitte’s survey of
800+ executives from around the globe. View our full collection of 2021 financial
services industry outlooks. 

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