The insurance industry stands on the precipice of profound change. And this disruption is not just digital. Demanding customers, new competitors and a changing set of challenges are transforming the insurance industry.
Through honest conversations with over 200 C-suite insurance executives throughout EMEA, we have worked with Financial Times Remark to identify and analyse four key insurance trends that will shape the future of the industry as we know it.
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Customers’ needs, knowledge and expectations have expanded exponentially in the past decade. How can insurers adapt to their demands?
Customers are the disruptive force in the insurance industry. In an age of immediacy, constant change and overwhelming choice where loyalty is no longer a given, the industry has to extend beyond its core products and services if it is to retain its customer base.
“As we've learned over the years, in-depth awareness of your product and of customer requirements…enhances the relationship with customers. The additional services and even perks create the extra nudge that you need to complete the proposal.”
CFO from Property & Casualty, Norway
“Insurers have to figure out and offer customers products and services that are relevant to them…Unlike new technology-based start-ups, incumbent insurers have millions of customers and need to build engaging propositions that create stickiness.”
Andy Masters, Insurance Partner at Deloitte
Our research reveals growth will come from preventative, as well as protective approaches, with a range of new services and products. How will service-based strategies and innovative products change the insurance industry?
The traditional approach of selling protective products is nowhere near enough for the insurer of the future. Growth will come from new service-based models, innovative products and a greater focus on prevention.
“Customers are increasingly looking for frictionless services across the board…There’s a whole blue ocean of opportunities for add-ons that insurers could provide themselves or through partnerships.”
Olivier de Groote, Insurance Partner at Deloitte
“Additional services are appealing to customers. It shows you are paying attention and appreciate your customers. The policies are designed by paying close attention to details without discounting any aspects that would be important to the customer.”
Head of Risk Management from Reinsurance, Germany
In a highly competitive environment, executives acknowledge that organic growth will not be enough. How will the industry use M&A, equity partnerships and alliances to advance growth?
Incumbent firms can no longer rely on organic growth or internal innovation. The winners will be those that can forge alliances with innovative start-ups; ally with InsurTech; and consolidate with their peers. A rapidly changing industry will require unprecedented deal-making skills.
“InsurTechs have the upper hand when it comes to providing personalised policies and present more advanced aspects which are intriguing to customers, hence the challenge to our core business. Over the next three years, we need to step up and work on strategies to work with and, in some cases, combat the new players in the market, and move forward.”
Head of Risk Management from Life and Annuity, France
“M&A activity will centre around core markets and products but will also be used, either via acquisition or partnership, to access technologies that enable improvements within the industry. This could include distribution, new products, underwriting capabilities or claims process improvements. However, the successful integration of newly acquired assets will be crucial in determining the success of this strategy.”
Ian Sparshott, Insurance Partner at Deloitte
Technological change is a given. But knowing about it and acting on it are very different propositions. How can insurers use technologies such as analytics, blockchain and cloud to their advantage?
Disruption from new technologies is a given. It wends its way through all other trends. But acknowledging it and acting on it are very different propositions. Insurance companies need to know how to deploy the right technology for the right purpose or they risk being left behind.
“Insurers will need to adopt an ecosystem approach…It will take a lot of effort to transition from a legacy position to flexible, open architecture. Indeed, we may well see some insurers create greenfield operations from which to grow future business, rather than attempt to transform what’s there.”
Andy Lees, Partner at Deloitte
“New technologies and faster adoption of these by insurance companies is the key driving factor towards success and growth. There was doubt as to how it would merge with existing services, but the enhancements have been phenomenal. Customers are served more quickly by way of applications and multiple platforms.”
Head of Risk Management from Property and Casualty, Netherlands