Accenture’s 2019 Technology Vision for Insurance identifies the trends that will have an impact on insurers’ businesses over the next three years. This year, it looks at how digital saturation raises expectations, abilities and risks, and how insurers can leverage key trends to gear up for the post-digital era.

Insurance is taking its first steps into a new age—one in which real-time risk protection and mitigation are woven into customers’ everyday lives. This is the dawn of the post-digital world. For the insurance sectorit signals the start of race with a new set of rules.  

The post-digital era is characterised by massive customer, employee and societal expectations. In it, more incumbent businesses have completed their digital transformations than have not. Digital is no longer a differentiator; it’s expected. Technology is becoming ever more influential and insurance companies can use it to meet people wherever they are, at any moment in time, evolving and adapting their products and services (alongside numerous ecosystem partners) according to individual behaviours and contexts. 

Reshaping reality

The efforts of leading insurers like John Hancock with its Vitality offering, Farmers Insurance with its new Toggle brand and Nationwide with its SmartMiles product are already reshaping reality for consumers. For example, telematics-driven auto insurance rewards safe driving, parametric travel policies instantly pay compensation when a flight is delayed for more than two hours, wearables track exercise and fitness so that these can be rewarded, and insurers are working with new gigtech entrants to offer workers on-demand, pay-as-you-go insurance cover for liability, illness and injury.

The results of more intense, personalised engagement with customers are impressive: they include lowered risk, lowered costs, more precise risk assessment delivering more competitive pricing and profitability, greater choice for customers, and increased customer loyalty and satisfaction.

However, in a post-digital world, merely keeping up with the digitals and insurtechs won’t cut it.

Changing how the market works

As one market becomes many custom markets—on-demand, in the moment—and industry lines blur, companies are bypassing the competition by changing the way the market itself works. In an all-digital post-digital world, any company can compete with any other or carve out a new market.

For example, Amazon is partnering with Berkshire Hathaway, an insurance and holding company, and with JPMorgan Chase, a global financial services firm, to tackle challenges in healthcare spending. Pooling resources across these three industries puts foundational disruption on the cards.

In an all-digital post-digital world, any company can compete with any other or carve out a new market. This puts foundational disruption on the cards.

This level of change will have a huge impact on insurers’ operations, employees, processes and strategies. There are many questions to wrestle with.

  • With limitless opportunities, how do you pick the opportunities to target?
  • How do you measure the potential impact of new insurance products and services on society?
  • Which ecosystem partners do you need and how do you position yourself within these ecosystems?
  • How do you avoid crossing ethical boundaries when there are different lines for every scenario and moment?

Against this background, Accenture’s Technology Vision 2019 identifies five emerging trends that will shape insurance over the next three years.

2019 TECH TRENDS

  • DARQ POWER. DARQ is distributed ledger technology, artificial intelligence (AI), extended reality, and quantum computing. It’s the next set of technologies that will spark a step change, letting insurers reimagine the entire industry and its role in the world.
  • GET TO KNOW ME. Tech-driven interactions will create a tech identity for every insurance customer—these are key to understanding the next generation of consumers and to delivering individualised, experience-based relationships.
  • HUMAN+ WORKER. Insurance workforces are becoming ‘human+’ as workers are augmented by a new set of tech-driven capabilities. Insurers must adapt technology strategies to support a new way of working.
  • SECURE US TO SECURE ME. Ecosystem-driven business connections increase insurers’ exposure to risks. Security must therefore be a collaborative effort.
  • Insurance companies must reinvent their organisations to find and capture opportunities as they come, meeting consumers’ needs at the speed of now.

Join me next week as I take a closer look at the Human+Worker trend and how insurers are employing technology to support a post-digital workforce.

Meanwhile, for more insight, click through to Accenture’s 2019 Technology Vision for Insurance.

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