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The 2017 technological trends set to disrupt re/insurance business as usual

27th April 2017 - Author: Staff Writer

Technology Vision has released its 2017 report on emerging technology trends with the most potential to disrupt the re/insurance industry; the analysis revealed that re/insurance experts’ top priority for getting technology right is more about having the right ecosystems and distribution platforms than in grabbing hold of the latest gizmos and insurtech trends.

Fintech image via George Washington University94% of all industry leaders surveyed by Technology Vision in its investigation into digital trends agreed the key to successful innovation is in having the right platform companies – a business model that leverages digital partners’ ecosystems such as online brokers.

Technology Vision offered the example of AXA, Alibaba and Ant Financial Services – who announced an agreement last year to explore opportunities to distribute AXA’s insurance products and services through Alibaba’s global e-commerce ecosystem.

For insurance executives, this belief in the power of the ecosystem and platform-based business model takes priority even over the need for continuous rapid innovation.

Success appears more than ever to be based on collaborating with the right partners in a business network that expands a firm’s clientele reach.

According to Technology Vision, 76% agree – success is not based on their organisation alone, but on the strength of collaborators, partners and ecosystems – for re/insurers, when it comes to finding the right business partners, whose vision and values are in alignment, the stakes are high.

However, to be truly competitive, businesses must combine operating from within an ecosystem-driven digital economy with seeking out and seizing “opportunities to establish rules and standards for entirely new industries,” Technology Vision stated.

Another core principle named by today’s technocrats is flexibility in adapting to consumer behaviour, anticipating not just “where they are now, but where they want to be” – hence expanding business uptake with technology is about how it transforms the insurance purchasing and delivery process to interact with humans on a bespoke, personal level.

The idea of technology that’s ‘people-centric’ is central to the era emerging – using bespoke technological solutions to make products match client’s lifestyle and individual needs.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is another force said to be reshaping the industry – 77% of insurance executives believe AI is creating “a new era of computing – rapidly moving from mobile first to AI first.”

Technology Vision offers an example of this in re/insurers’ use of tractables – AI that reviews photos of damaged vehicles in real time so that adjusters can quickly assess whether the car is repairable or not, and actively dispatch the claim to salvage, repair or appraisal.

AI is swiftly becoming the new user interface of digital insurers – replacing people to provide simple and smart interactions in each connection with insurance customers, employees and partners.

And as ever, when technological change hits an industry, its broad-sweeping brush transforms from the inside out – changing the game as much for those within as it does for those outside the industry; the new talent marketplaces, according to Technology Vision, are on demand labour platforms and surging online management systems expected to drive “profound economic transformation” of re/insurance industry employment process norms.

Three-quarters of experts surveyed agreed that their organisation has yet to define and place the new digital technologies they’ve entered into – showing that while for nearly all re/insurers surveyed, stark technological change is underway, it’s very much still in the fledgling stages of its development, and coming years will determine what shape these changes take.

However, 35% said they planned to use human behaviour to extensively to guide product development, and 33% of insurers said they planned to use blockchain in the next 2 years.

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