Re/insurers agree that finding new talent is critical to build on investments in technology and digital transformation, but attracting and retaining will require better communication and more customer-centric approaches, according to analysts at EY.
As part of a new report, EY noted that re/insurance industry growth had remained stagnant for another year due to low interest rates.
But at the same time, shifts in consumer demographics and heightened expectations for digital experiences have presented companies with a mixed bag of risks and opportunities.
While these trends could have a transformative impact on the industry, analysts believe that the industry is currently struggling to attract the right talent to take advantage of the shift.
In response, EY argues that re/insurers need to either reposition themselves as technology firms or proactively communicate on why the industry matters, what value it brings to society, and the overall appeal of an insurance career.
“In an industry that impacts our lives every day – from natural catastrophes to cyber-risks to better health outcomes – and in an increasing digital world, being more customer-centric and improving the customer experience is an imperative,” said Isabelle Santenac, EY Global Insurance Leader.
“Considering the emergence of new risks, insurers should focus on risk prevention in addition to risk management,” she remarked. “Attracting and retaining the right talent as well as reskilling the existing workforce will be essential in this transformational journey.”
In the Americas specifically, EY believes the top priorities for 2020 align with global concerns, with re/insurers set to focus on finding new talent, achieving operational excellence and cost efficiency.
“The current environment for Americas insurers is as much challenging as it is promising,” said Ed Majkowski, EY Americas Insurance Advisory Leader.
“Insurers who are able to innovate boldly, evolve their talent base and enhance customer experience, while remaining focused on operational efficiencies to reduce costs will be best positioned for future growth.”
For Asia Pacific, regulatory and economic uncertainties, and country-specific issues are clouding EY’s outlook and creating some challenges for re/insurers.
“The Asia-Pacific region is a major contributor to future growth of the insurance industry,” explained Grant Peters, EY Asia-Pacific Insurance Leader. “The region is still riding a strong growth spurt, driven by China, but also buoyed by positive performance in South Korea.”
“However, mature markets present challenges with an aging population and shifting consumer expectations,” Peters added. “No other market is as diverse in terms of opportunity and maturity – which poses an exciting challenge for insurers in this region.”
And in Europe, EY anticipates re/insurers will continue to struggle for growth as they attempt to balance regulatory pressures such as IFRS 17, while reskilling talent and enabling digital transformation.
Notably, analysts expect the war for talent to be a top priority for non-life, along with navigating sustainability and climate change, while life will remain focused on navigating sustainability and climate change and leveraging the Internet of Things (IoT).
Peter Manchester, EY EMEIA Insurance Leader, commented: “With a high likelihood of the prolonged low interest rate environment continuing, European insurers need to continue reducing their dependency on investment income for profitability.”
“They will also need to maintain a strong focus on cost efficiency, and selectively invest in digital transformation and talent reskilling to enable new business models and unlock growth.”