Innovation in Insurance: Technology takes the reins
Whilst the boundaries of much of the insurance sector are being redrawn by the current wave of M&A deals, many of which are resulting from the delivery of Solvency II, an equally important revolution has been occurring at the operational level across both life and general insurers.
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Investment in digital - something that insurers have often unfairly been rebuked for skimping on - is now taking place within the sector with almost unprecedented enthusiasm.
While technological innovation has often been seen more as a threat to existing insurance business models, it is now almost universally recognized as a way to boost customer service, drive profits and increase sales. Digital investment is now seen as key to driving the business, rather than simply servicing it.
Through the funding of major IT investment programmes, such as digitization and big data initiatives, the insurance industry is adopting some of the cutting edge practice borrowed from best-of-breed online giants, such as Google, Amazon, Ocado and Uber.
Investment in digital may also help the industry in addressing some of the major challenges facing it. These range from the recent changes to the annuity market impacting the life and pensions sector, to the continuing impact of price comparison websites on profitability, to the Solvency II framework coming into force in 2016.
Our research among senior insurance executives reveals their insight, perspectives and opinions on the major opportunities and challenges facing the sector, and how innovation is likely to impact its fortunes going forward.
It also shines a spotlight on what impact they think these developments will have on their own career development and demand for interims in the year ahead.