Top 4 (+1) Reads about Insurance Industry Disruption

Earlier this year I talked to Dominik, mediaman Germany’s Head of Finance & Insurance, about the influence of FinTechs on the banking and insurance industries. We discussed the consequences of traditional insurers loosing their customer interface to new and innovative startups.

Of course the rise of FinTechs is just one way in which the insurance industry is being disrupted. A Google search for “insurance digital disruption” produces almost 4.5 million hits.

4.5 mio hits

Clever startups with smart ideas encroaching on traditional insurers’ customer base is part of the trend, but there are other factors, as well:

  • Customers have moved on to mobile devices while insurers are still catching up with desktop based online processes.
  • Big data mining could require new risk assessments and profiles.
  • Rigid legacy IT systems need to be updated or even replaced.

Understanding the challenges brought on by these factors and others takes time and research. We have done a lot of reading about disruption in the insurance industry, and these are some of the studies and reports that we found particularly helpful:

EY // 2015 Global Insurance Outlook  (PDF)

Much insight can be gained by looking beyond Europe and North America.

The EY report offers their perspective on the property-casualty and life-annuity insurance markets in Asia-Pacific, Canada, Europe, Latin America, and the United States.

The Economist Intelligence Unit // Digital Adoption in the Insurance Sector: From Ambition to Reality?

Among other insights, the authors share ways in which insurers have minimized the FinTech disruption risk:

  • Collaborating with FinTech start-ups
  • Partnering with large technology companies
  • Creating their own innovation labs

Accenture // From Digital Wallflower to Digital Disrupter (PDF)

Accenture sees six trends that will shape insurance in the coming years:

  • The “Internet of Things” and connected intelligence
  • Cloud, social and collaboration tools and technologies
  • Big Data as a supply chain
  • Soaring demand soars for bigger, faster, more efficient data centers
  • Simpler apps for greater operational agility
  • Nonstop demands on business processes, services and systems

Bain & Company // For Insurance Companies, the Day of Digital Reckoning

Bain & Company explain in detail how these measures need to be taken in order for insurers to adapt to (and even harness) digital disruption:

  • Embrace an omnichannel world
  • Redesign core operations and underwriting
  • Upgrade the IT platform and organization
  • Fortify the franchise

While some key points are repeated in all of these studies and reports, each piece approaches them in different ways. We think more than one perspective ensures a holistic view.

And if you haven’t done so yet, make sure to read my interview with Dominik to get his take on why insurers are losing their customer interface (and why they should care).