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Strategic Technology Trends in Insurance

3 minutes, 47 seconds. read

“Strategic technology trend is one with substantial disruptive potential, that is beginning to break out of an emerging state into broader impact and use, or which are rapidly growing trends with a high degree of volatility reaching tipping points over the next five years”, says Gartner.

These technology trends shall enable insurers to expand into more ecosystems than ever before. Let us explore such strategic technology trends, which will impact the insurers in the near future.

1. AI & RPA helps insurance find a digital edge:

AI and RPA are already a reality for insurance. AI has found its way into vehicles, homes, and businesses and in the Insurance industry as well, it solves the necessary day-to-day tasks of running a business by the automation of routine patterns. It is able to tailor solutions for individual customers and replace the one-size-fits-all products currently available.AI in insurance will allow carriers to deliver scalable and customized solutions for members and policyholders,” says Ramon Lopez, Vice President of Property & Casualty Claims and Innovation at USAA.

RPA tools currently occupy the Peak of Inflated Expectations in the Gartner Hype Cycle for Artificial Intelligence, 2018. RPA is widely adopted in various industries, insurance included. “End-user organizations adopt RPA technology as a quick and easy fix to automate manual tasks,” said Cathy Tornbohm, vice president at Gartner. In the insurance industry automation of the day-to-day tasks would potentially reduce cost, time consumption and increase accuracy, quality and competency.

2. Augmented Analytics- future of data analytics:

One of the latest advancements for business development tools is the advent of augmented analytics. As per a report from Deloitte “Augmented analytics marks the next wave of disruption in the data analytics market”. It is an approach that automates insights using machine learning and natural language generation. Gartner predicts “by 2020, more than 40% of data science tasks will be automated”, resulting in increased productivity and broader use by data scientists. According to Accenture, “1 out of 3 insurers globally now uses Big Data from IoT technologies, such as Fitbit, Samsung Gear or Apple watch to collect lifestyle data from insureds”. Augmented Analytics will help reap business value from those data by automating Big Data insights. The insurance industry is expected to be the biggest beneficiary as it will help increase the accuracy and end the traditional “gut-feeling” decision-making approach.

3. Blockchain for war on fraud:

Blockchain is one of the biggest fourth industrial revolutions for many industries, including insurance. Insurance fraud costs more than $40 billion a year. The insurance companies can use “the distributed ledger” to potentially lower fraudulent claims, cost, transaction settlement time and improve cash flow.EY, Guardtime, A.P. Møller-Maersk, Microsoft, and ACORD collaborated and launched blockchain-powered marine hull insurance platform Insurwave in 2018. The platform is now in commercial use and handled risk for more than 1,000 commercial vessels and 500,000 automated transactions in its first twelve months of operation. More than 38 insurance companies have embarked on an initiative called the B3i to explore Blockchain applications in insurance.In the past decade, technological advances from artificial intelligence to Blockchain have transformed business models in every sector and insurance is no exception. Dubai World Insurance Congress embraced the future of the industry with insights from the sector’s most established and innovative leaders,” said Arif Amiri, Chief Executive Officer of DIFC Authority.

International Data Corporation (IDC) analysis shows “worldwide spending on Blockchain solutions could reach $11.7 Bn in 2022”. Blockchain gives the insurance company an independently verifiable data set so they don’t have to rely on the customer’s version. It is emerging as the central repository of truth for many blockchain use-cases. According to Gartner reports, “Blockchain will create $3.1T in business value by 2030”.

4. Quantum Computing:

Quantum computing is rising on the Gartner Hype Cycle. It is expected to become one of the greatest disruptions of the age. Quantum computing has the ability to process huge datasets and models that would have previously taken days and weeks. It can help calculate risks, of almost any nature, such as the impact of an approaching hurricane on a specific region.

According to a recent Novarica executive report, “Quantum Computing and Insurance: Overview and Potential Players,” by Mitch Wein and Tom Kramer offer various use cases of quantum computing. However, not many insurers are working with quantum algorithms. They are still seen as technologies that are on the distant horizon and not in their face like artificial intelligence.

The insurance industry has a complex infrastructure and legal restrictions. However, with investments in these Strategic Technology trends, insurers can become more customer-centric, achieve growth and lower cost.

https://www.futureblockchainsummit.com/news/dubai-world-insurance-congress-calls-for-faster-digitisation

https://www.gartner.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2018-10-15-gartner-identifies-the-top-10-strategic-technology-trends-for-2019

https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/it/Documents/technology/09%20-%20Dataviz%20-%20Qlik%20proposition_Deloitte%20Italy.pdf

https://www.gartner.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2017-01-16-gartner-says-more-than-40-percent-of-data-science-tasks-will-be-automated-by-2020

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/case-study-insurance-industry-denis-mwarania

https://tractable.ai/blog/together-towards-ai-notes-from-insuretech-connect-2017

https://www.dig-in.com/list/top-5-insurance-quantum-computing-use-cases

https://www.cbinsights.com/research/blockchain-insurance-disruption/

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Retention playbook for Insurance firms in the backdrop of financial crises

4 minutes read

Belonging to one of the oldest industries in the world, Insurance companies have weathered multiple calamities over the years and have proven themselves to be resilient entities that can truly stand the test of time. Today, however, the industry faces some of its toughest trials yet. Technology has fundamentally changed what it means to be an insurer and the cumulative effects of the pandemic coupled with a weak global economic output have impacted the industry in ways both good and bad.

Chart, line chart

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Source: Deloitte Services LP Economic Analysis

For instance, the U.S market recorded a sharp dip in GDP in the wake of the pandemic and it was expected that the economy would bounce back bringing with it a resurgent demand for all products (including insurance) across the board. It must be noted that the outlook toward insurance products changed as a result of the pandemic. Life insurance products were no longer an afterthought, although profitability in this segment declined over the years. Property-and-Casualty (P&C) insurance, especially motor insurance, continued to be a strong driver, while health insurance proved to be the fastest-growing segment with robust demand from different geographies

Simultaneously, the insurance industry finds itself on the cusp of an industry-wide shift as technology is starting to play a greater role in core operations. In particular, technologies such as AI, AR, and VR are being deployed extensively to retain customers amidst this technological and economic upheaval.

Double down on digital

For insurance firms, IT budgets were almost exclusively dedicated to maintaining legacy systems, but with the rise of InsurTech, it is imperative that firms start dedicating more of their budgets towards developing advanced capabilities such as predictive analytics, AI-driven offerings, etc. Insurance has long been an industry that makes extensive use of complex statistical and mathematical models to guide pricing and product development strategies. By incorporating the latest technological advances with the rich data they have accumulated over the years, insurance firms are poised to emerge stronger and more competitive than ever.

Using AI to curate a bespoke customer experience

Insurance has always been a low-margin affair and success in the business is primarily a function of selling the right products to the right people and reducing churn as much as possible. This is particularly important as customer retention is normally conceived as an afterthought in most industries, as evidenced in the following chart.

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        Source: econconusltancy.com

AI-powered tools (even with narrow capabilities) can do wonders for the insurance industry at large. When architected in the right manner, they can be used to automate a bulk of the standardized and automated processes that insurance companies have. AI can be used to automate and accelerate claims, assess homeowner policies via drones, and facilitate richer customer experiences through sophisticated chatbots. Such advances have a domino effect of increasing CSAT scores, boosting retention rates, reducing CACs, and ultimately improving profitability by as much as 95%.

Crafting immersive products through AR/VR

Customer retention is largely a function of how good a product is, and how effective it is in solving the customers’ pain points. In the face of increasing commodification, insurance companies that go the extra mile to make the buying process more immersive and engaging can gain a definite edge over competitors.

Globally, companies are flocking to implement AR/VR into their customer engagement strategies as it allows them to better several aspects of the customer journey in one fell swoop. Relationship building, product visualization, and highly personalized products are some of the benefits that AR/VR confers to its wielders.  

By honoring the customer sentiments of today and applying a slick AR/VR-powered veneer over its existing product layer, insurance companies can cater to a younger audience (Gen Z) by educating them about insurance products and tailoring digital delivery experiences. This could pay off in the long run by building a large customer base that could be retained and served for a much longer period.

The way forward

The Insurance industry is undergoing a shift of tectonic proportions as an older generation makes way for a new and younger one that has little to no perceptions about the industry. By investing in next-generation technologies such as AR/VR, firms can build new products to capture this new market and catapult themselves to leadership positions simply by way of keeping up with the times.

We have already seen how AR is a potential game-changer for the insurance industry. It is only a matter of time before it becomes commonplace.

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