Technology innovation is the top growth opportunity for the (re)insurance industry in 2017, and the prospect of a recession is the major threat, according to executives in insurance and reinsurance who have revealed their hopes and fears for the upcoming year.
Almost half of those surveyed in the annual Guy Carpenter Market Pulse survey said that technology innovation represents the greatest opportunity to grow their business next year (42%), while a quarter cited new products.
New geographic markets were also polled as a potential area for growth by 13% of voters, followed by talent acquisition at 12%, and M&As at 8%.
The results of the survey, released today by the global risk and reinsurance specialist, reveal that executives fear a potential financial recession, with 36% citing the prospect of an economic decline as the main emerging risk that will be the biggest threat to profitable growth in the year ahead.
Meanwhile, one-in-three believe the threat of cyber to be the biggest emerging risk, followed by technology and climate change – deemed equal threats by 11% of executives – and the risk of terrorism at 9%.
Regulatory and rating agency changes are also a worry when it comes to plans for profitable growth for 21% of those polled, and just over a quarter are concerned about global economic and political uncertainty.
Market-wise, the rise of big data continues to be seen as the catalyst for change in the industry – 38% said it would cause the most disruption in the industry over the next five years, along with technological innovation.
“One of the most important findings we can take away from this year’s survey is the significant growth opportunity that technology innovation continues to bring to the (re)insurance industry,” Tim Gardner, CEO of US Operations for Guy Carpenter said of the study, which polled 107 professionals during the 2016 Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCIAA) annual meeting in Dallas, Texas.
He continued: “The industry must be prepared to not only understand and manage the risks associated with these rapid advancements, but to also utilize these innovations to create actionable business intelligence and realize profitable growth opportunities.”
“Insurers are facing an increasingly complex market that will require them to be nimble and innovate in order to remain competitive,” Gardner added.
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