Report says industry confronted by ‘year of uncertainty’

Report says industry confronted by ‘year of uncertainty’ | Insurance Business

Report says industry confronted by ‘year of uncertainty’
It’s a year that will see greater focus on the use of technology to enhance the customer experience, and a year in which the debate over disintermediation will continue. But the integral role that people play in insurance transactions still cannot - and will not - be completely replaced.

That’s according to Andrew Godden, chief executive of Arthur J. Gallagher Australia, speaking in the broking giant’s 2017 Market Overview report.

“There is an understood benefit of streamlining processes and repetitive tasks using technology, but technology will never fully supplant human-to-human interaction and trust as the most important elements in a business relationship,” Godden said in his foreword.

Focusing on challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, the AJG report claims 2017 “looks set to be a year of uncertainty”.  It contemplates the impact of ongoing Brexit negotiations, as well as the Trump administration’s intentions for the US economy.

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On the local front, the report highlights the recently-enacted Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) Bill 2016, bringing into law Australia’s long-awaited mandatory data breach notification scheme. Describing the scheme as a “game-changer,” AJG says organisations without strong data breach response plans in place should create those plans as a priority before the scheme comes into effect.

“Once viewed as the domain of the CIO or CTO, cyber resilience is now firmly positioned as the accountability of every person sitting at the board room table,” Godden said, adding that cyber security had become “an issue of national importance.”

Also discussed in the report are the online aggregators, comparison platforms and on-demand insurance provider, Trōv, all of which are disrupting traditional purchasing models and appealing to consumers that seek easy, agile and convenient experiences. And then there’s the matter of big data, which the report describes as a “big opportunity.”

“Interpreting data, using analytics to translate insights into actions and intelligently predict the future will be a critical component in cementing the role of an insurance provider as a trusted advisor, and successfully transitioning from a purely transactional, lower touch experience,” it says.

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