The last year has accelerated the need for companies to leverage technology. As brokers have pivoted to remote working models, the industry at large has been forced to get creative to maintain customer satisfaction.
What has proven to be a key differentiator in the success of a company, has been leadership’s ability to gauge the necessity of legacy systems, and make innovative upgrades to keep up with the competition.
“Technology is driving the competitive advantage in insurance,” Peter Manchester, consulting leader and EMEIA insurance leader at EY global insurance said at Reuters ‘Future of Insurance Europe 2020’ event.
“The sector is at a point of inflection,” Manchester explained. The constant shifts in demographics, climate change and technology are fundamentally reshaping the business environment and requiring insurers to adopt different responses if a company wants to stay in the game.
“COVID-19 has both amplified and accelerated these trends, and perhaps the future is arriving sooner than we all expected,” Manchester added.
Manchester spoke about how the shift in investments is a consistent technological theme. Clients were forced to adjust to a new normal and the urgency for technology has been more apparent than ever.
“The insurance industry has no choice but to change,” David Germain, chief information officer at RSA noted. “We’re seeing a different generation in terms of how they want to trade.”
Germain mentioned that leaders should be asking themselves, how to create an expedient system where the environment mirrors online retail banking rather than staying in a pattern where clients only talk to their insurer once a year.
Technology that works with base products like motor and home insurance helps drive a better value proposition for customers, Germain explained. “When I think about technology, I don’t think in terms of analytics or data science, I think in terms of what do our customers want.”
“The technologies, architectures and structures we’ve been bringing to the table are no longer warranting the right pace of change culturally in any business,” said Germain. “We need some different thinking.”
Germain also said insurers should be thinking about what markets will be most prominent in terms of customer experience, and then strategize what products and services to develop which will then be underpinned with technology.
“Agility and competitiveness - that’s what customers are expecting from us,” said Germain. “We’re seeing an ecosystem of disruptors coming through who are getting there quicker than us.”
Disruption of new technology is inevitable. It’s time for the industry to move away from specific platforms, focus on building an open market experience for customers, and reduce the burden of legacy technology.