The Financial Times Live Insurance Innovation Summit: Exploring New Technologies, Products and Processes held in April highlighted the major challenges facing insurance organizations today, mainly the need to embrace new technologies while still foundering under the load of “legacy systems, outdated processes and bloated organizations”. For readers of this blog, this isn’t exactly breaking news, but don’t lose heart. This event was chock-full of powerful insights.
Bringing together leaders from across the insurance spectrum, the event joined carrier executives, solution providers and even a few InsurTech gurus in a candid discussion on where we stand now and how to prepare for the future. So what did the people in the know conclude? Read on to find out.
Creating the Firm of the Future
We all know that established insurers are facing some pretty heavy obstacles right now, but too many are lost in the weeds, tackling the here and now without looking up to the future ahead. Andrew Schwedel, partner at Bain & Company, was the keynote speaker and noted the need for speed and agility was more important now than at any point in the past, because future trends could change on a dime. What stands out to us is the prediction that most work of the future will be outsourced or automated. That means an organization’s ability to forge partnerships with companies who can provide winning talent and capabilities will be a differentiating factor in how well they respond to market changes. Look up, insurers, look up.
Keeping Pace with Digital
Keeping pace with digital transformation was another intriguing topic, particularly as the conversation turned toward the remaining obstacles facing insurers in the digital revolution. Cybersecurity and protecting the reams of data most insurers store was naturally a common concern, but so was utilizing that data to improve the customer experience. In today’s world, analytics and insurance distribution solutions should go hand-in-hand. Digitization is the way insurers gather the right information at the onset, protect it behind a single point of access and then apply analytics to improve the application-to-issuance process and offer the right products to protect customers’ assets.
Tracking the Evolution of Insurance Distribution
Where insurers should focus their resources in the current omni-channel insurance environment was a well-received point of discussion, as Eric Gewirtzman, CEO, BOLT Solutions Inc., applied his expertise on leading insurance distribution solutions. To sum it up, omni-channel is critical, but if insurers approach transformation only from the perspective of adding more channels, their strategy won’t hold for the future. They need to look instead to the consumer revolution underway and incorporate digital distribution into an overall strategy to improve customer satisfaction. So, what lies beyond omni-channel? A robust selection of products and a culture focused on delivering what the customer needs, when they need it.
Where Do You Find Talent These Days, Anyway?
Insurers are recalibrating to meet the increasingly technical demands of insurance distribution in the 20th century but face the same talent crunch that other industries do. This is where an InsurTech partnership can really come in handy, opening doors to innovative tech talent while pumping up the more staid and traditional culture of the insurance industry with some spicy techie-inspired mojo.
Hope and Optimism for the Future
The great thing about events like this is that the spirit of hope and optimism abound. It’s great to get out from under the obstacles, breathe some fresh air and take in a new perspective. One can’t help but to leave reinvigorated and ready to successfully tackle the challenges that the industry and the changing consumer environment have in store.
Other prominent speakers at the FT Insurance Innovation Summit: Exploring New Technologies, Products and Processes included Jeff Daily, CEO, Farmers Group; Carolyn Johnson, CEO, Insurance Solutions at Voya Financial; Wayne Peacock, President, Property and Casualty Insurance Group at USAA and Oliver Ralph, Insurance Correspondent for the Financial Times.