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The four trends that define insurance in 2020

Challenge in change

The insurance industry stands on the precipice of profound change and this disruption is not just digital. Demanding customers, new competitors and a changing set of challenges are transforming the industry. Consumer expectations are shifting as they apply their experience of other sectors – particularly online retail – to insurance. The arrival of more nimble competitors, either in the form of InsurTech platforms or technology giants, is increasing the pressure on incumbent insurers.

Meanwhile, moves towards a more service‑driven business model may prove challenging for traditional firms. For those able to move quickly and smartly, change will bring significant opportunity. While it is not yet clear what form the shake‑out will take, our exclusive survey of 200 executives in the EMEA region has identified four interlocking trends that could separate the winners from the losers.

1. New world, new customers, new solutions

Customers are the disruptive force in the insurance industry. In an age of immediacy, constant change and overwhelming choice where loyalty is no longer a given, the industry has to extend beyond its core products and services if it is to retain its customer base.

2. A different roadmap for growth

The traditional approach of selling protective products is nowhere near enough for the insurer of the future. Growth will come from new service‑based models, innovative products and a greater focus on prevention.

3. The negotiating table beckons

Incumbent firms can no longer rely on organic growth or internal innovation. The winners will be those that can forge alliances with innovative start‑ups; ally with InsurTech; and consolidate with their peers. A rapidly changing industry will require unprecedented deal‑making skills.

4. Digital disruption – practical not theoretical

Disruption from new technologies is a given. It winds its way through all other trends. But acknowledging it and acting on it are very different propositions. Insurance companies need to know how to deploy the right technology for the right purpose or they risk being left behind.

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