As carriers continue to face disruption, there’s no doubt that insurance has remained incredibly resilient in the face of constant change, and we see the associated challenges and opportunities directly reflected in our Qorus-Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards. Now in its eighth year, this program has served as a catalyst for insurance innovation, pushing boundaries, fostering collaboration and creating meaningful impact.
We announced this year’s winners a few weeks ago. We received more than 350 submissions from 223 institutions in 43 countries, representing startups to the world’s largest financial organizations. Following the conclusion of each awards ceremony, our research team manually analyzes data from hundreds of entries and produces a short report which acts as an industry pulse, highlighting the key trends shaping the future of insurance.
This year, in the spirit of innovation, we used generative artificial intelligence (gen AI) to help us distill and uncover these trends, feeding submissions securely into our gen AI model. Work that usually takes our team hours was completed in minutes, meaning they could focus on the higher value task at hand – providing actionable guidance for insurers as they tackle the headwinds and tailwinds of our world today. Let’s take a look at the six trends our model identified.
1. Digital customer experience
Digital customer experience in the insurance industry has come a long way, as expectations continue to evolve and new competitors emerge. Carriers are increasingly adopting data analytics and artificial intelligence technologies to enhance the customer journey across various aspects of insurance services, aiming to deliver a seamless and personalized experience, whilst building trust.
Zurich in Brazil exemplifies this trend with its remote diagnosis in claims service that examines insured appliances using photographs or a video, determines how it should be repaired and then schedules a technician to perform the repair.
2. The convergence of health and well-being
We are seeing increasing convergence in the health and wellness space, with initiatives being incorporated into insurance products and services. This trend is driven by the increasing consumer demand for holistic and personalized care, as well as the recognition that promoting healthy lifestyles can reduce claims costs and improve customer retention.
For example, Discovery has enhanced its Vitality wellness program to provide its members with more personalized incentives to improve their health. The South African insurer is using data analytics to identify the most important action a member should take to increase their ‘healthspan’ – years lived in good health. Its Vitality Next Best Action plan then encourages members to take action, using various prompts and incentives, and thereafter tracks their progress.
3. Advanced analytics and personalization
This trend shows how insurers are leveraging data analysis and customer segmentation to create highly personalized and relevant insurance products and services. This theme is gaining prominence as insurers recognize the importance of understanding customer behavior and preferences in order to deliver tailor-made solutions that better meet their needs.
French managing general agent (MGA) Datafolio is looking to capitalize on the rise of digital mobility platforms that allow users to hire cars, motorbikes, scooters and bicycles on demand. It has developed a pay-as-you-go insurance offering, which can be embedded in the apps of mobility service providers, that charges for cover according to the customer’s travelling distance and driving behavior.
The use of advanced analytics and personalization will not only help insurance companies to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty but also drive revenue growth and improve overall business performance.
4. Sustainable insurance
Insurers are facing increased pressure to support sustainability initiatives and reduce their carbon footprint, as well as to develop products and services that meet the evolving demands of consumers and regulators.
This trend is driven by the global push towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions and transitioning to a low-carbon economy, as well as the increasing awareness of the impacts of climate change on business operations and the associated long-term financial risks.
Brazilian insurer Bradesco Seguros has reinforced its support for sustainability and social upliftment by launching a recycling service that collects, salvages, disposes and tracks automotive waste. The company’s Automotive Ecological Disposal service, a partnership with Ecoassist Serviços Susteníveis, currently operates in São Paulo and plans to extend it to other cities.
5. Inclusive insurance
We’re also seeing a trend with new insurance products and services emerging that are specifically designed for segments of the population that have historically been underserved. These may include low-income individuals, minorities, migrants, and small businesses, among others. By focusing on these customers, reinsurance and insurance providers can help bridge the protection gap and contribute to greater financial well-being and stability for these communities.
We’ve seen innovation in this space from B4E Insurtech, a Canadian digital platform empowering reinsurers, insurers, MGAs and intermediaries to design, develop and market affordable, fit-for-purpose inclusive insurance products for every customer segment. The insurtech aims to facilitate economic well-being across the underserved and ensure adequate financial continuity for all.
6. Ecosystem collaboration
Our final trend is driven by the rapidly changing landscape of the insurance industry, as well as the need for insurers to be more agile, customer-centric, and efficient in their operations. As a result, we are seeing a rise in strategic partnerships, cross-industry collaborations, and the creation of new ecosystems that leverage emerging technologies and data-driven insights to deliver better outcomes for all parties involved.
A great example here comes from Portugal, where insurer Fidelidade has expanded its pet insurance offering into a far-reaching ecosystem. The MyPets ecosystem includes pet liability and health insurance, gamification incentives and rewards, partnerships with animal food and care providers, and a digital information platform. Fidelidade also plans to add an app-based pet tracking facility.
To conclude, it is an exciting, hopeful time to be in insurance, as we can see through the lens of this year’s awards. These trends, and the winning innovations driving them, illustrate how insurers are proactively building exciting new solutions to our greatest challenges and opportunities.