New technology likely will enable customers to arrange almost all of their insurance needs through remote digital channels, according to new report from Swiss Re, and will enable insurers to make use of micromarket segmentation and increasingly sell directly to consumers. While the evolution of distribution likely will be gradual, the example of the UK auto insurance market, where e-commerce sales now dominate, shows how quickly consumer buying patterns can change.

“[I]ncumbent insurers and traditional intermediaries must upgrade their business models in order to stay relevant,” Swiss Re said. “Else they run the risk of losing out to new market entrants better placed to leverage the insights about existing and prospective customers obtained through digital platforms.”

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