For insurance, the future is here

Back in 2015, Novarica declared it “The Year the Future Arrived” for insurers – predictions that had been percolating for years finally broke through into reality. In particular, we cited four items: the entrance of major internet giants into the sector, the use of wearables to drive life insurance customer experience, IoT-based risk management, and direct online sales of small commercial insurance.

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An employee sets up an Apple Watch for a customer at an Apple Inc. store, in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, June 17, 2015. Apple Inc. is rolling out a "Reserve & Pickup" system which allows customers to choose a Watch online then buy and collect the order in store. Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg

All of these became real then, and continue to make progress now. Google may have abandoned comparative rating in the US, but Amazon is aggressively moving into health analytics and is piloting insurance distribution in other markets. Wearables have moved from individual to group life and health. IoT-based products are proliferating and maturing in commercial and specialty lines. And major insurers like Berkshire Hathaway have followed the early adopters to launch direct small commercial sales.

In the near future, we’ll see the emergence of zero-question underwriting driven by analytics and big data, a revolution in customer experience driven by the learnings provided by insuretechs, and the shift to cyborg service, where digitalization is effectively used to deliver human care to customers and claimants.

Of course, as sci-fi author William Gibson said, the future is already here. It’s just not evenly distributed.

This blog entry has been reprinted with permission from Novarica.

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