The insurance industry is not the same industry that it was more than 10 years ago. Back in 2005, the U.S. industry enjoyed robust financials, fueled largely by a growing population and economy. And throughout the downturn that followed in 2008, insurers survived by sticking to what they did best, creating predictable, profitable business based on known risks. The industry, at least when I started covering it, had a reputation for being stodgy, stubborn and reluctant to change. And why should it? It wasn't broke, and it was making money.
Today, it's a different story. Against the ebb and flow of a society becoming fully dependent on technology for their physical and social needs, insurers are hell-bent to keep up. Actuaries are scrambling to come up with tables that include predictable outcomes for variables that are inherently unpredictable. The Internet of everything, driverless cars, drones, robotic surgeries, wearable mobile devices and the wild, wild world of social media are but a few of the concerns creating an urgency for insurers across all lines of business to rethink their risk management strategies in order to accurately price and compete on these new frontiers.
So where does the industry turn for the forward-thinking information necessary to stay on top of this rapidly changing world? On a national scale, there are several insurance conferences held throughout the year that focus on various business, technology and risk management topics. Based on the curriculum planned this week at the Insurance Systems and Accounting Association's (IASA) Annual Conference and Business Show, volunteers seem to have recognized this urgency, offering a three-day program that speaks to these new frontiers and beyond. If you are not at the show, I suggest tracking via Twitter or LinkedIn (#IASA2014) so no one can call you stodgy or stubborn. Seriously, keeping pace with the technologies, trends and the bevy of changes yet to occur in our world is a mandate for success in this business.
Pat Speer is president of Speer Consulting, a communications and content management consulting firm. She is also the former editor-in-chief ofInsurance Networking News.
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