Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members


As digital capabilities permeate multiple industries, there are massive opportunities in the offing for insurers

As our world gets increasingly connected and we enter an era driven by data, insurers stand to reap the benefits of this new normal. There is a lot of experimentation being done, with disruption happening around a lot of customer-centric facets. The business environment is readying itself for a perceptible shift across areas like IoT and AI to name just a few use cases.

Technology is expanding the Insurer’s lexicon like never before; InsurTech, digitization, blockchain, disruption, Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT). These are just some of the commonly referenced phrases in the corridors of business. It is clear that insurance companies are doing all they can to keep pace in this rapidly evolving landscape. However, whilst we are getting used to new technologies and the language it brings with it, we are yet to see a major impact on the traditional global operating models of mega insurers.

The theories behind new technology make a lot of sense in an industry where the administration process has changed little in many years. It is unlikely, however, that this will change the conversation we need to have with customers whose risks are large and complex in the near future.

The opportunity facing India is enormous, but we are trying to fit solutions to fit our needs rather than having an end-to-end solution that operates on these new-age technologies. We are set to have 20 billion computing devices by 2020 according to Gartner. Technologies such as AI, machine learning, IoT, and blockchain opens up new opportunities for innovation and ways to do business. More data is now available for analysis and this is where the opportunity lies for companies, the arena where the game will be won or lost.

The massive digital transformation of insurance is seeing technological advances like Machine Learning, AI, Blockchain becoming key enablers in the insurance space. In the last couple of years, there has been an upswing of these advances in almost all the spheres of the insurance business. Like Machine Learning analyses data and identifies useful patterns, AI goes one step further by learning from existing data and applying that learning to new situations. Be it front line sales, back-end processing of the proposals, servicing of the same up to claims settlement.

These disruptors are improving the insurance customer experience by leaps & bounds. Despite the fact that it is difficult to anticipate the full utilization of Artificial Intelligence in this industry and replace specific actions with automated intelligent machines, market leaders are optimistic and confident when it comes to reaping the benefits it entails. On the other hand, telematics is very popular in motor insurance space but it can do wonders in the life insurance segment. Existing wearable tech could be adapted to provide insurance companies with up-to-the-minute statistics about the policyholders’ living pattern. This will help in understanding customers and their insurance needs.

Going forward, it is clear that there are myriad dynamic factors impacting the world of insurance. Keeping abreast of these changes has never been more important, as we look to ensure a balanced and accurate view of the dynamic and fast-moving marketplace.

This is an era of collaborative growth where leveraging partnerships is key, and so insurance companies need to leverage talent across companies to ensure agility. There is a need to build a talent pool that engages with the ecosystem and builds technologies around it, at the same time building people’s capabilities to work in this ecosystem. The road ahead for the insurance industry is a long, but promising one, and the true litmus test of its success lies in insurance being sought rather than just bought by the teeming Indian populace.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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