It is great to see multiple initiatives spurring across the world demonstrating that the insurance industry is ripe for innovation.
- Accenture’s Insurance Innovation Hub in the US is currently helping insurers test, revise and validate new innovative value propositions in the general insurance domains.
- AIA launched their second accelerator designed to support start-ups in the healthcare arena to deliver break-through tech-enabled ideas that intend to help patients live longer and healthier lives.
- The Insurance Startupbootcamp is already underway in the UK and working with selected start-ups, insurers and investors to shape the next set of disruptive insurance innovations. The African programme just launched a few weeks ago.
The intensity of current industry changes and the convergence of multiple factors are driving new patterns for technology development and adoption across markets. Asia is a big market for growth, with a middle class gradually becoming wealthier and willing to pay more for better services, including insurance policies. Mobile friendly Africa is also a quick adopter of digital-enabled technology.
Insurers have been pro-technology for decades. Today’s innovative thinking presents a platform to completely alter the competitive dynamics within the current landscape and offer new business models. The Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Digital Health and Mobile enabled solutions are delivering innovations for more sophisticated market segments and easing the delivery of more customer-centric solutions.
The nice thing is that insurers won’t need to learn from scratch, as there are plenty of examples from other sectors as well as Open Innovation Forums to guide organisations on their journey to success.
The global insurance industry is staging an impressive comeback. According to McKinsey, in 2014 the industry was anticipated to grow at 6.3%, nearly three times 2013 growth figures with total premiums reaching EUR 3.8 trillion, higher than nominal GDP growth for the first time in five years. Emerging Asia had the highest potential growth at 15%. The Life insurance industry across both Maturing (9%) and Emerging Asia (14%) lead the world in business growth and Return on Equity (RoE). Health insurance also showed steady growth in 2014 with Emerging Asia displaying an impressive 31% growth in premiums albeit the region is still in its early stages of development.