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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Leading insurers to boost revenues by $375bn through innovation

Insurance firms that continuously innovate and adapt to changing consumer needs will outperform competitors and seize a potential $375bn (£267bn) in new revenue over the next five years.

Innovation "must be an industry priority" ©Shutterstock
Innovation "must be an industry priority" ©Shutterstock

That is according to a new report by consultancy firm Accenture, which identifies emerging risks like cyber security and autonomous vehicles as a key area for firms to exploit.

Others include improved penetration of traditionally difficult markets, value-added services using connected devices, expanded business partnerships, and monetisation of assets like data and algorithms.

“The insurance industry as we know it is at the edge of a new business environment,” Accenture’s global insurance lead, Michael Costonis, said.

“Breaking away from the pack and capturing new revenue opportunities requires a shift from product-focused to customer-focused, from going to market alone to partnering with insurtechs and technology behemoths.”

It is estimated that $198bn of the new revenue will arise through market share gains made by insurers that embrace transformation, at the cost of less-responsive competitors.

The majority of this is expected to be in the Asia Pacific, where gains of $143bn have been identified, followed by North America and Europe with $128bn and $103bn respectively.

Accenture said this will require insurers to develop more fluid talent pools, streamline legacy infrastructure, use data and analytics to personalise services, and create cultures open to new ideas and approaches.

The firm recommends that insurers offer more personalised and faster services by embracing technologies like blockchain and artificial intelligence, while harnessing their vast consumer data to better customise offerings.

“Maintaining the business status quo is unsustainable,” Costonis continued. “Innovation – beyond aggregators and online distributors – must be an industry priority.

“Carriers that make the right business changes, understand their customers, and respond to them rapidly and fearlessly with relevant, innovative offerings will be more likely capitalise on the new emerging opportunities.”

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