Johannesburg, Gauteng, 28 October 2016 – The world is constantly changing and this makes it harder to predict the future, particularly in the insurance industry. Change brings disruption and new risks but it also brings innovation.
Sujeeth Bishoon, Executive Head at Acuideas, a division of Indwe Intermediary Support Services, attended the recently held IISA Insurance Forum – The Future Insurance World We Live In – where industry leaders gave their views on how the industry can prepare for change.
From changing customer behaviour to new regulations, over the next ten years the industry will face more disruptions than most other industries. There are different drives of this change: economic stagnation and exchange rates; environmental volatility, such as changing weather patterns and global warming; and geopolitical, including BRICS and extremist groups.
There are three key drivers that insurers must embrace to manage these changes: product development, integration of data sources, and investment into research and development.
With huge advances in technology and the digitisation of the insurance sector, greater emphasis needs to be placed on product development, in order to adapt to the changing risk environment. There are many factors that guide development, such as societal trends, new legislation, competitors and feedback from customers, however all new products must meet regulatory requirements. One fundamental new development is that clients want the convenience of having one advisory company taking care of all their needs.
Data runs the insurance sector, so the better a company can gather and analyse data, the better they are positioned to manage risk, understand their clients and then create actionable insights. Through developments in technology, data sources are evolving, this means that insurers must use the multiple, available sources of information to increase their client knowledge. With new entrants to the industry, it’s crucial to thoroughly understand market drivers and remain competitive, by integrating multiple data sources that capture information accurately.
Investment into Research and Development
Being innovative is essential, particularly when the industry is highly competitive as it is in South Africa. Successful investments assist the insurer by retaining and growing their client base. Indwe has invested in Acuideas after recognising a gap in the market. Part of the company’s success is that it breaks the mould by providing both the independent broker and the product provider with new, smart ways of doing business.
“Higher consumer expectations in terms of insurance service delivery, and the introduction of legislation to professionalise the industry, are key driving forces to the disruption and innovative changes in terms of product development and the convergence of financial services offerings. Financial services businesses have to adapt to the information age, and utilise customer data insights to create meaningful integrated customer value propositions.”
“Through our understanding of the market drivers and insurance value chain, Acuideas can provide innovative and collaborative risk-based solutions to independent brokers through our Broker Support Model and to risk carriers through our Product Provider Support Model,” concludes Sujeeth.