Can the insurance industry continue to push boundaries and develop groundbreaking solutions?
Through the use of technology, we now have much larger access to behavioral data that provides us with a wealth of insight into risk and exposure.
The insurance sector has a storied history of encouraging development and aiding society during times of transformation. In spite of these successes, the intricate global supply networks and digitalization we have today are proving to be more difficult risk areas for experts to handle.
To keep up with the shifting trends of today, we must embrace a world where economic value is prominently comprised of intangible assets such as intellectual property, data, and digital elements instead of physical possessions like property or machinery. Intangible risk factors are also among the greatest sources of business volatility currently – from reputation harm to cyberattacks and interruptions in operation due to unexpected events like pandemics.
Today, rapid technological progress and complex global networks are making it challenging to identify and measure some of the more traditional insurance risks. But that’s only the beginning; with clean energy, AI, and shared economies all becoming ubiquitous, revolutionary changes in our industry could be just around the corner. To keep up with this influx of developments—and remain relevant players economically and socially—insurers must modify their business models or face becoming obsolete.
Time is of the essence
The insurance industry’s secret to success is its unique perspective on time. It’s time for us to invest in long-term strategies for managing our risks and capital: Insurers are exceptional at digging into historical data to uncover patterns, as well as comfortable taking care of tail risks. After all, who else really prepares for events that happen once every four centuries?
This recipe has been successful historically, as change usually took place gradually even when disruptive innovations drove it. This timeline enabled insurers to be present for society in the explosion of international trade during the 18th century, industrialization and modern finance in the 19th century, and internal combustion engine and electronic communications within the 20th century.
Innovation in the 21st century moves at lightning speed; not only is technology advancing rapidly, but new disruptions are adopted with unprecedented haste. Facebook was just launched in 2004 and has since reached nearly three billion users worldwide. Similarly, Apple’s iPhone debuted to the public in 2007 – now over 4 billion people have smartphones! Last year marked an impressive 16.5 million electric cars on the roads across the world – a figure that has almost tripled within three years alone: many of these car manufacturers plan to transition completely to electric vehicles by 2030!
Competing to stay significant
Entrepreneurs, scientists, and investors are all confronted with the dangers related to pioneering endeavors. However, it is the insurance industry that provides a structured way of helping society counterbalance these perils while dealing with the volatility connected to widespread adoption. Just think about digitalization – when utilized on a large scale, this technology can become incredibly risky as there will be greater dependence on critical communications infrastructure.
To successfully adopt innovation, insurers must be able to respond and adapt swiftly to the disruptive nature that comes with new ideas. Currently, a battle is taking place within the industry as organizations race against each other to resolve this problem. Technology firms have access to plentiful data about hazards and are not restricted by any existing business strategies; additionally, customers can now use technology and data for self-insurance purposes or even exchange risks with others – creating more competition for insurers.
The insurance industry stands at a pivotal moment – remain as we are, avoiding risks that cannot be easily quantified and understood or up our investment in finding better ways to measure risk. Continuing with the traditional approach of assessing danger is a surefire way to become obsolete. It’s time to choose wisely and make the right decision if we want to stay competitive.
A blank slate
For businesses seeking innovative solutions to risk management, data is the answer. Although industry trends have traditionally relied on descriptive metrics such as location and type of business, technology now enables us access to behavioral information that provides a more comprehensive understanding of potential risks – from individuals’ shopping habits to their cybersecurity posture. This allows an insight into risk levels that were previously inaccessible using only surface-level descriptors.
If a new insurance provider were to begin, would it rely solely on traditional descriptive data, or seek out the advantages of modern behavioral data? Would an underwriter be content asking questions such as age and gender, or looking for information about driving skills and habits? Behavioral data has long been regarded as a complementing tool alongside its predecessor. In today’s industry, however, using only traditional methods may soon become obsolete; instead opting for more reliable contemporary alternatives that offer richer insights into customer behavior.
Looking to stay relevant
Insurance companies are just beginning to acknowledge the possible benefits of utilizing data aside from what is traditionally used as a measure of risk. To expedite this process, it is vital to invest in innovative ways to collect behavioral information and deploy nimble tools that will provide us with insight into potential risks. It’s time for insurance providers to reclaim their essential part within our innovation system — being at the forefront of enabling society to gain access to new innovations and successfully confronting any issues caused by sources of uncertainty.