The digital transformation hasn’t left a single industry untouched. Like every other major industry in the world, insurance is facing a whole range of new developments and each firm’s future will rest on its ability to adapt and evolve. The main thrust of the changes will be around customer-centricity, but operational efficiency and data analytics also hold a lot of promise. But based on what we’ve seen so far, insurance companies need to accelerate their rate of transformation or they will be overtaken by young, digitally-savvy upstarts.

1. Focus more on the customer

Customers today are becoming very sophisticated in the digital realm and they will not tolerate any company that isn’t keeping pace. And before you simply look around at the insurance industry for validation that you are indeed keeping pace with your competition, know this – the entire industry is behind. Way behind. In fact, a recent report by global consulting firm Capgemini found that “The insurance industry is behind the telecom, automotive and banking industries in both digital and leadership mastery, and at 56% had the highest percentage of beginners in digital mastery.” Another survey by Willis Towers Watson, global advisors to the insurance industry, showed that 58% of senior execs in the insurance industry acknowledge that they are behind other financial services sectors, with digital technology in particular. If you’re like most insurance firms experiencing low customer retention then this might be the problem.

A few questions you should ask

  • Do you know what your customers want?
  • Are you delivering the same delightful experience across different channels?
  • Is your mobile product as robust as other customer touch-points?
  • Is it also taking full advantage of the strengths of mobile?
  • Are you harvesting your customer data and using it to develop more personalized products and experiences?
  • Are you utilizing your digital channels to improve both acquisition and retention?
  • How can you use digital to improve communication with your customers?

2. Unlock the treasures hidden in your data

Insurers are investing in data analytics to improve every part of the business. They’re using it to reduce claims costs with effective fraud indicator analysis and transaction quality monitoring. They’re using it to price things more accurately and match products to geographies. The possibilities are endless and potential is exciting. But it’s not happening fast enough. A survey of insurance industry executives conducted by West Monroe Partners, a full-service North American business and technology consultancy, found that “Just 11 percent of respondents strongly agreed that their organizations were fully realizing advanced analytics’ benefits, while only 46 percent somewhat agreed.”

A few questions you should ask

  • Are you leveraging the available data from IoT, drones, social media, product sensors, and mobile?
  • Can your analytics system process all kinds of structured and unstructured data?
  • What’s the best way to collect and manage the new data so that you can easily harvest the insights?
  • What kinds of data would be a competitive advantage?
  • Do you have the right organizational structure and analytics partner to be able to take full advantage of your data?
  • What kind of cultural changes would be required to make your organization data-driven and insight-forward?

3. Digitizing processes for greater efficiency

Some companies were born in the digital age, unburdened by legacy systems. Other companies have had to slog through several major shifts in how work gets done and the technology used in the process. But this far into the digital transformation, the majority of businesses out there have at least done the bare minimum to keep up with change. They’ve adopted eSignature and stopped keying and rekeying data into spreadsheets. They’ve adopted cloud software platforms that allow them to collaborate on documents in real time.

A few questions you should ask

  • Do your collaboration tools have version control, an audit trail, and ways to manage permissions?
  • Are you able to easily share information with underwriters, customers, and brokers while remaining compliant?
  • Is the organization more afraid of work disruptions from moving away from inefficient systems than the inefficiencies in the current systems?
  • Which back-office systems can be used to improve customer interactions?


Change is hard. But the rewards for chasing the promises of digital are very large indeed: lowering operational costs, reducing fraudulent claims, improving report accuracy and speed, more customers that are more loyal, In short, there’s never been a better opportunity for insurance leaders to actually lead.

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