In one place see how digital giants dipped their digital fingers in the insurance world. Should incumbent insurers be worried?
My view is that they should be more concerned with the 20% of insurers that are committing to true digital transformation. By that I mean having
- A credible future vision and strategy
- The change management resources and culture to transform
- Digital resources - people and technology
- Investment funds committed
- Product planning and deployment capability
Most are working with those insurtechs that have proven, scalable and complete solutions. Start-ups are vulnerable to having incomplete products seeking a problem to solve. 90% will fail- a cross industry standard.
The key driver in 2019 is that the days of planning and playing are over. Insurers must deliver during 2019 and continue to iterate with a laser like focus on the customer. They may have many hurdles and these must be jumped.
If they don't jump them successfully then the 20% of insurers will leave them struggling and limping to share a rapidly diminishing tail of premiums and deal with rising costs.
The digital giants are more likely to focus on on the sales and distribution of insurance products leading to more commoditisation and pressure on margins as insurers are left with managing claims.
The question is "Which insurers are in the 20%?"
We will see more of them in the coming year . In the UK we finished 2018 with a ranking of digital skills from Altus Consulting. Already some insurers falling from grace and we can see a parallel decline in profitability.
2019 will be a fascinating year.
The almost weekly headlines about insurers and venture capitalists investing in insurtechs and tech-savvy insurance startups sometimes blocked the view of what established big technology firms were doing in insurance. During 2018, giant technology firms Google and Amazon showed renewed interest in insurance and generated speculation about their insurance intentions going forward.