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Insurers can lead in the race to build digital industry platforms

May Knight, Managing Director & APAC Management Consulting - Insurance Lead, Accenture | Nov. 25, 2015
They must recognise that to successfully offer a broader range of innovative products and services and create a differentiated customer experience, they will need to partner with non-traditional players.

Asian businesses that embrace safety-measuring or cost-cutting devices could also be looking for discounts from their insurers, who will eventually benefit from supporting efforts to reduce potential claims.

Auto insurers, for example, are already working not only with car manufacturers but with mobile communication companies to reduce the frequency and severity of automobile accidents, promote better driving habits and deliver immediate assistance when accidents do occur.

From an insurer's perspective, what is really exciting about platform-based, ecosystem-type businesses is that others outside the company are creating value for the enterprise.

From a customer's perspective, these new developments mean they may be able to reduce premium costs by demonstrating safer lifestyles through their connected devices — whether these are appliances that demonstrate less energy use or smart watches that show they walk a lot.

Internet-born companies such as Alibaba and Tencent have established non-tech industry enterprises. They, and their other non-traditional competitors, could consider taking on the insurance industry as well.

Insurers can redefine the industry by combining the power of technology platforms with their industry expertise. This would require insurers to think out of the box and have greater flexibility. Insurers can potentially become more successful in lowering the frequency and severity of adverse events — by paring up with connected devices — and thus, reducing claims payouts.

Insurers that embrace this new collaborative landscape — where service is personalised and real-time, measured by outcomes, and delivered through powerful ecosystems — have the opportunity to enable and monetise disruption, placing them on a path of higher growth.


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