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3 Technologies That Will Take Hold in Insurance in 2014

Craig Beattie
Insurance Experts' Forum, December 30, 2013

It’s clear that my colleagues and I see 2014 as something of a tipping point, a water shed for established and new technologies to take hold in the insurance industry.

I’ll try to summarise them succinctly here. Expect to see reports on these topics in the near future.

Celent’s 2014 prediction focus on:

  • The increasing importance and evolution of digital
  • The rise of the robots, the sensor swarm and the Internet of Things
  • An eye to the basics

The first topic area is labelled digital but encompasses novel use of technology, user interfaces, evolving interaction, social interaction (enabled by technology) and ye olde customer centricity.

Celent predicts vendors would market core systems as customer centric again, but this time meaning digital customer centricity. Celent expects to see core system user interfaces to acquire more social features along with a deeper investment in user interfaces leveraging voice, gesture, expression and eye movements. A specific digital UI example was the wide spread adjustment of auto damage claims (almost) entirely done through photos. In addition, gamification use for both policyholders and brokers will be adopted or increase in use for those early adopters.

Celent further predicts greater investment in digital and that comprehensive digitisation projects would start to drive most of the attention and budgets of IT.

The second topic I’ve called Robots and Sensors, while digital there is a significant amount of attention and specificity. The merger or evolution of the Internet with the Internet of Things accelerates with devices contributing ever more data. Celent predicts this rise of the Internet of Things or the sensor swarm, will push usage based insurance policies to other lines of business, not just telematics based auto policies that UBI is currently synonymous with. Celent further predicts that the quantified self movement and humans with sensors will in 2014 yield the first potentially disruptive business model for health insurance using this data.

As an aside the increasing use of automation, robotics and AI will see broader adoption in the insurance industry.

For those reading my tweets, Celent predicts 2014 will see drones used for commercial purposes. I hope we won’t have the need, but wonder if we’ll see drones rather helicopters capturing information about crisis stricken regions in 2014.

The final topic I’ve called the basics. Celent predicts insurers will continue to focus heavily on improving performance of the core business — a good counterbalance to the hype around digital and a good pointer to where to focus digitisation efforts. At Celent we have noted a pragmatic interest in the cloud from insurers and we predict increasing complexity in hybrid cloud models, to the benefit of the industry. A little tongue in cheek but finally, Celent suggests that industry will finally find a business case for insurers adopting big data outside of UBI.

Avid readers of the blog will be happy to see we haven’t predicted an apocalypse for 2014.

A special thanks to Jamie Macgregor, Juan Mazzini, Donald Light and Jamie Bisker for their contributions.

This blog has been reprinted with permission from Celent.

Craig Beattie is an analyst in Celent's insurance group, and can be reached at cbeattie@celent.com.

Readers are encouraged to respond to Craig using the “Add Your Comments” box below.

The opinions posted in this blog do not necessarily reflect those of Insurance Networking News or SourceMedia.

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