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The Future is Closer Than You Think. Are you ready? (Part 2 of 2)

Denise Garth
Insurance Experts' Forum, October 21, 2013

In my last blog, we started looking at the future and what's changing our industry today as well as what's coming in the near and far future. This included customer service DIY, mobile technology, data and analytics, collaborative capabilities and architecture agility. 

These topics were brought up by a group of industry leaders at Innovation Group's Customer Advisory Board meeting where they identified the top trends impacting the insurance today and tomorrow. Their thoughts along with Innovation Group’s as well as technology and insurance research and editorials, paint a picture of a dynamic future full of possibilities for those that are future-ready and open to the possibilities.

Personalized Insurance Packages

Personalization is all the rage from user interfaces to communications. The future could also hold personalized coverages as well. With the amount of data that is available for analysis today, taking that next step to creating a personalized package to manage your risk management needs may not be far off.

Andy Roberts, Group CEO at Innovation Group, speculated during the roundtable discussion that the industry may one day see packaged policies that aggregate risk coverages for all different aspects of life under one umbrella, calling this potentially "the platform of the future" that moves consumers away from "cheap insurance" and toward a value-adding, asset- risk management approach. ACORD Senior Vice President Monique Hesseling added that "You don’t call it one policy, but you call it one offering or one package with auto, homeowners, boat, jewelry and more. And in the back office, you break it out into underlying risk pieces, based on regulatory requirements, so the consumer doesn’t need to see that and deal with that administration." This was further corroborated by David Smith, Chief Executive of Global Futures and Foresight , adding that "In the future many individuals will prefer to be insured based on their individual actions – and not the statistical average of a large group."

As analytics provide greater insights into customers, insurers gain the ability to create custom fit packages to manage risk while at the same time showing the customer that the company truly understands his/her specific needs.

3D Reality

The likelihood of you having 3D scanning and printing capabilities is becoming more real than ever. It starts with the image. According to Fast Company, one manufacturer, Fuel3D, is working towards a 3D scanner that "acts like a point-and-shoot camera, but the company promises it will deliver high-quality 3-D images for under $1,000." As for the printers, they are already dropping in price and you can even order them on Amazon.

The concept is already being implemented in Europe. As reported by 3Ders.org, "Belgian insurance company DVV and its agency Happiness Brussels will provide a new service for those who habitually lose their keys, with a specially developed process using 3D scanning and 3D printing. The service is dubbed 'Key Save' … Customers can 3D scan their keys and save them on a secure server. So when they lose the key, they can simple access the server and download the 3D printable file of the key."

That last step may sound difficult here in America, but with UPS planning to put 3D printers in stores and a number of libraries purchasing printers for public use, it may not be so farfetched.

What does that mean for you? Better and faster service for your insureds. Imagine the ability to get parts and materials faster for cars and homes. No longer will there be a problem with shortages following a storm since materials can be created. Instead of waiting for a shipment and being told it will take days or weeks, it can be replicated right away, even on site and potentially at a lower cost, driving down the cost of insurance.

What else?

Beyond the immediate horizon, David Smith also gave a glimpse into the future of technology and the world … all of which may impact insurance. He assembled research and sources from around the globe to provide deeper insights into what we should all be looking at and some of these changes are closer than we think!

                       

  • By 2019 there will be 3D virtual reality displays embedded in glasses and contact lenses
  • By 2020, big data will contain 35 zettabytes of information (1 zettabyte = 1 trillion gigabytes)
  • By 2025, the Internet will  have 5 billion users
  • By 2040 75% of cars will be driverless
  • By 2049 a computer under $800 will exceed the computational power of the entire human population

 

Then there are also things currently transforming our world such as 3D printers, robotics, artificial intelligence, and pay how you drive.

We've seen many ideas like those of Gene Roddenberry go from SciFi concept to reality. You need to keep an eye on the future and make sure you and your company are ready for whatever may come because what seems improbable today will be the reality of tomorrow. These changes are impacting the lives of your customers and your businesses so you need to be prepared now. You need to be future-ready.

Vision and a Roadmap for the Future

For any or all of these areas, it's essential that as an industry leader, you have a clear vision of the future coupled with insights into the possibilities and capabilities for that future.   Core to the future is a robust, flexible and agile modern architecture and infrastructure that is future-ready and able to tap into these emerging and future technologies. Because we know that change will continue, requiring a foundation that can respond and embrace this change, creating a new and exciting future of possibilities and opportunities. 

As an article in Forbes put it, "Human beings are moved by the clear vision of a hoped-for future. Vision is not goals, or objectives, or financial modeling.  Vision is the description of a future that fulfills deep hopes." Companies are made of humans who need to see your vision and understand the path to achieving success.

This is corroborated in Diversity MBA Magazine that wrote, "As the leader, your vision paints the target. It sparks and fuels the fire within the organization and draws everyone forward, and it illuminates the way others are to follow. When you create the vision, adopt a philosophy of long-term, pro-active thinking. Let everyone know how the vision will change the organization."

If your vision enables transformation and innovation and you have a roadmap that leads to an agile and adaptive tomorrow then you are on your way to being future-ready.

 

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