At the European Insurance Forum in Dublin, WRIN.tv spoke with Harry Goddard, Head of Technology at Deloitte, about the pace of change impacting the insurance industry. He says the pace of change is quickening, because of the ‘consumerization’ of data and technology.

Consumers are becoming more sophisticated in how they engage with companies and service providers. Mr. Goddard notes three technology trends that are impacting the insurance industry: Digital, Big Data and Analytics.

According to Mr. Goddard, technology firms are starting to disrupt the financial service industry with new applications. He sees some “financial service firms being proactive in adopting new technology through investments or by establishing incubators within their own businesses.”

The Irish government is focusing on FinTech (Financial Technology) as a key part of a growth strategy. Its International Financial Services Sector 2020 plan identifies opportunities for the insurance industry to use digital and analytics in a much richer manor in order to engage with their customers “before they become disrupted themselves.”

Digital and Big Data are also causing changes in the industry, said Mr. Goddard. Insurance companies are “equipping their sales people with digital technology so that they can have much more engaging conversations with the customers.” Companies are also starting to digitize their operations in order to gain better insights into how a customer is behaving and how they are buying.

With Big Data, it’s about ecosystems, Mr. Goddard says. “For example, in a traffic management, your car might engage with the road, (which) might engage with the traffic systems. That creates an ecosystem, and getting insights into that data is going to be extraordinarily important to the insurance industry.”

One of the biggest challenges the insurance industry will face is changing the company’s culture. Mr. Goddard believes it will be critical for companies to have “a culture internally that is able to adapt, change and become more agile in response to the capabilities that are provided by technology.”

Mr. Goddard sees technology shaping the insurance sector in two ways. First, it will disrupt the traditional supply chain between the consumers and service providers. “Consumers are better educated and better able to make choices about the services they require. For example AirBnB, Halo, and Uber are providing technology that disintermediates the supply chains of traditional businesses.” The insurance industry is going to have to become “far more relevant to consumers so that consumers will seek insurance at a much earlier stage.

For more World Risk and Insurance News from the 2015 European Insurance Forum (EIF) Conference in Dublin, visit the dedicated EIF 2015 Channel in the WRIN.tv On Demand Library.

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