2020 was a tough year for most sectors, including insurance. However, while premiums dropped last year they are forecast to recover in 2021 as the world begins to find its feet again. These 7 insurance trends for the year ahead reflect the hopes for recovery, as well as the tech and data-driven direction in which the industry was already moving before COVID-19 hit.
This trend is underpinned by a market that is currently quite difficult to navigate and likely to be so for some time. Limited growth and higher premiums are going to be a universal theme although many insurers will also be taking steps to ensure that those higher costs are justified by adding value. New coverage limits and terms and conditions that seek to minimise any future impact of COVID-19 will be everywhere.
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Big data has come to insurance and offers a range of new data points that can be integrated into risk assessment and premium calculations. Data from multiple sources - including the Internet of Things (IoT), social media and credit reports can be used to help customise products to customers, reduce risk and allow for fairer pricing.
This has long been a burgeoning trend in insurance, as the entire industry has become more digital, however, there are now more tools available to defend against issues such as long-haul stealth attacks. Blockchain, in particular, can be used to make insurance more secure as well as more effective - it offers the potential for smart contracts that are more secure, transparent and less work for insurers too.
Peak cloud computing
In particular, Software as a Service (SaaS) will be key to support insurers venturing into the territory of new technology to help reach a wider audience and refine their offering.
This tech-savvy population group of people in their 20s and 30s is now one of the largest and likely to become a key target audience for insurance this year. Personalisation and engagement are vital when targeting Millennials who expect products to be designed for their own needs and behaviours.
AI and automation
Integrating Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning and automation offers huge benefits and is now much more accessible. Automation can take the weight of many areas of the underwriting process, as well as risk assessment and fraud identification. AI and machine learning thrive on data and the more that is made available the more analysis can be carried out, such as spotting emerging trends.
Extended Reality (XR) has huge potential this year, especially given the restrictions still in place around the pandemic. It allows risk assessment and damage investigation without anyone being required to make a site visit - everything is carried out via 3D image instead.
After the events of the past 12 months it’s difficult to look ahead and know with any certainty what’s around the corner. However, these key insurance trends, from cybersecurity to AI and XR, are already beginning to make an impact.