The Future Will Temper Insurer Optimism In 2019

Insurance business technology teams caught a few breaks in 2018. There were fewer, though costly, insured weather losses, as well as new thinking by insurance regulators when it comes to disruptive technology. But 2019 is a different story. Insurers face lackluster customer experience (CX) performance, renewed threats from big tech, and a probable recession that will drive different business technology strategies.

We wanted to examine how these drivers were going to shape both insurance business strategies and technology strategies, so at the end of 2018, we peered into our global survey data and talked with insurance business technology decision makers and influencers to get a bead on where the tech spend was headed.

Growth, Disruption, And Efficiency Initiatives Topped The List Of Insurance Business Priorities

Globally, insurers voiced five business priorities in 2019. Here are the top three:

  1. Customer experience improvements to retain customers and improve cross-sell. Nearly half of insurance purchase influencers cited improving customer experience as a top business priority in 2019. Great CX reduces an insurer’s cost of sale while providing a ready base for additional product sales. But CX is competing with other insurer priorities, and lackluster projects that don’t deliver meaningful results won’t get funding.
  2. Digital investments, funded by revenue growth. Forty-eight percent of insurance purchase influencers cited revenue growth as one of the leading business priorities they had to support for 2019. P&C insurers are on the hunt for premium growth to replace outflows that have so far covered over $155 billion in economic and $79 billion in 2018 insured losses. In addition to offsetting claim losses, premium growth is also funding tech innovations that capture and keep customers and fend off a growing field of fierce, big tech competitors.
  3. Innovation strategies that clearly impact the business. Forty-three percent of the insurance purchase influencers we surveyed indicated that improving their innovation capabilities would be top of mind for their firms into 2019. The goals for innovation are twofold: better customer experiences and improved business efficiency. But innovation for innovation’s sake is off the table. Instead of “shiny object” initiatives, 2019 will be about mastery of the basics, such as claims, billing, and customer onboarding.

Want to learn more about the drivers shaping insurance business strategies and the impact on insurance business strategy and technology investment? Look for our upcoming report, “How Five Drivers Will Shape Insurance Business Technology Investments In 2019,” which will be published at the end of this month, as well as a Forrester webinar on February 12, beginning at 11 a.m. ET.