European insurance companies must experiment with emerging digital technologies to win new customer segments and to take market share from competitors, according to a new Forrester report. To meet this challenge, EU insurers should follow the example of leaders like Allianz, AXA, and BNP Paribas Cardif that are partnering with digital labs and incubators on how to deliver personalized services, social activities, and improved online tools.

“In 2015, the gulf between digital insurance innovators and other firms is expanding,” writes Forrester analyst Oliwia Berdak in her blog post on the research. “Digital technologies can help insurers in particular build more persistent bridges to their customers’ lives to address the industry’s low customer engagement and creeping commoditization.” 

In the research, Forrester identifies a number factors shaping the agenda of eBusiness and channel strategy teams in European insurance firms in 2015; including:

  • Insurers are failing to engage younger consumers. Ownership of insurance is low among young Europeans, partly because they have few assets to insure and many insurers haven’t found a way to engage them.
  • Insurers are eyeing geographic expansion. When growth was weak in Europe, many insurers boosted their profits through geographic expansion. This trend will continue as insurers like Mapfre seek to expand beyond their saturated home markets. 
  • Digital disruptors are threatening distribution. Comparison engines have already wreaked havoc in countries like the UK, and Google is now joining in to further disrupt distribution.  

To learn more about this new research, read the report.