Everything is affected by business. No matter how people would like to look at important institutions, many operate on business standards and according to operations that result in their continuing to exist. As much as you’d like to think of a university as a pure place of learning, people still need to pay for it and educators still have bills to pay. Similarly, the insurance industry itself is one of the biggest business industries in the world. Considering how people are affected by what their insurance covers, it may be important to think about the trends affecting insurance.
As in all areas of industry, technology will disrupt the insurance industry. As startups from all over the world have already devoted themselves to revolutionising everything from medicine to finance, it makes sense to think this would affect insurance.
The sharing economy is a prime example of progress and tech disrupting everything. The poster child, Uber, has radically changed how people transport themselves and the entire taxi industry, to the point where fights have broken out around the world. Indeed, so much has changed because of a simple app, that economists are wondering what this means for other industries. By leveraging an always online consumer, with easy-to-use technology that operates with a click of a button, innovators can create everything from deliveries of food to cars. People are no longer restricted by geography, since they can simply pay others to do the heavy lifting for them.
Unfortunately, this idea of opening up an industry to the sharing economy isn’t finding foothold in the insurance industry, as Investopedia points out:
“The emergence of the sharing economy has disrupted almost every industry, from hotels to maid services to education. The insurance industry, which usually protects all other commercial exchanges; however, has been slow to adjust to such massive and widespread change. The static nature of the insurance industry has left many sharing economy workers in the dark concerning coverage. Thus, an opportunity presents itself for newcomers to take the place of traditional insurance companies, or for the traditional insurance companies to adjust.”
In 2017, the insurance industry can expect to see technology change how they engage with their policies. For example, the massive rise in Uber use has meant that people won’t be themselves driving as much. How then should an insurance company calculate or estimate its risk and attached expenses?
As noted, technology has disrupted medicine. But medicine has always been improving and changing how people live. This means it affects how insurance operates, since diseases and conditions which were fatal before have become liveable – if not curable – today. That means, for insurance companies, they have to rethink what risk means in terms of different conditions and medical insurance plans for individuals.
As Benefits Pro points out:
“With the rise of the on-demand, social media-driven world, companies of all sizes want tools and technology that will enable them to better serve a workforce accustomed to simplicity and anytime, anywhere access to information. For health benefits brokers, this means their role must evolve. Quickly. To remain competitive, brokers may have to move beyond selling traditional health insurance and become both a technology consultant and strategic counselor to their clients on a range of related regulatory compliance issues and voluntary benefits.”
This means, just as tech directly affects insurance, it’s influence on other sectors will have a by-product of affecting insurance. Deloitte has highlighted its own issues, which it predicts will be deeply affecting of the industry in 2017.
“Life sciences sector growth is closely tied to global health care expenditures which, in 2017 and successive years, are expected to be fueled by increasing demand from an aging population and the burgeoning prevalence of chronic and communicable diseases.”
There’s no way to predict just what will happen in 2017 that can change the world. However, given how radically the world has changed within the last few years, it’s reasonable to expect that businesses are better served by being prepared to change, too. There’s no good reason to get comfortable with policies even if they’ve worked in the past.
Businesses that are willing to not only change but use the changes occurring will benefit from forward thinking. In this way, they not only stay “alive” as a business but relevant. This puts them in a better position for customers who need to stay up-to-date with their own lives.