Roberto Libonati, Regional Managing Director and Head of Financial Services, Accenture

Roberto, given the global pandemic situation which has been very difficult for people and industries, how do you see the future of the insurance industry in general? What are the challenges?

Despite a year of recessionary conditions and disrupted risk patterns, our analyzes show that the global insurance market is heading for significant growth over the next 5 years. Amid this growth, we see new and changing revenue streams. Insurers will need to innovate to gain competitive advantage in this new revenue landscape while building the resilience of their businesses and products. For an insurer, the best ways to gain advantage and differentiate product offerings are to include high-quality services, provide an end-to-end customer experience, and avoid the commoditization approach. Additionally, insurers should provide advisory services to customers during difficult times, such as the pandemic we are currently facing.

What are these new revenue streams you see in the insurance industry?

We see new opportunities in four areas. The first concerns health, wellness and life products and services. Next, in the integration of technology into traditional products, and a shift to alternative distribution – such as big tech, manufacturers and insurtechs – and small commercial insurance direct sales. The final area is products and services addressing new exposures, such as climate change and cyber threats.

Can you be more precise?

For example, the field of health, wellness and life products is constantly evolving, but at present, two segments stand out as potential opportunities for insurers. By 2050, one in four people living in Europe and North America could be aged 65 or over. Thanks to advances in science, medicine and health habits, this generation is also living longer. Innovative new products and services as part of an ecosystem of partners could help insurers better serve seniors, increase their income and delay the need for life insurance, disability and healthcare claims. long duration. The second segment concerns the so-called Millennial generation. They are also interesting because they are more and more willing to share personal data when they get something in return.

How can consumers benefit from sharing their data with insurers?

Rewards for sharing data could take the form of reduced bonuses or real-time health and wellness advice based on user attributes or behavioral data. A good example is policyholders who can receive timely medical interventions through early identification of symptoms. Additionally, digital health coaches can offer real-time guidance based on biomarker monitoring for healthier habits. With such a willingness of the younger generation to share personal information, insurers can reduce risk pools more accurately and tailor the personalized offers that consumers demand.

It seems to me that technology plays a major role in this…

You are right. From autos to homes to healthcare, technology is changing not only the way insurers do business, but also the very products and services they offer. This is the case of integrating technology into existing products. Internet of Things (IoT) sensors

are creating new ways to track, price and promote health, home safety and security. At the same time, I want to emphasize that technology and the digital experience must be properly combined with a human touch, as this will remain essential to customer service. Additionally, technology allows for increased personalization of products, services and rates, but insurers must be prepared to operate on the right platforms and with the right partners to enable this personalization.

How important is the role of partnership? Isn’t technology adoption something organizations can do on their own?

In our experience, the cross-functional challenges businesses face require them to select partners who can bring the right set of skills, so that both sides of the partnership complement each other, as well as partners with a geographic reach that can allow connections with the different markets where companies operate. I can give you a real-life example that involves cloud adoption: According to one of our research, nearly two-thirds of businesses aren’t getting the expected benefits from migrating to the cloud. When we looked at what could be holding companies back from successfully completing their cloud programs and achieving their goals, “lack of skills” was most often included in the top three barriers as perceived by CEOs.

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How do you see the role of Accenture consultants in helping companies unlock value and overcome perceived obstacles?

We can leverage our unique expertise at the intersection of business and technology – to help craft the right strategy and discover the right technology for a client’s toughest business problems. Our advantage is that we understand our clients’ businesses in the context of their industries and, because our teams are connected through our industry networks, we can bring ideas and experience from other industries.

Coming back to the partnership, we heard about a recent project where Accenture partnered with Generali. What is it about?

Together, we have created a joint venture called Group Operations Service Platform (GOSP) that will leverage cloud technologies and shared technology platforms to accelerate innovation and digitization. The new solutions will help the Generali Group improve operational efficiency and profitability, save money and improve service quality to meet the digital expectations of customers, agents and employees.

What can we expect next year from a business perspective?

As we discussed, technology is going to play an important role. Durability too. Our research confirms that leading companies that scaled technology innovation during COVID-19 grow revenue five times faster than lagging adopters. And companies that combine sustainability and technology are two and a half times more likely to be leaders in the future. But as I mentioned in the cloud example, it’s not just about the technology itself, but rather how you use it. Last but not least, we expect to see selected mergers and acquisitions as a possible lever for growth where there is complementarity and the possibility of reaching a relevant size for the market.