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5 predictions for the insurance coverage trade in 2021


For many, 2021 may not come soon enough. Whether or not COVID-19 has been used near homes, it has disrupted our entire lives at home and at work. For the insurers, this brought disruptions that no one had expected.

In January last year, insurers started 2020 with the expectation of a successful year. Global premiums had passed an all-time high of $ 5 trillion, and the World Bank was forecasting US GDP growth of 1.6 percent. Despite a long period of low growth and declining earnings, insurers were positioned for a good increase in sales in return on sales.

COVID-19 changed all that. The rush to take on a virtual workforce and the overnight changing macroeconomic conditions made it difficult to orientate themselves. On the human side, they had concerns about their own communities, including the health of their friends and families, socio-economic inequalities and violence, and an uncertain future for small businesses.

These seismic changes in life and work are also reflected in what we heard from insurance consumers in 2020. In my most recent report, Three Ways COVID-19 Is Changing Insurance, we work with Accenture Interactive’s Todd Staehle to analyze the impact of the pandemic on insurance consumer behavior.

With all the unprecedented events of 2020, insurers are now trying to rebuild better and more resiliently. Based on what we’ve seen, I offer the following predictions for what to expect in 2021.

  1. Expect new risk models, capacity shifts, and new products and prices. In 2020 we turned historically reliable risk models on their heads. With forest fires like previous years and a record-breaking hurricane season, disastrous events related to climate change felt more like normal. In the meantime, ransomware and wiperware attacks continued and business interruption losses related to COVID-19 and Riots The underlying change in the risk-adjusted cost of capital was driven forward.
    In 2021, insurers will pull out all the stops to maintain the financial resilience and capital reserves required to underwrite in this new risk landscape. You must choose between investing in product lines that offer the greatest competitive advantage. As a result, available capacities and prices will shift significantly.
  2. Cyber ​​is everywhere and is becoming more personal. Even if we watch out for the widespread spread of a COVID-19 vaccine, work will continue from home and digitally. New risks arising from the increasing surface area of ​​cyber attacks will further fuel demand for cyber coverage in commercial areas. Work activities that put the security of consumers’ personal information and digital assets such as photos and media at higher risk will also enable insurers to go beyond simple “identity theft” coverage for consumers. In 2021, look for more holistic prevention, mitigation, and recovery online for personal spaces.
  3. The digital distribution game is running. In our reportWhere is the amortization of digital innovations in the insurance industry?, Jean-Francois Gasc and I show how leading insurance companies invest in customer-oriented digital innovations, especially in sales. Distribution is already a battleground for insurers, and that fight won’t intensify until 2021. Distribution-focused Insurtechs see large investments from venture capitalists. The established companies will continue to compete with start-up sales companies and use the experiences of 2020 to achieve improved digital sales and service experiences.
  4. The industry will deal with inclusion and diversity. The heartbreaking and high-profile deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd sparked both social unrest and a long overdue conversation about inclusion and diversity. The insurance industry will have to show progress in 2021. Insurance companies recognize the need to stand by their customers’ side when things go wrong. Because of this focus of experience, they understand the need to reflect on their customers’ lives. However, there are some areas where the industry needs to be more committed. For more information, see my colleague Darcy Dague’s blog post. Talk vs. Action: The limited state of insurance diversity.
  5. Insurers will resort to ecosystem solutions in the wellness sector. Insurers will reinvent their offerings for more demographically targeted wellness solutions, aimed primarily at millennials and the elderly at home. We will see increasing convergence in wellness in the P&C, health insurance, and financial planning / asset management industries enabled by IoT and cloud-based wellness devices and programs.

In the difficult year we have just experienced, I comfort myself with the knowledge that our industry is unique in its position to help when things seem to be the worst. I hope everyone in the New Year is refreshed and ready to face the challenges ahead.

Happy New Year to all!

Disclaimer: This document is for general informational purposes only and does not take into account the particular circumstances of the reader and may not reflect the latest developments. To the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, Accenture disclaims all liability for the accuracy and completeness of the information in this presentation, or for any acts or omissions that may have been made based on this information. Accenture does not provide legal, regulatory, auditing, or tax advice. It is the responsibility of the readers to obtain such advice from their own legal counsel or other licensed professional.
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