Will “life insurance” as traditionally defined, still exist in the next 12-15 years? Given rising customer demand for financial wellness, longer lifespans, the emergence of the gig economy and the unlikelihood of traditional retirement for huge numbers of consumers, the question is not at all far-fetched.
Indeed, it is the focus of our latest NextWave Insurance report, which is focused on the life, group and health insurance and retirement sectors.
Certainly, in the mid-2030s, people will still need the protections that life insurance has historically provided. But any firm that continues to think of life insurance in the same old ways risks irrelevance in the very near term. While life, group and health insurance and retirement sectors vary by country, a few common themes apply to major global markets, including the need to engage customers more frequently, adopt better technology and develop new business models and distribution channels (including ecosystems).
Our report highlights both the profound forces reshaping the market today and the key capabilities insurers and other firms need to develop or access through partners if they are to thrive in the future. It also provides inspiration by highlighting the companies around the world that are pointing the way forward through bold and creative innovations.
Envisioning the customer journey – from early days to retirement(s)
As ever, customers dictate the future of the industry. Their needs, objectives and even aspirations should inform and inspire the growth strategies and innovation agenda for all industry stakeholders. Advisors and regulators are stakeholders so important that it’s useful – even desirable – to view them as customers, too.
Enabling technology and strong partnerships will allow insurers to execute on holistic value propositions via deeper and more meaningful engagement with more types of customers, including women, who are currently underserved and will control a greater proportion of wealth in the future.
Ecosystems will soon become the most effective models because insurers simply cannot go it alone in meeting consumers’ evolving needs across critical life stages. The group insurance and employer benefits market is already showing the upside of ecosystems. Insurers around the world have orchestrated ecosystems to expand their offerings and meet diversifying needs, particularly in the realm of mental health and holistic wellbeing.