Insurance executives concerned by digital disruption

Insurance executives top the list of professionals who believe digital technology will disrupt their industry over the next 12 months, according to a new survey.

The Forrester/Russell Reynolds 2014 Digital Business online survey found that 86% of insurance executives think the industry will be somewhat, moderately, or massively disrupted.

Forrester claims insurers need to take digital disruption seriously and respond to the changes which are impacting on the industry. The analyst said that if no action was taken incumbents faced an imminent threat from competitors in other industries targeting insurance customer with new consumer friendly offerings.

Oliwia Berdak, Forrester analyst for e-business and channel strategy, said: “Customer expectations have been rising, fuelling the appetites of startups and companies not traditionally associated with insurance, such as digital platforms, car manufacturers, utility companies, telcos, and sensor and wearable manufacturers, whose utility and access to consumer data has placed them dangerously close to the core of insurance.

“The digital race is on. How should insurance executives respond? By leading the battle against digital inertia.”

Berdak added however: “In a business grounded in risk avoidance, insurers are slowly coming out of their shell to experiment with new products, distribution channels, and pricing models. They're not quite digital daredevils yet, but they're making a good start.”