Insurers are ill equipped to meet emerging technology trends

Many insurance companies feel inadequately prepared to face the technology trends which will impact the industry in coming years, according to a Towers Watson insurance survey.

The professional services firm said insurers feel confident they are well placed to meet the challenges presented by capital management, regulatory constraints and economic volatility. However, the respondents to its survey said they felt less well equipped to manage important emerging trends - notably the impact of social media (29%) and the role of advanced technology, such as big data (32%).

Tricia Guinn, managing director of risk and financial services at Towers Watson, said: "The rather low priority given to new and emerging trends raises the question of whether insurers are devoting enough attention to issues that may have a huge impact on the industry down the road.

"Not only is a whole new generation coming along that will make its insurance-related buying decisions differently thanks to the Internet and social media, the current insurance-buying consumer is embracing these technologies, too. While insurers have an important role to play helping current and future generations achieve financial security, they need to quickly accelerate their strategies regarding emerging technologies or risk losing out to competitors both within and outside the insurance industry."