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Living in the Future

futureDon’t know if you read the article on “the 20 most creative people in insurance” in the July 30 edition of LifeHealthPro.com, but I thought it was fascinating.  It contained interviews with 20 creative thinkers from all aspects of the industry, including some you probably know and some you definitely don’t.  I focused my attention on the final question asked to each of them: “How do you anticipate the industry will evolve in the next ten years?”  Here are my favorite responses:

• “The modes of distributing products, the very products themselves, and the expectations consumers place on their insurance companies will see large-scale changes in the years ahead.  There are massive opportunities for those willing to…take advantage of those changes.”

• “Technology will drive change from how policies are created to how they are issued and modified.  We anticipate eventually removing the need for a medical exam altogether.”

• “The intersection of technology, wealth management, and the fee-based distribution channel is driving the evolution of our industry.  Technology is important, but in the end people still want to talk to people.”

• “The dramatic revolution in technology will cause commoditization in many areas, including insurance product development.”

• “There will be a mainstreaming of models that enable self-selecting groups to start their own insurance pools versus buying into traditional insurance companies.”

• “The successful financial professional will offer more holistic service  focused on relationships, communication, and transition management.  The industry will move away from a focus on sales.”

• “The way in which clients use insurance products will quickly change. The way in which products are distributed has to change.”

• “The future for acquiring valuable customers will be created from social discovery services.”

• “Agents who get on board now with digital marketing strategies will lead the field.”

• “Consumers will have instant access to insurance products and the industry will become more flexible.”

• “More virtual underwriting.”

• “How to use technology to get advisors in front of highly qualified prospects will be the biggest change.”

Technology, distribution, technology, distribution, technology…  Do you sense a pattern here?  More importantly, do you have the candle power and financial assets to invest in the technology and distribution mechanisms that seem likely to decide the winners and losers in tomorrow’s marketplace?  If not, are you looking for ways to acquire those resources through mergers, acquisitions, partnerships, or strategic alliances?

Just asking…

PS: At the Annual Meeting, we’ll be creatively addressing a lot of these futuristic opportunities through our speakers and workshops.  Check it out.

2 Responses

  1. McKinney’s provocative idea: crowdfunding + self-organizing groups = consumer managed risk pooling without contracts! It would be very similar to the original idea of fraternals but with high tech tools to manage “contributions”! It’s already started with Christian health sharing networks, and there’s no reason it wouldn’t work fine for other risks.

  2. Love that idea, Bill. We could start with all those folks – many of them millennials – that are entrepreneurs or are employed in the sharing economy (Uber drivers, etc.) that don’t have traditional benefits. A perfect incubator for a new kind of old-fashioned fraternal.

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