Future insurance: Top trends transforming the industry

18 Aug 2023

Image: © anttoniart/Stock.adobe.com

In a video interview, Wouter Bosschaart and Amy Harding of Aon discuss the opportunities that various ‘megatrends’ will present and how insurers can capitalise on them.

The insurance sector has an exciting future ahead of it, as new technologies will create opportunities, disruptions and potentially, entirely new forms of insurance premiums.

That’s according to a recent report by Aon, which looked at the transformative trends that are set to shake up the insurance sector. This report predicts that these ‘megatrends’ will create more than $200bn of market potential for insurers by 2030.

To learn more about the shifts taking place in the insurance sector, SiliconRepublic.com spoke to Wouter Bosschaart and Amy Harding, the two authors behind Aon’s Transformative Trends report.

Understanding the landscape

Bosschaart is a director in Aon’s strategy and technology group (STG), leading consultancy projects and advising global carriers on strategic topics.

In the interview, he said clients had been reaching out to Aon in the past couple of years, wanting to learn more about certain megatrends and how they might impact the insurance industry.

To predict the future insurance landscape, Aon first had to gather the necessary data and speak to those within the industry.

“We combined Aon’s data on a lot of these megatrends, pulled over 25 external reports to compare notes,” Bosschaart said. “We’ve reviewed over a hundred of our own project reports on the subject as well and we conducted over 30 interviews both internally and externally to validate our findings and to see what the latest is that’s happening in the insurance industry.”

The report lists a variety of tech trends that are expected to create insurance opportunities in the future, with some of the biggest megatrends being the metaverse, shared mobility and a rise in intellectual property.

The Aon report claims these three trends alone could be worth roughly $80bn in gross written premiums by 2030.

Bosschaart said most of the people they interviewed were “quite enthusiastic” about these potential megatrends, but noted that there is a “healthy cautiousness” within the industry as a whole.

“In general people are quite open to the thought of megatrends and the implication it has for the insurance industry,” Bosschaart said. “I think the insurance industry, as long as it has existed, has been part of the wider economy and all the innovations happening within it.”

Direct and indirect impacts

The Aon report looked at more than 80 megatrends to find the ones that present the most opportunity for insurers. But while some are more impactful, Harding said “all of them” are expected to have some form of impact on the insurance sector.

Harding is a manager in Aon STG’s strategy consulting team and specialises in insurance – and reinsurance – strategies. In the interview, Harding said she was surprised by the fact that all of the megatrends the team analysed appear to have a “direct or indirect impact” on the industry.

“Those are things such as rising urbanisation, which is indirectly impacting the industry every day, to things like sanctions falling away on certain countries and how that could create new insurance opportunities,” Harding said. “So, I think for me it just gave me a bit of a perspective around how important the insurance industry is.”

Harding said that, in order to take advantage of these trends, its important for insurers to understand them and how they relate to an insurer’s “individual organisation and their portfolio”.

“I think having the lens of really understanding where your skills and capabilities are will allow you to take advantage of trends within your areas of expertise,” Harding said.

Excitement for the metaverse

With so many trends being analysed, it makes sense that some will be more transformative to the insurance sector than others, or that some trends will make an impact faster.

The report listed prescriptive analytics as a “less well developed” trend, but also the biggest megatrend that could generate $100bn in additional premiums in the future.

Harding predicts that the metaverse is the megatrend that will shake up the insurance sector the most, due to the fact that its “so similar to the world we live in at the moment, but it is also so different”.

“Even if you think about houses and purchasing a virtual asset in the metaverse, when you purchase the same thing in the world we live in today, it’s very easy to understand,” Harding said.

“But when you get into the metaverse, what is the insurable value? How much does it take to rebuild a house and if there is a virus, could my house burn down? As that sort of world is evolving, insurance is going to have to be there to provide security for it.

“So, understanding how that feeds into the current insurance dynamics I think is going to shake up the industry the most,” Harding said.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic