"Today's leaders need to be ninja warriors if they hope to achieve sustainable growth," said LIMRA CEO Robert A Kerzner. "Growth is the imperative but there are many obstacles - low interest rates, increased regulatory pressure and intensified competition - that undermine a company's priorities to invest in alternate business models, and technology."
Mr Kerzner, who is also CEO of LOMA and LL Global, was speaking at the opening the 2017 LIMRA Conference where he explored how new technologies have the potential of spurring growth and greater consumer engagement.
One of the biggest opportunities is through artificial intelligence. He noted the number of InsurTech start-ups focused on artificial intelligence has more than tripled since 2014: “The interest and investment in artificial intelligence has just exploded over the past three years, and I believe it is where many will invest.”
Sharing examples of insurers using chatbots and voice recognition technology, he described the many ways artificial intelligence can be used to improve the customer experience. He also highlighted examples of companies using Big Data and artificial intelligence to generate leads, simplify underwriting and detect fraud.
“The question all leaders need to ask is should I invest in day-to-day solutions that will improve the customer experience and create efficiencies or in technology that will disrupt and create the next business model?”
Old ways no longer adequate
Citing LIMRA research that finds that more than 60 million American households are underinsured, Kerzner said the old ways of reaching Americans were no longer adequate. “Companies need to explore new business models, and invest in technology to improve the customer experience to avoid others disrupting you.”
Technology has created new opportunities for affinity relationships through online platforms. He cited several examples of insurers working with tech start-ups to target specific markets, like those interested in running, cycling or adhering to a vegetarian or vegan diet.
“Digital affinity marketing will become more important,” he noted. “Companies need to find partners that will open the door to market segments our industry has not yet successfully reached.”
Laying the groundwork for breakthrough
Mr Kerzner concluded his remarks encouraging his audience to test new ideas and technologies that may uncover a new path to growth.
“The experimentation will lead to incremental change but it will also lay the groundwork for the big breakthrough. The reality is the world is moving fast and change is the only constant. Those who embrace change and leverage evolving technologies will be better positioned for the future.”
The LIMRA Annual Conference attracted some 750 executives representing all sectors of the financial services industry to examine today’s most important issues.
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Picture credit: LIMRA