Through the years, I’ve done a tremendous number of talks within the insurance industry, both the life and P&C (property and casualty) sides of the business.
For years, it’s been a pretty slow industry. That’s all about to change — in a big way! Indeed, we might soon see Google, or Amazon, or some other company with big technology, lots of data, and new methods of reaching potential customers that will forever disrupt and change the industry. Some folks have been talking to this potential for a few years, as seen in this article.
I just did a talk for the CEO and senior executive team of one of the largest life insurance organizations in the U.S.
The main thrust of my talk was that the opportunity for big, disruptive transformation in the life insurance industry is now accelerating, as three major trends come together.
- bio-connectivity drives medical care, with opt-in for performance oriented life policies based on real time reduction of morbidity stats. People are using health and fitness monitors on their iPhones. If they can show good results from their health and wellness goals, an insurer would be far more likely to take a risk on them
- we’re moving into a world of real time analytical community healthcare status updates that feed into actuarial tables; think about Apple’s recent initiative with it’s HealthKit (first to be used for medical research). It’s only a matter of time before real time healthcare dashboards are part of the health system in the Western world. I wrote about that before, in my post: “Trend: The Emergence of Real Time Analytical Predictive Healthcare Dashboards.”
- every industry is being disrupted, as big, bold thinkers take over the agenda of an industry. Maybe in just a few years, we’ll see the Amazon Prime “No Hassles, Real Time, No Questions” Life Policy.
Some people in the life insurance industry see this trend, and see a threat.
The most amazing thing is that this is happening in the context of an industry that, if it is not dead yet, is certainly in the triage department:
MetLife’s premiums on policies sold to individuals last year totaled $409 million, a decline of 26% from $553 million in 2005. Industrywide sales of individual life-insurance policies are down 45% since the mid-1980s, according to industry-funded research firm Limra. About 30% of American households have no life insurance at all, up from 19% about 30 years ago. People of Wal-Mart: Struggling Life Insurers Seek A Middle-Class Revival, 25 July 2014, The Wall Street Journal
Those are staggering numbers.
Real innovators see the same trends, and see nothing but opportunity. The industry is totally up for grabs.