In the fourth and final section of this research project, Michèle Bacchus asks young insurer employees how they see the future of insurance and what they feel they can learn from the older generation.
The future is proverbially always bright, so will the insurance market glide towards the future on wings or be dragging a ball and chains in 10 years’ time? Legacy software, bureaucratic processes and start-ups are legitimate threats to the industry’s survival, according to the 52 young insurers who responded to this research, although most participants are overwhelmingly positive about the industry’s prospects provided companies acknowledge the need to adapt, and quickly.
Experience tells us that often when technology steps in people are moved out and one sector of insurance was singled out by the respondents to undergo a somber change owing to the quickening pace of digital advancement. “You will only really have underwriters on more complex risks,” said a young insurer, who described the future as “much more automated”. Outsourcing for underwriters – to India, even – and employing electronic systems that remove the role of the underwriter completely were two other consequences prophesied, but “relationships will still drive business as it's a people industry. It's a relationship industry”.
Almost half of the respondents agreed that these relationships are destined to become increasingly technology-based. “Hopefully more interaction with technology using social media and app-based systems,” mused one respondent.
By far the most popular form of social media currently used by the young insurers is Linked In, either “to draw upon my professional network, if and when, I need it”, or “research” potential clients and competitors.
“We get a lot back from Linked In, definitely more than Twitter,” explained one respondent, although two-thirds of the companies involved in this research do still use Twitter on a regular basis. Facebook’s popularity in the professional world lagged slightly behind at 46% and You Tube, together with blogs, was mentioned a handful of times. Of course, in 10 years’ time social media may be a thing of the past but one thing is for certain: the young insurers are expecting a serious decline in the client-facing aspect of the job.
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