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CEOs view of digital disruption

15 Nov 2017

Major forces and international trends are shaping the insurance industry, and the way everyday New Zealanders buy, manage, and use insurance could undergo a dramatic transformation, KPMG says.

KPMG head of digital futures Steven Graham said “disruption is the new normal.”

The competitive landscape is changing, and traditional insurance models and products are evolving in response. Innovation should be looked at as both a threat and an opportunity in the industry. So how fast can existing players react and change their own business models?

TOWER Insurance chief executive Richard Harding said “as the challenger in the market, we believe disruption provides us with a significant opportunity, our size provides us with the ability to move faster and be more nimble than the larger industry incumbents.”

The potential for a non-traditional provider, such as one of the technology giants, Amazon or Apple, to step into the market adds to the imperative for the industry to continually challenge itself and evolve, Graham noted.
 
Suncorp NZ chief executive Paul Smeaton said “we want to become more of a marketplace to meet Kiwis’ needs – supporting them in the key moments that matter in their lives.”

Imagine car insurance on demand if you are going away for just a few days. Your cover might also take care of any roadside assistance or accommodation needs. You’ll be able to turn your cover on and off using your phone or tablet. And insurers can provide access to more services that fit at that right moment, KPMG’s Graham added
 
IAG NZ chief executive Craig Olsen agreed: “It’s our responsibility to be leading change - transforming our business and delivering amazing customer experiences.”

Internationally, insurance sector leaders highlighted their people as being critical to their future success and something they worry about. IAG’s Olsen added that “talent is paramount, not only in the current environment but also in looking ahead to the workforce of the future and creating the work environment that retains and attracts talent.”

In the latest KPMG Global CEO Outlook Survey of nearly 1,300 CEOs, 90% of New Zealand CEOs see disruption as more of an opportunity than a threat, which is compared to 65% of overseas CEOs.

Eighty-eight per cent (88%) also see themselves as actively disrupting rather than waiting for things to happen — 10% higher than the global average.

New Zealand CEOs were all in agreement that being completely customer centric was the key. But to make the most of new opportunities the sector needs better quality customer data. Every customer is different, and gaps in market intelligence can hinder the depth of insight that insurers can use, KPMG partner Jamie Munro said.

“Great technology can drive innovation and unleash creativity. But without quality data, CEOs and their teams are not working with a full deck of cards. They won’t be able to make the right decisions for their customers,” Munro added.

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