Digital Strategies in Insurance: Lessons from China

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4 August 2015


Based on trends in China's insurance market, Celent suggests a digital strategy that is built around analytics and automation.

In the report Digital Strategies in Insurance: Lessons from China, Celent suggests a digital strategy that will enable initiatives arising from Internet thinking to be sustainable. The backbone of this strategy is analytics and automation. The focus is to deliver a customized but consistent user experience across all channels.

Future disruptive competition may come from other industries that have massive consumer data and have already used analytics technology to understand consumers and provide personalized products/services. Understanding the customer-centric, analytics-driven digital strategy can prepare insurers to compete with newcomers. Insurers that have the capability to obtain external data, integrate internal and external data, analyze the data, and provide the consumer with valuable personalized service based on the analytics result could be the future winners.

In the report Celent also discusses issues around data, analytics, automation, customer engagement, and user experience.

“In the future, real-time data will be more important than historical data; external data will be more important than internal data; and the study of the full amount of data will be more important than the study of samples,” says Wenli Yuan, a senior analyst with Celent’s Asian Financial Services group and author of the report. “Insurers need a paradigm shift and need to consider how to prepare the organization to take advantage of these external opportunities, evolve the architecture, and build new capabilities.”

Insurers need to keep an eye on the entire ecosystem, and consider their position and value within the big picture. Meanwhile, insurers also need to be aware of emerging technologies, and study the change they may bring to the business.

The strategy suggested in this report is based on the observation of trends in China, and might look different than what we see in North America or EMEA. Some strategies in China have developed further than elsewhere, yet still have potential for other markets (for example strategies involving elaborate ecosystems of partners and innovative approaches to customer engagement). Detailed examples of models in China can be found in the Celent report Evolving Digital Business Models: How China Is Advancing the Insurance Proposition to Take Advantage of the Digital Age.

This report is a proposal for insurers — not only Chinese insurers who leverage Internet thinking and bring innovation to the industry, but also insurers in other countries that are operating in a pan-Internet environment.

This report contains one table and six figures.