Innovation in Latin American Insurers: A Snapshot

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26 September 2014


Increasing commoditization, a need to improve speed to market, the multiplication of distribution channels, consumer expectations, and other challenges demand innovations that deliver new corporate capabilities. But how do leaders successfully engage their organizations in the identification and delivery of significant business and technology change? What “works” in planning, and where are the opportunities for improvement?

Over the past two years, Celent has been researching what practical steps insurers are taking to manage innovation. This report extends these efforts by examining the trends in Latin America in detail. It is based on a survey of 40 insurers conducted in early 2014.

The three objectives of the survey were to:

  • Gauge the importance of innovation to strategy.
  • Identify key benefits from innovation in insurance processes.
  • Detail the common barriers to implementation.

“Practically all of the insurers who responded to the survey identified innovation as important or critical to their strategy,” says Mike Fitzgerald, a senior analyst with Celent’s Insurance practice and coauthor of the report. “However, a majority of them also observed that, as a whole, insurance tends to lag other industries in its implementation of innovative technology and processes. Clearly, there is work to be done by companies that want to excel in this area.”

“We were pleased, once again, at the broad geographic representation of respondents to the survey,” says Luis Chipana, an analyst and coauthor of the report. “Insurers from all major markets participated, and we are confident that the data provides an accurate snapshot of how insurers are performing in innovation.”

“An overwhelming majority of insurers recognize the importance of innovation, but they lag at execution,” says Juan Mazzini, a senior analyst and coauthor of the report. “An innovation culture needs to be built into the DNA of insurers if they want to take advantage of the opportunities new technologies are bringing. Otherwise the opportunities will end up in the hands of competitors and become threats.”