I like it when I am proved wrong (at least a little)

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13 April 2017
Tom Scales

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending Celent's annual Innovation & Insight day in Boston. It was my third year and I can honestly say it gets better every year. The reason for the title of this blog post is simple. I recently published a report Why Are There No Drones in Life Insurance? In this report, I took the industry to task a bit for the lack of innovation, particularly in the Life insurance space. The fundamental position is that the industry is behind in technology investment and exciting new Insurtech investments are skewed towards P&C and Health and not Life.

Some of the key points of the report include:

  • The Life insurance industry still relies on aging back-end systems, with the age of many measured in decades. They have multiple, disparate systems, collected over the years, with a lack of coherent direction towards a single, modern system.
  • Life insurance is inherently risk adverse, leading to the gathering of huge amounts of information to price the product.
  • The process is still paper based on the majority of the issued policies.
  • New product innovation is stagnant.

I could go on, but you get the point.

While still true, it is easy to understand the complexities of a risk adverse industry, with contracts that can last 70 or more years.

What has me excited, and has at least proven me wrong a little, are the submissions and winners for our Model Insurer Awards. I have the pleasure, and honor, of reading them every year and am always impressed with the quality of the entrants. The judging process is always challenging, but even more so this year was the sheer volume of entries. We certainly want to recognize every submission, but had to choose a limited number of winners. What a tough job!

The life winners came from companies of all sizes, such as New York Life, Lincoln Life, CUNA Mutual, and AFLAC. (Full list of Winners) Life companies were represented across the categories, from Data Master and Analytics to Operational Excellence to a virtual dominance of the Digital and Omnichannel category.

Even more exciting was the number of entries that could have won, but were part of such a huge number of entries that we had to choose from unbelievable projects.

So my hat (if I wore one) is off to everyone that participated. Keep it up. Prove me wrong, over and over and over.

I can’t wait until next year.

One final comment: If you’re reading this and work for an insurer and are not a Celent client, drop me a note. I’d love to spend some time on the phone with you and share more insights. I’d even be happy to share the No Drones report, to give you an idea of our coverage. If you’re reading this and are a customer, then you have access to the report.

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