Insurers face a change in the marketplace for themselves and their insurance customers that may be nothing short of "transformational," a new industry forecast reveals.
According to a recent analysis performed by professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, insurers will be presented with a wide array of challenges throughout the remainder of the year and into the future. Specifically, the trials that they'll face revolve around customer experience, adapting to big data analytics, improved sales operations and adjustments to the auto insurance market as well.
For example, among auto insurers, more and more evidence appears to point toward the eventual development of autonomous vehicles, or cars that are operated without someone physically behind the wheel. This likelihood "necessitates the development of innovative new products and approaches to distribution." Ultimately, the carriers that come out on top are those that are able to combine creativity with modernization and ingenuity.
With technology adapting, insurers may also need to change the way in which they approach the operational side of insurance selling. PwC says that carriers that take advantage of this by streamlining the claims process will come out on top in the end.
"It is important for insurers to tap into technological advancements to stay current but also have an open line of interaction with clients," said Jamie Yoder, co-leader of PwC's advisory practice. "These developments will touch every part of an insurer's business - from risk management to product development to customer service."
Something that will likely weigh heavily on customers' perceptions of service is the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and how agents are able to explain the health reform law to them. In a column printed by Insurance Journal, insurance expert Steve Purkapile said it's important for insurance agents to brush themselves up on the healthcare overhaul so that customers can know what to expect come January 2014. The sooner this is done, the better off both parties will be.