What is driving innovation in insurance?

What drives changing attitudes to change?

“When I think about what has changed, I think, really, there are three things,” he said. “The first thing is that our customers and clients are asking for something different from us as an industry. And people want to interact with us, how they interact with other things in their lives – whether it’s buying things online, or whether it’s interacting with their bank. So, I think there’s a push from our customers.”

The second big change is that internal organizations across the insurance ecosystem now appear to have a greater willingness to adapt to technological change, Ladva said. He pointed to how quickly the industry shifted to online meetings during the COVID era as an example. Previously, that scale of change would take six months of training and workshops, etc. but almost overnight, the entire workforce moved online – presenting lower barriers to entry and reduced resistance to technological change within organizations.

“And finally,” he said, “I think the things that technology can do now have changed. I think all three of those things in the last five years have made a difference. But we’re not too far behind. … And to catch up, I would say we really need to focus and we need to execute. I think our Achilles heel as an industry is our ability to get things done and get things done quickly -thing.”

How to speed up insurance to the next generation?

In Ladva’s keynote address, host Louise Smith, chair of the UK board of global financial services software firm Stripe, identified how the rest of the financial services sector generally views insurance as being behind the technology curve , though capable of surpassing them in the future. But what are the barriers preventing insurance from taking that step? And what changes will be needed to accelerate insurance into the next generation?

For Ladva, the answer really comes down to having a “relentless focus on the customer or the client.” Different stakeholders across insurance will define that differently, he said, but the industry is poised to overcome that hurdle because of the talented, smart and incredibly forward-thinking individuals that make up in the sector. He emphasized, however, how important it is for the insurance sector to celebrate its inherent creativity as well as strong data and technology skills.

People outside the insurance industry don’t seem to recognize creativity, he says, but it is, “an amazing part of what we do.” So, insurance must look to harness and strengthen that creativity to truly ensure that the customer is at the heart of everything it does and all the solutions it creates.

“Secondly,” he said, “I think another obstacle and challenge we’re facing – and it’s not unique to us, but I think it’s a bigger challenge for us – is talent. Everyone in the world is after the same talent.”

How can insurance access the best talent?

Another company with a bigger brand name operating in a different industry would probably have an easier time attracting great talent, Ladva said, and so the question for the insurance market is how it can attract the best people to join the sector. And the answer starts with understanding why individuals are currently not attracted to the insurance market which goes back to the importance of advertising the creativity found in insurance – but it is also about finding creative solutions to i -plug that talent gap.

“The way I think about solving that is first of all you have to look at who you already have,” he said. “Think about how you’re going to repurpose, how you’re going to retrain, and how you’re going to create a real learning culture?… I think that’s the first thing. And then the second thing is how do we make what we do in insurance attractive for people who want to join us?

“And there, what I realized is purpose. We have real purpose in what we do in this industry. We talk about making the world more resilient but what does that mean? So when you explain to the younger talent about how by using satellite imagery, you can predict supply chain risks like them, ‘Really? Is that what you can do?’ So, it’s about creating a purpose from our industry that attracts talent that would otherwise go elsewhere. I think those things are probably, as well as a focus for execution, things that concern me.

What are your thoughts on the pace of change in insurance? Please feel free to share your comments below.

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