The insurance industry has changed in the last few years following the Covid-19 pandemic and the increasing implementation of technology that resulted from the need to replace face-to-face interactions during the pandemic1. We’ve seen shifts in the popularity of insurance, how insurance is being sold and packaged, and customer expectations, which will all continue to evolve as we head into 2023. Despite being historically slow to input new technology, even larger insurers have begun to see the need for updated systems that allow greater customer interaction. The recession and cost of living crisis are likely to precipitate further changes as both customers and insurers look to reduce spending. Adaptability and a flexible approach will certainly be key to maintaining success going forward, but what exactly can we expect to affect the insurance sector in 2023?
1. Low premium income growth
Insurers in 2023 will find themselves under increasing pressure from customers to reduce the price of their premiums and stay affordable, despite the rising operational costs resulting from high inflation2. The cost-of-living crisis means that being able to afford to pay for insurance will become more difficult for many and raising premiums could result in pricing out existing customers. Rising mortgage and interest rates and a weakening economic picture will reduce demand for house and car sales, having a knock-on impact on car and home insurance3. As a result, whereas in 2022, non-life premium income was forecasted to grow 4.1%, in 2023, it is expected to slow significantly to 1.5%4.
2. New and evolving risk
This year global challenges, government regulations, and economic forces will make the risk landscape increasingly difficult for insurers to navigate5. These risks tend to be highly complex and interconnected, for example, climate change increasingly creating extreme weather patterns and natural disasters brings vulnerabilities to businesses, personal property, and people themselves, rather than impacting just one vertical.
Cyber is another risk factor that is expected to become an increasing cause for concern in 2023. Whilst not a new threat, the frequency and severity of ransomware attacks has been escalating over the past three years6. Insurers will need to address these increasing security risks to their data through implementing systems that are proactive in addressing threats. These systems are being built cloud-native on troves of data, with the industry increasingly looking to implement assessing tools like AI, ML, and automation in order to improve security and resilience7.
3. Technological transformation
In 2022, continued competition across the insurance industry increasingly spurred innovation, in particular driving a switch to the cloud, the simplification of legacy systems, and the integration of emerging technologies and capabilities8. Technological development has propelled competition from new insurance start-ups and industries, using data and artificial intelligence to move into the insurance sector, however, more established insurers are also seeing the benefits that implementing advanced systems and tech solutions can offer them9.
Increasing efficiency and productivity, as well as consolidation, will be key to success in 2023, and insurers are looking to technology to help them do so10. Building in technology that is flexible, scalable, and resilient is the answer to maximizing profitability and configuring systems that scale as needed11. Incorporating AI software and automation tools, including claims processing and algorithmic underwriting, can also be immensely effective - helping insurers to make huge time and cost savings which they can then pass on to customers to boost customer retention during the challenging year ahead12. Recent research from Deloitte suggests that the future of the industry is reliant on fully realizing the value and benefits of infrastructure and technological upgrades13. Proactively anticipating and fulfilling distributor and policyholder expectations and prioritising greater levels of experimentation is the key to driving ongoing innovation, competitive differentiation, and profitable growth14.
4. Using digital to support the customer experience
In 2023, customer experience will become of tantamount importance as retaining and attracting customers becomes more difficult15. A recent PwC study found that a third of consumers will walk away from a trusted brand after a single poor experience, precipitating a shift from a policy-centric business model to a customer-centric one16. People are also more likely to engage with their insurer during times of need, which definitely encompasses a cost-of-living-crisis. Businesses need to ensure that they are providing points of contact and regular updates to ensure their customers can access the information they want and feel supported17.
Customer expectations have also evolved to expect more personalised, technologically advanced, and easy to use services. They no longer want to be confined to a single platform. From websites to apps to live conversations, they want the choice of a channel that best fits their needs and provides a simple and seamless experience18. A multifaceted, multichannel approach improves the customer journey by streamlining processes as well as providing personalized and omnichannel experiences19. The push for cross-selling in 2023 will likely go hand in hand with a drive for personalised insurance packages and tailored premiums that ensure that customers can get exactly what they want and only what they want, reducing their own expenditure. This is becoming increasingly achievable for insurers to provide, due to being able leverage the immense power of big data21.
How payments can help insurers adapt to these trends:
By implementing omnichannel payments, insurance businesses can meet their customers wherever they choose to interact with their insurer, giving them easier, more seamless ways to purchase. This is particularly useful for cross-selling as it enables the customer to purchase as and when they make their decision, whether that be at home or on the go, improving conversion. By implementing multiple payment methods, such as Pay by Link embedded into emails, or Virtual Terminal, which allows your customers to pay securely over the phone, you offer multiple point of contact and ensure that customers are confident in their purchases.
Increasingly, insurers are also choosing to implement mobile payment methods, offering a seamless option for in-app or online purchases, again reducing friction for customers. This encourages customers to make faster decisions about their insurance and can go a long way to reducing cart abandonment.
Payments will become increasingly important for insurance businesses who are looking to meet the challenges of a changing industry.