Consider the potential impact of advanced analytics, AI and big data on the role of the actuary. Even the
best proprietary models can’t compete with the insights afforded by deep learning through AI. But to take
advantage of what technology has to offer, the traditional role of the actuary is shifting toward data science.
Similarly, new algorithms are automating risk analysis and changing the nature of claims. Automation will
reduce fraud, increase the speed of claims processing, and remove the need for humans in simple
transactions. As a result, the role of the claims agent will become much more specialized. To handle
complex transactions and facilitate filing claims via multiple channels, the augmented agents of tomorrow
must be more analytical and savvy with mobile and virtual tools—while retaining their human, customer-facing skills.
To keep pace, insurers must invest in predicting both the skills of the future and the tempo at which the
workforce needs to be retooled. But reskilling alone is not enough to create a workforce that can deliver the
solutions and service that customers will demand. Successful insurers also will reimagine roles and ways of
working to foster collaboration and innovation.
As roles change, insurers are struggling to attract and retain the future workforce they will need. The US
Bureau of Labor Statistics has shown an uptick in open jobs in the Insurance industry over the last 3 years
with an upward trend in both the types of jobs and the number of job openings.6
Today, insurance has a more mature workforce and more traditional, full-time direct employees than other
industries. The good news is that insurers have (or are creating) the very environment millennials and Gen Z
workers are seeking. The 2017 Gen Z Rising study
shows that the stability, opportunity for growth and
training, and investments in disruptive technology offered by insurers are very appealing to the future
However, closing the gap between talent demand and talent supply will require a broader view of the
workforce. Contractors, freelancers and other non-traditional workers now account for 45 percent of all
workers and are expected to make up 70 percent of the workforce by 2024.8 Developing a model that plans
for, attracts and empowers this adaptive workforce will be a challenge for a very conservative industry.
Redesign with HR
Navigating this change will require new sourcing and staffing models. As different functional areas invest in
automation technologies, leading HR departments are investing in tools to manage and develop adaptive
workforces. It has, in fact, become an industry imperative to not only develop new talent models before
competitors, but to create new learning environments and drive rapid upskilling among traditional and non-traditional workers, alike.
Technologies are once again helping with the transition. Some insurers are applying advanced analytics to
simulate the pace of change and ensure adoption of new technologies. This is forging a closer link between
traditional HR organizations and the operating units within the business. These operating units are also
demanding advanced strategic workforce planning capabilities so that they can understand what their
workforces will look like in the future, while also responding to today’s cost and market pressures.
Insurers looking to win the next generation of customers need to embrace today’s disruptions or they will
surely lose market share to more responsive competitors. New technologies, new ways of working, new
types of workers and new skillsets will differentiate tomorrow’s leading insurers from today’s. By building
agile workforce models, insurers can build a future workforce uniquely positioned to deliver the results they
1 Accenture, “The voice of the consumer: Identifying disruptive opportunities in insurance distribution,” 2017.
2 Accenture, “The rise of InsurTech,” 2017.
3 Accenture, “Insurance as a living business,” 2018.
4 Accenture, “The rise of InsurTech,” 2017.
5 Accenture, Insurance findings from the Future workforce CXO survey, 2017
6 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, NAICS 52 (insurance industry workforce)
7 Accenture Strategy, “Gen Z Rising” 2017.
8 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, NAICS 52 (insurance industry workforce)