RESEARCH REPORT

In brief

In brief

  • As insurance companies face increasing pressure to go digital, insurtech offers great opportunities.
  • How insurance startups and incumbent insurers can bring out the best in one another.
  • Key takeaways for insurtechs and incumbents to make the most of partnerships.


Insurers are facing increasing pressure to evolve and reinvent themselves before disruption, caused by emerging technology and insurance startups, hits the bottom line.

Due to the perception that existing competitors pose the greatest risk of disruption in insurance, insurers are increasingly recognizing that insurtech (insurance technology) ultimately represents more of an opportunity than a threat.

How will traditional insurers, some of which are more than 300 years old, collaborate with insurtechs that may be less than 300 days old? There can be significant challenges to overcome regarding differences in culture, workforce, agility and technology. Insurers and startups will need to change their mindset and approach to extract maximum value from working together.

Insurtech is not a silver bullet—the real challenge for insurers is to become more innovative in their everyday business.

Insurers are facing disruption and need to evolve quickly

87%

of insurers agree technology is no longer advancing in a linear fashion, but rather at an exponential rate.

86%

of insurers believe Innovation must happen at an increasingly rapid pace to retain a competitive edge.

96%

of insurers think digital ecosystems are having an impact on the insurance industry.

Key takeaways for insurtechs and insurers

For insurers

  • Develop your overall innovation agenda—and then determine where insurtech sits within it.
  • Embrace innovation as part of your everyday business, across your whole organization.
  • Promote the right corporate culture to foster innovation, driven from the C-suite down, with incentives linked to new roles and capabilities.
  • Draw inspiration and learning from retail banks’ fintech journeys, and from their ability to look beyond the financial services space.
  • Do not feel threatened by startups whose cultures or working practices seem radically different to your own.

For insurtechs
  • Understand the market and the challenge you are solving for.
  • Ensure that your proposition is clear, concise and related to that specific challenge or business problem.
  • Consider the broader insurance industry—not just the personal non-life space.
  • Be patient, and support traditional insurers on their cultural and technological journeys.
  • Determine where the solution and business boundaries sit.
  • Adopt a flexible partnering approach, and consider forming broader ecosystems.
RELATED: Read what our managing directors have to say about insurtech

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About the Authors

​John Cusano

​Senior Managing Director – Financial Services Management Consulting​


​Tim Hoying

Managing Director – Accenture Strategy, Insurance


​Steven Watson

Lead​ – Insurtech, UK Insurance


​Simon Tottman​

Lead ​​– Insurance Research, UK and Ireland​

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