The three pillars of insurance transformation

Engage policyholders with enhanced experiences, a lifestyle risk concierge and new platforms

The three pillars of insurance transformation

Engage policyholders with enhanced experiences, a lifestyle risk concierge and new platforms




A recent survey of a thousand insurance executives by the IBM Institute for Business Value found that while 85% of executives are experimenting with digital reinvention over the next three to five years1, their investments have largely focused on tweaks to existing products.

Carriers have found some success launching new apps and handing out tablets to their adjustors in the field. And insurtechs have been cropping up everywhere—more than USD 1 billion have been invested in insurance start-ups in each of the past five years, according to CB Insights, and exceeded USD 4 billion in 2018 and 2019.2

But even these disruptors are primarily putting new interfaces onto the same old processes. Immense value is still out there, waiting to be unlocked by those who harness the powerful innovations of the past decade.

8 billion Amount, in US dollars, invested globally in insurtech start-ups between 2018 and 2019.2

A new approach is emerging, built on three pillars:

  • A new user experience
  • The lifestyle risk concierge
  • Platform innovation

Successful carriers have begun tapping cloud, AI, analytics and IoT sensors to revolutionize the way they gather, understand and use policyholder data—information that’s become one of the most powerful tools for any enterprise. Blockchain and edge devices are offering entirely new operational modes to further innovation. Quantum computing is being developed to help tackle once unsolvable problems.

Insurers have always aspired to be part of their customers’ daily lives, not just an annual renewal reminder in their calendar or frantic phone call during an emergency claim. Technology is finally available for the transformative work of regular customer engagement and reimagined customer experiences. It’s a key differentiator for winning new policyholders and supporting existing ones.

Yet better engagement is only the beginning.

96% Of 1,000 insurance executives interviewed by IBM in 2019, almost every single one said their companies would be investing in innovation over the next three years.1

An improved user interface and user experience are offerings every company, in every industry, must now provide. Insurance is no exception. To stand out from the digital crowd, successful carriers are becoming a companion and a champion in policyholder’s daily lives. No one wants to be an afterthought or even an annoyance to customers or prospects.

Insurance agents and adjusters, meanwhile, want to be supported, not sidelined, by technology. They’re the ones, after all, who’ll be executing on all these exciting new offerings. Freeing them from rote tasks to do the work they’re passionate about benefits employees, customers and the company.

All of this is why the leading insurers aren’t just creating new digital strategies, they’re creating a strategy for the digital world.

7% The average IT spend for insurers on legacy systems maintenance in 2019, which is expected to nearly double the next year.1

1. “Insurance on the platform.” IBM Institute for Business Value. 2019.

2. “The State of Fintech: Investment & Sector Trends to Watch.” CB Insights. 2015-2020.