What’s Trending in the Insurance Industry Today
While insurers continue to address the lingering effects of the pandemic, they are also focused on several other market conditions that are trending today. From workforce challenges and sustainability goals to enhancing the customer experience, insurers are tackling many new initiatives. Known largely for its status quo culture, the insurance industry is in a transformative period driven by market developments and customer demands.
Growth in the Post-Pandemic Period
Advancing their business plans will require insurers to look inward at their workforce to retain and motivate satisfied and productive employees. The Great Resignation is happening across a variety of industries and the insurance industry is not being spared. Remote working may have served its purpose during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it is also being blamed for contributing to a fragmented workforce. To maintain fulfilled and engaged employees, insurers will need to consider flexible working schedules that both accommodate their staff, while also meeting the company’s operational needs. This approach will also be a key factor in attracting new employees.
Delivering a more customer-centric experience will require greater transparency, improved claims handing, market-responsive products, and seamless processes. Digital strategies will need to replace traditional methods of customer communications and marketing. According to the Deloitte Insights’ 2022 insurance industry outlook, “…there may be a small disconnect between how some life carriers perceive consumer behavior and preferences versus their plans to bolster online or mobile sales.”
Evolving Marketing Strategies
To succeed in the years ahead, insurers will need to adapt to changing consumer demands and behaviors including those regarding their media consumption. Pew Research Center reported a marked decline in US adults watching television on cable or satellite with the greatest drops attributed to younger consumers. For example, adults ages 18-29 went from 65% watching television on cable or satellite in 2015 to 34% in 2021, compared with adults ages 30-49 which changed from 73% to 46%, 50-64 year-olds going from 80% to 66%, and those 65+ going from 86% to 81%. As a result, insurers should be considering alternative online/digital media options to market their products and convey their companies’ value proposition.
Equally important to note is that while an insurer’s brand will matter, it won’t matter as much as the product selection it offers. Consumers will be less driven by brand loyalty than they will by gaining access to new and innovative products that meet their needs across the life insurance, health insurance and voluntary benefit categories.
Building Customer Trust
In addition to becoming more transparent, and adopting new communication and marketing approaches, insurers will need to demonstrate their commitment to important Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) concerns. Government agencies ranging from the U.S. Treasury Department, Federal Insurance Office and U.S. Securities and Exchanges are also emphasizing ways to drive the insurance industry’s greater focus and attainment of sustainability goals.
For insurers, the ground is shifting and will demand greater agility and market responsiveness in 2022 and the years ahead.