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General insurance in the twenty-first century: meeting the challenges

CII Thinkpiece 94

An insurer perspective of some of the challenges facing the GI sector. The author starts by acknowledging that the social value of insurance is being lost in the lack of trust. Then he explains that rising to this will help the industry confront other issues such as emerging technology and dealing with public policy themes such as flood risk, reform to personal motor insurance and fraud.

  • Insurance is an industry with a long and proud history and strong financial foundations. It weathered the financial crisis well, and in 2011 paid out £1.4bn to businesses for property damage alone.
  • However, insurance needs to think about the challenges ahead such as trust, a customer-centric business, regulation, public policy and opportunities such as technology.
  • Public trust is one of the industry's biggest challenges. It threatens to undermine the social value of insurance and all its added benefits of stability and risk handling.
  • This trust is has to be earned one step, and one customer, at a time. We do it by demonstrating over months and years that we are focused on our customers and that we will deliver the right level of service and protection.
  • Another challenge is responding to regulatory change. New structures are being developed and implemented at the UK and EU levels. Aviva's vision is of financially capable and well-informed consumers and businesses able to better access suitable products and advice in competitive, open markets.
  • Insurers must adapt to new technology, both in terms of communicating with consumers (e.g. via social media) or driving new product design (e.g. apps that reward safer driving). For example, brokers provide over 60% of Aviva's business, and the insurer has invested in "quote and buy" online technology specifically for brokers which can be accessed through an iPad app.
  • The insurance industry must play a full and active role in public policy debates and work to rebuild trust.

Pdf icon small View the attached document »

The following documents may also be of interest:

Pdf icon small Upon the door of every cottage ... protecting the public in general insurance »

Pdf icon small  The UK's new financial services regulatory landscape »

webpage_icon The CII's future risk report series »

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