“Insurers realize that the digital journey is full of pitfalls, with challenges in overcoming internal resistance to change, and emerging external threats,” said Jean-Francois Gasc, managing director of Accenture Distribution and Marketing Services for insurance across Europe, Africa and Latin America. “To maximize value from digital, insurers will need to move from a product-centric culture to a customer-oriented mentality. The threat posed by emerging competitors such as Internet giants is real because user-experience improvement is part of these companies’ DNA, and this is a strategic weapon in gaining market share in the insurance distribution business.”Among other survey findings:
- Sixty percent of European insurers confess that they currently do not have a digital strategy in place or that their strategy is limited to only a few areas – such as sales or customer interactions processes - and fails to cover the entire insurance value chain, from product creation and underwriting to claims settlement, including policy administration.
- The top priority for European insurers in their digital transformation strategy is to obtain a 360-degree customer view across all channels, mentioned by 59 percent of respondents. Other top priorities include streamlining processes (57 percent), and increased customer self-service functionalities (56 percent).
- When asked which new customer interaction channels - whether for sales, customer service or marketing purposes - they are considering developing in the next three years, two-thirds (67 percent) of the European insurers surveyed mentioned mobile devices, followed by social media (59 percent).
- Over the next three years, insurers plan to invest in “big data management capabilities” (53 percent), in “unstructured data management” such as voice and video (40 percent), and mobile technology (36 percent).
- Regarding their back-office functions, insurers’ top investment priorities are “collaboration and social networking tools” (40 percent) and “Web-enabled reporting and data-mining” (36 percent).
MethodologyAccenture commissioned a survey of 78 European P&C and life insurers. The 78 respondents were C-level executives involved in digital distribution strategy, including heads of sales and chief marketing officers. Interviews were conducted by telephone by Kadence Ltd. and in person by Accenture executives, between April 2013 and July 2013. Of the companies represented, 25 percent had net premiums written (NPW) of more than €10 billion; 57 percent had NPW of €1 billion to €10 billion, and 18 percent had NPW of below €1 billion. Of the 78 insurers, fifteen were located in France, twelve in Italy, eleven in Spain, eight in Germany, seven in the United Kingdom, six in Belgium, five in Austria, three each in the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland, two each in Finland and Norway, and one in Denmark. About Accenture Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with approximately 275,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. The company generated net revenues of US$28.6 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2013. Its home page is www.accenture.com. Accenture helps financial institutions transform their customer relationships through Accenture Distribution and Marketing Services, a business service within Accenture’s financial services operating group, serving more than 100 institutions worldwide. Accenture Distribution and Marketing Services combines Accenture’s deep industry knowledge in banking, insurance and wealth management with proven expertise in marketing, distribution and innovation. It blends Accenture’s management consulting, technology and outsourcing capabilities – including its assets and expertise in digital innovations, like analytics and mobile – to help institutions improve growth and cost management through better customer relationships.