Celent’s Jamie Macgregor, who normally covers the life and annuity side, wrote an interesting piece on the Celent insurance blog last week, looking 10 years into the future and what the insurance industry is going to be like in 2022.
McGregor doesn’t get his crystal ball out to guess where insurance technology will take us, but discusses the human changes that will take place as a new generation of workers—Generation Y—comes of age in the industry.
The insurance industry has slowly trudged into the future, both for employees and customers. As my friend and fellow Tech Decisions columnist Paul Rolich recently wrote for the magazine, today’s teenagers never knew a life without a PC in their house and access to the Internet.
That will create a new era of expectations for young people just joining the work force and for those learning to navigate the corporate world that doesn’t quite embrace the technology or the pace of change that these younger minds are expecting.
Who among us doesn’t look for two simple factors—speed and convenience—when conducting business, but there remains a large group of people who still fear things like electronic payments. I filed my federal income taxes electronically this year and was pleasantly surprised when my refund was issued two weeks after filing, rather than the six weeks that I had been accustomed to in the past.
As I looked at my paper check I wondered why it wasn’t issued electronically to my bank. It certainly can’t be a privacy issue; who knows more about each of us than the IRS? I wouldn’t be surprised to get an electronic check next year.
Imagining the elimination of many of our daily tasks is scary for those of a certain generation, but not for those who will be assuming the mantle of leadership in the next 10 years. Today’s innovators are not burdened by a past where people actually said, “Wedon’t do things that way.”
Insurance may have some catching up to do with other industries, but there’s little doubt that carriers will have to keep their eyes open and their technology budgets fluid. That’s easier to do for large carriers, but as Novarica’s Chad Hersh recently explained to me, consumers don’t expect any less service just because they buy insurance from a regional carrier rather than a direct writer.
We’re all in this together.