In the realm of the Life, Pensions, and Investments industry, a myriad of challenges and opportunities shape the industry worldwide. The sector grapples with persistent pressures from high inflation and geopolitical uncertainties, emphasizing the urgency for modernization and digitization strategies with a strong focus on prioritizing customer satisfaction.
Shifting demographics, advancements in technology like AI, and evolving customer expectations are driving the industry's transformation. Companies are investing in agile digital journeys, streamlined processes, and innovative underwriting methods to stay competitive in this ever-changing landscape.
Additionally, the emergence of global players is reshaping market dynamics, leading to the exploration of innovative solutions in areas such as risk reduction and diversified product offerings.
These challenges highlight the industry's need for adaptability, collaboration, and forward-thinking approaches on a global scale. Here, we will delve into the challenges faced by each of our regions in EMEAL within the Life, Pensions, and Investments industry. Stay tuned for an insightful exploration.
The life insurance industry will continue to face significant challenges in the years ahead. While the situation in the financial markets has stabilized, particularly concerning interest rates, persistent high inflation and an uncertain geopolitical environment continue to exert pressure.
In this complex landscape, it is crucial for life insurers to persistently modernize and digitize their services, with a strong focus on prioritizing customer satisfaction.
The impact of emerging technology trends, such as artificial intelligence (AI), remains unpredictable, and new opportunities are constantly arising.
At NTT DATA, we are already introducing the concept of the "Digital Human" through our “it. human platform”, designed to assist customer service employees.
This digital human, powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning, exhibits natural conversational abilities and easily readable body language. The human-like avatar can provide information, address inquiries, schedule appointments, contact other team members, and even deliver a lighthearted joke. Its proficiency in natural language and conversational AI fosters an emotional connection, ensuring a customer-centric approach.
*P.S.: This text was crafted with a touch of AI assistance
Murat Azgin (Lead Life Insurance Solutions DACH)
Peter Hammer (Lead Life Insurance Solutions DACH)
The Life insurance sector in the region is observing an acceleration of the shift of guaranteed rate business to unit-linked business, a trend that will only increase in 2023 as the financial markets are doing rather well. We also see a continuation of consolidation as several old books are being sold to private equity-driven companies specialized in that business.
It means that most of the companies are currently having migration projects and revamping their landscape, either by a core modernization or by adding in an eco-system style new components and digital layers as Ux/Cx and self-servicing are very high on the agenda.
Another attention point is the increased regulation, for instance in terms of compliance, AML, and KYC which makes the processes much more labor intensive requiring highly skilled resources hard to find. As a consequence, companies are investing in the creation of agile digital journeys combined with a high level of automation and enabling all stakeholders (internal/external) to participate. We are happy to have our very strong RegTech team that helps those companies realize that!
Didier Lambert (Insurance Director Benelux)
A market context that was unimaginable until a few years ago together with new consumption paradigms (including financial ones), which in a very short time have taken root in the habits and expectations of all of us, are pushing most industries to modify their offerings and processes.
The Life insurance sector is not immune to this pressure, the increase in surrenders and the reduction in overall Life premium income recorded in 2022 is one of the signals. The work undertaken by the Italian Regulator, for a product reform, is another.
We at NTT DATA think that one of the answers must necessarily come from the innovation, of an undoubtedly very traditional offering.
We imagine asset allocation managed by AI-driven strategies, capital protection algorithms, investment products capable of shaping themselves over time concerning the market context and the client's needs, and products equipped with digital bodies for the next level of interaction and engagement.
Tommaso Carlo Felice Farè (Insurance Director Italy)
It is becoming increasingly clear that we are facing a revolution in the Pension insurance market. The traditional social security framework covering retirement is already under pressure due to the changing demographics in the Western world and will no longer be able to match retiree's expectations. This will drive the need for additional saving instruments able to provide monthly dividends after the retirement age based on the individual needs and capacities of the customers.
The current market is very oriented towards corporate needs, as several large-volume employers are already providing this time of protection for their employees. Still, the increase in financial literacy and consumer pressure will surely drive the Pension Funds to diversify their offerings and target the end-consumer market. This will be achieved by simplification the product offerings as well as the streamlining of processes, aligning the latter with the possibilities offered by the Digital Transformation.
Rui Paulo Palma (Insurance Director Portugal)
Today, Life Insurance and Pension market players are evolving into ecosystems and redefining the rules of customer engagement, distribution channels, product design, and operating models. The pressure exists across all aspects of the value chain and is being driven by technological innovation, shifting demographics, new market entrants, and a burgeoning field of InsurTech and FinTech innovators.
As a result, Insurance and financial service providers need partners that can deliver their vision utilizing next-gen technologies. In the UK and Ireland, NTTDATA is leading the AI transformation for the industry by leveraging its unique strength that delivers unmatched innovation, long-term partnership mindset, global delivery scale, and local expertise.
Vaibhav Bisen (Vice President, Insurance, NTTDATA UK & Ireland)
Ralph Tucker (Insurance, NTTDATA UK & Ireland)
The aggressive rise in interest rates over the last year has led to an increase in the offer of guaranteed savings products for the most prudent customers, which had completely disappeared in recent years in our market.
Obtaining data through mobile devices and exploiting it through predictive models with AI to reduce the client's level of risk, as well as the possibility of making premiums and coverage more flexible according to objectives, will be the great challenge for insurers to transform the current underwriting process of life insurance products.
International companies are emerging in the Spanish market whose business consolidation involves acquiring life insurance portfolios, from other insurers, for long-term management. This outsourcing means that insurers can focus on other strategic lines and optimize their risk profiles and capital consumption.
Spain, a country where more than 60% of the population owns a home, together with an aging population pyramid and a stressed public pension system, has created the perfect cocktail for insurers to finally promote the marketing of reverse mortgages as a complement to provide liquidity to homeowners and financially help their children.
Víctor Velasco (Head of Life & Pensions Insurance Key Line in EMEAL)
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