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Asian News - Asia: Insurers must think and act fast on innovation

Source: Asia Insurance Review | Mar 2016

Whilst the insurance industry has been rife with talk on innovating and disrupting the business from within, actionable outcomes remain in nascent stages of development. Founder and TEDMED Curator Jay Walker had said at the recent 27th PIC that the insurance industry has “massively misunderstood and mispriced” the risks it is facing in the coming decade because the pace and scale of innovation is unprecedented, so actuarial models and thinking have “very little relevance about what is coming”. 
   Not only do insurers need to think fast, they also need to act swiftly. Mr Walker raised the alarm on a “potential level of catastrophic risk from compounding innovation”, and said that the lack of focus on events deemed unprecedented or out-of-the-blue needs to change as technology is moving so fast that the unthinkable, one-in-a-million events are becoming a probability.
Dispelling the innovation myth
Against this backdrop, insurers are determined not to let innovation in insurance remain an urban myth, and are continuously seeking to keep up with the expectations of today’s empowered consumers as they gather in Singapore for the inaugural Asia Insurance Innovation Summit to be held on 25-26 April.
   Whilst automotive and healthcare insurance – leveraging on telematics and wearable technology – have been at the forefront of the industry’s evolution, other products meanwhile have been slower to replicate success at similar levels. But beyond technology, other aspects such as culture and distribution also are crucial in contributing to the innovation wave. 
   The main challenge lies in seamlessly integrating and implementing all aspects – from management, right down to the rest of the organisation – and striking a balance between meeting existing needs and delivering future goals. Should one seek external help or look internally to innovate? How much risk appetite is needed to pursue innovation? Do insurers have the necessary resources to do so? These are some of the questions that experts will tackle in-depth over the two-day conference as they attempt to dispel the myth.
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