On Tuesday last week, Swiss Re held its inaugural 'Next generation insurance customer' conference here in Zürich. We were joined by a wide variety of our clients and partners, with a view to discussing how we can work together to identify new insurance products and new channels to reach future generations.In my session, we discussed the evolution of life risk pooling in Europe. We wanted to understand how we got to today, in order to better understand where we are going tomorrow.
Our story began with mutual societies that started a few hundred years ago, before discussing the rise of the social state and a later shift of responsibility from the government to the individual.We discussed our recent European Insurance Report, and how the vast majority of our research participants felt that government was responsible for the provision of protection. However, we know that our customers understand that there is a shift imminent. The big question of course centres around 'what next?' It is all very well understanding what has happened up until now, but what is coming up?
We have observed and continue to see the evolution of generations X, Y and Z. How will insurance products and services be investigated and then bought by these customers? Mobile will surely play a big part, given the expectation that within the next couple of years, mobile devices are expected to overtake desktop computers. We need to invest in the connection between the digital and analogue worlds. With insurance acquired simply 'on demand', how will cover differ? It was interesting to discuss what the industry may look like in the medium and longterm.
We discussed the possibility of seeing the rise of 'mutuals for the 21st century'. It is possible that social media will act as the glue for new insurance pooling communities, with community and immediacy (in particular) becoming the key principles of modern insurance.Who is the 'family'? Is the community at large now more relevant? Can we expect to see new players entering the market? Perhaps the question is more of a 'when' rather than 'if'. Perhaps the leading new business generators of the future will be names we have yet to hear of.
What do you think?
Category: Funding longer lives: Pension/retirement, Social contract
Location: Rüschlikon, Switzerland