Assaf Tayar, Managing Director at BCG Platinion, explains what insurance trends you should be paying close attention to in 2022. 

For businesses to set effective plans and goals, they must have a full understanding of their operating environment, trends and challenges. Of course, while the pandemic has been the obvious major source of disruption to the insurance industry, firms need to reflect more widely on how conditions have impacted their operations. In particular, the pandemic accelerated digital transformation across the world. For the insurance industry, the role of technology across all aspects of the business is essential, especially as more people take up flexible working or decide to work remotely for the foreseeable future. These new developments are forcing business leaders to re-evaluate how their business operations and user experience fit with what customers expect in a technologically advanced world.

In this piece, I share some of the insurance priorities to consider and even respond to this year. 

1. Cloud will become essential

Today, more leaders in the insurance sector now understand the value of cloud computing. In fact, estimates predict that the cloud computing market size will reach $1.2 trillion by 2028. Keeping up means the industry will begin to take a cloud-native approach, like many other industries that are already using the technology as part of their business infrastructure and operations. 

This will come as no surprise to anyone as most of today’s software solutions are cloud-native. Whether it’s to access the plethora of third-party solutions available, improve efficiencies or increase cost savings, this trend will continue to gain momentum. As such, we’ll continue to see insurance companies look for solutions that help them accelerate their cloud migration efforts.

2. InsurTech solutions will lead the way

Just as the banking industry was revolutionised by FinTechs, the insurance industry is joining the digital revolution. InsurTech, this year, will be key to modernising technology stacks to get the most value from IoT, data and cloud, meaning InsurTech will become the norm. 

Yet this means SaaS-based solutions built on APIs will need to be put in place to deliver personalisation on a much greater scale. Due to the level of competition in the market, the modernisation of the insurance industry will continue to grow at a fast pace. The sector's maturity will depend on the richness of solutions InsurTech makes possible. With the most modern, effective systems, this growth will enable businesses to provide convenient and direct value propositions to both customers and clients.

3. A wider ecosystem will be API driven

More and more new platforms are being built daily and we’re already seeing the development of microinsurance products that can be plugged into different marketplaces. As a result, this drives product simplicity, as well as ensures focused customer engagement and services.

The acceleration of this trend will continue in 2022 and the insurance sector will take a larger role in this wider technology ecosystem. Next, the focus for business leaders will be to gain value from the technology, which will require better use of APIs and the development of partnerships with open architecture. For example, with health insurance like Vitality, premiums are flexible if customers make healthier lifestyle choices, like going to the gym regularly. It’s here that open APIs are vital to track and verify customers’ patterns, for example through connecting to customers' fitness apps. In some parts of Europe, this has already begun to happen and will become even more prominent in 2022. 

4. Data management will be used at scale

According to the Global Consumer State of Mind Report 2021 by Trūata, 76% of global consumers believe that brands need to do more to protect their data. And the need to have effective and efficient solutions to cope with GDPR, cybersecurity and the like, when managing data has never been more crucial. 

Insurance organisations will start to see huge benefits from using data platforms once they’ve moved their IT infrastructure to the cloud. Although there won’t be an explosion of new technologies in this area, we’ll see insurance companies deploying more effective solutions at scale and leveraging it to fulfil its true potential in 2022.

5. Cryptocurrency payments will continue to surge

Our financial ecosystem is currently undergoing an evolution and insurance organisations are developing and embedding into tech more than ever. Currently, some insurance players are building payment mechanisms by leveraging crypto solutions, while others offer cryptocurrency protection. For instance, in the US, auto insurance company Metromile announced it will soon let customers pay with cryptocurrency and even receive pay-outs in digital currency. 

In 2022, there will be even more growth in technologies that enable alternative ways of making payments. We’ll start to see smaller players in InsurTech provide instant payments that don’t even exist right now. It will still take time for there to be a global cryptocurrency market, but blockchain will continue to provide new opportunities that will impact the insurance industry.

6. Working with other industries will remain important

Insurance has played an important part in several different industries, but this will increase in 2022 for the automotive and healthcare industries specifically.

In the automotive industry, many modern cars have various IoT sensors which collect data on how a car travels. The telematics of the data is embedded in the car, meaning data can be sent back to relevant organisations – such as an insurance company – if an accident were to occur. Over time, this technology and data will continue to grow and insurers will have a much more sophisticated approach. Here, AI will play a big role, and this will be driven by the insurance sector.

There’s also a huge opportunity in the healthcare industry. There is a growing ecosystem of services and devices available to help individuals live a healthy life and recent findings from CCS Insight suggest that Covid-19 led to a 20% growth in smartwatches. As more products enter the market, having the right solutions to store and process data and ensure it’s compliant, will be key.