Three Futures for Technology and Insurance

by Donald Light, November 28, 2005


San Francisco, CA, USA November 28,  2005

Celent looks ahead and sees three alternative technology-driven futures for the insurance industry.

In a new report, " ," Celent predicts how new technologies are impacting the future of the insurance industry. According to the report, there are three scenarios: Utopian Vision, Nightmare Scenario, and Probable Future. In the "Probable Future," there are significant improvements in information technology (better, faster, cheaper) and in other technologies (smarter, stronger, more useful). Insurers that recognize these changes in their business model will succeed; others will struggle.

Table 1: Three Technology-Driven Insurance Futures
The Future Information Technology Other Technology Insurance Model Industry Response
Utopian Vision 10X better, faster, cheaper Smarter, stronger, more useful Micro-pricing, ultrasmart underwriting, effective loss control Profits up, sustained by knowledge-based barriers to entry
Nightmare Scenario Progress slows, Moore's Law repealed New technology disappoints or runs amok New risks create large new losses Stagnant industry, capital departs slowly
Probable Future Steady and predictable progress in all areas Smart monitoring and safer products Better understanding of old and new risks, pricing improves Performance gap between good and bad insurers widens
Source: Celent analysis

To construct each of these futures, the report identifies the building blocks of information and other technology and the insurance model. Celent also makes projections about how these components could change and how insurers would react to those changes.

According to Donald Light, senior analyst and author of the report, "Insurers should prepare for the probable future, while seeking out the opportunities implied in the utopian vision and mitigating the risks implied in the nightmare scenario." He added, "Having a single corporate point of view about technology and the future of insurance will establish a common set of assumptions and context for an insurer痴 operational and strategic plans. Refreshing this point of view every few years will allow senior managers to think creatively about how to win in a world that is certain to change."

The 22-page report contains one figure and two tables.

of Celent's Property/Casualty Insurance and Life/Health Insurance research services can download the report electronically by clicking on the icon to the left.  Non-members should contact for more information.

Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies. With a team of internationally based analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is a wholly-owned operating unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

Media Contacts

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Table of Contents


San Francisco, CA, USA November 28,  2005

Return to report Abstract

Executive Summary 3
Introduction 4
Unpacking Information Technology 5
Unpacking Other Technologies 7
Unpacking Insurance 9
Unpacking Change 12
Utopian Vision 14
Nightmare Scenario 16
Probable Future 18
Conclusions 20
Objectivity & Methodology 21

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