The insurance innovation imperative: Disrupt current business models

Disrupt current business models

Forward-thinking insurance players are willing to try new models and partner with new stakeholders to compete aggressively in a competitive market. They are innovating their approach to innovation itself.


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Recognizing they may not have skills or capacity they aspire to on their own, we found many insurers are starting to embrace new models for innovation.  Sixty nine percent of survey respondents say they believe partnerships, not in-house efforts, will characterize the future of innovation in their organization. Many have already engaged in partnerships with academics and FinTech organizations (43%).

Motivated to collaborate

The potential to access new talent and ideas was cited as the top motivation to collaborate at 54%. Almost a quarter of respondents hope that partnerships will help them improve their speed to market for new ideas. Interestingly, just 4 percent said they were entering into new partnerships in order to either lower their cost of innovation or reduce risk.

And while many are looking externally for new ideas, others are taking a more proprietary approach. More than a third (36%) of respondents said they had developed dedicated innovation ‘hubs’ or ‘labs’ over the past 5 years, and more than a quarter (27%) say they have a team that is full dedicated to driving innovation.  Yet, others have totally discarded this approach in favor of moving the responsibility for innovation to the wider organization.  

Understand why you are investing

As the old idiom goes, you can’t manage what you can’t measure. Yet less than half of our respondents say they have a formal innovation strategy to help guide their investment decisions and, as a result, it would seem most lack a clear set of objects and metrics which to measure against.  

Actions to consider

  • Engage with key stakeholders, suppliers and customers to explore opportunities to enhance innovation through partnership
  • Continuously scan for potential new disrupters and catalyst of innovation and assess how you can defend absorb or partner with them
  • Create and support customer forums to build continuous innovation into your existing business and operating model
  • Develop enterprise-wide innovation strategies that include clear roles, responsibilities, metrics and governance
  • Align your initiatives with business objectives to understand how your investments are driving growth.

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