On March 6, 2009 I had the opportunity to present a keynote on the future of insurance for Explore Information Services, a unit of USIS. This was a meeting of their advisory forum, a group of about thirty North American insurance companies that focus on property and automobile insurance. My job was to think with them about key drivers shaping the future of the business, beyond todayâ€™s economic crisis headlines, important though that may be.
We stated with various internal industry forecasts, both from last year and this year. What was interesting is how, last year, industry insiders were seeing things like climate change, but missing things like the financial crisis. This year, the assumptions are reversed, and the financial markets head the list of issues and risk, while climate issues for example remain. We discussed how, strangely, immediate trends seem harder to anticipate than mid-term and longer-term trends.
I concentrated on trends in demographics â€“ aging workforce and aging customer base, digital native workforce and customer base, growing Latino population in North America, again both as customer base and workforce. We looked at â€œglobal weirdingâ€ to use a term from Amory Lovins, and the continuing threat to property posed by climate change. We explored IT, and the impact it is having on marketing and sales. I noted some other tech that will impact property and vehicles â€“ like nanomaterials, and smart highways. I highlighted the emergence of social networks as a business communication and marketing space. I concluded with a look at knowledge value economics and at political forces. Essentially, each year there is an increasing need to stand out as the smartest products with the best information in them for buyers. On the regulatory front, I agreed with the industry assumption that more regulation is coming, and that this regulation will become more uniform if not national. No big surprise there.
You can review the keynote slide program here, via SlideShare. I enjoyed the forum, and the conversation.
Glen Hiemstra is a futurist speaker, consultant, blogger, internet video host and founder of Futurist.com. To arrange for a speech contact Futurist.com.