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Digitally-driven change in the insurance industry-- disruption or transformation?




While technology continues to insinuate itself into all facets of financial services at an exponential rate of change, the insurance industry, in contrast, faces a slow- motion parade of promise, possibilities, prematurity, and pared-down expectations. Digitization, the birth of insurtech, machine intelligence, which incorporates multiple tools that explore and exploit data, and the collection and curation of (orders of magnitude) more structured and unstructured data are changing (and will continue to change) the industry in material ways; and not always in line with specific predictions but with developing general capabilities that are fairly predictable. An interesting case in point is the first wave of unsuccessful attempts made by technology firms to disrupt the insurance industry in recent years. This article describes, from a large (re)insurer’s perspective, the trends and challenges related to how technology and society’s digitization are irrevocably changing risk markets and insurance. Based on the described trends, I will suggest one nuanced response to the question of whether insurance is being disrupted and/or transformed, while highlighting the trends in the insurance industry catalyzed by society’s digitization.

Suggested Citation

  • Bohn, Jeffrey, 2018. "Digitally-driven change in the insurance industry-- disruption or transformation?," Journal of Financial Transformation, Capco Institute, vol. 48, pages 76-87.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:jofitr:1622

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    More about this item


    Insurance; Reinsurance; Insurtech; Digitization; Disruption; Machine intelligence; Artificial Intelligence; AI; Big Data; Data; Technology;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G22 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Insurance; Insurance Companies; Actuarial Studies
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes


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