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Insurers, reinsurers look to technical advances to grow market


Insurers and reinsurers believe innovations in technology will provide the biggest growth opportunities in the coming year, Guy Carpenter & Co. L.L.C. said Monday. 

The reinsurance intermediary said that its survey of 107 insurance and reinsurance executives at last month’s 2016 Property Casualty Insurers Association of America meeting in Dallas sought to identify the biggest opportunities and threats to profitable growth in 2017.

Now in its fifth year, the annual survey found that 42% of the respondents said technology innovation offers the greatest opportunity to grow their business in 2017, followed by new products at 25%, new geographic markets at 13%, talent acquisition at 12% and mergers and acquisitions at 8%. 

Regarding emerging risk, 36% of the executives said a potential recession was the biggest threat to profitable growth in the year ahead. One in three named cyber as the most threatening emerging risk, followed by technology risks at 11%, climate change at 11% and terrorism at 9%.

Thirty-eight percent of the respondents named the continued rise of big data as the market force that will cause the most disruption in the insurance and reinsurance industry over the next five years.

Other significant market-changing forces include the speed of technological innovation at 29%, the aging population at 15%, millennials at 13% and expanding urbanization at 5%.

Looking ahead to 2017, 21% of professionals see regulatory and rating agency changes as the biggest threat to plans for profitable growth. Seventeen percent said they were concerned about global economic and political uncertainty; 16% fear operational inefficiencies; and 10% are most concerned about catastrophe/non-cat losses.