Industry context

In 2020, faced with a major health crisis, economic distress, and an uncertain future, insurance companies redefined how they did business almost overnight to provide stability, comfort, and peace of mind for their customers. For example, auto insurance providers offered discounts or refunds given decreased levels of driving. Health insurance companies adjusted their premiums to reflect reductions in non-essential surgeries. 

Insurers have begun to utilize big data to their advantage. More data means that insurance policies can be customized to individuals, and that insurers can minimize risk and improve the accuracy of their calculations by considering more metrics during the underwriting process.

Key trends

Cybersecurity remains a concern in 2021. Emerging blockchain technology is going some way to making the industry more secure. Blockchain can be used by insurers to create smart contracts which are self-executing, meaning they can track claims and update conditions.

Insurance is a promise, and delivering on the promise is key for the industry. Technology is increasingly helping. Drones can assess accidents without putting agents at risk by capturing footage and inspect damage. Sensors and plug in cameras enable usage-based insurance models, such as offering discounts for safe driving, and AI-powered algorithms can deliver claims in seconds.

Expectations are changing across age groups. Millennials for example expect more product personalization and customer engagement, which means insurers are focusing on their digital skills. Pulling in data from IoT devices - including wearable fitness trackers and car telematics - can be a simple way to personalize insurance products so that discerning younger customers feel they're getting good value on insurance products which are priced according to their own needs and behaviors.

Time and Effort
Enabling staff through the provision of the right information when it is needed has been key to reducing customer effort. Capturing the right data automatically simplifies compliance, improves the customer experience, and eliminate tedious data-entry and error-prone manual efforts.

Hyper-personalization will likely continue to define the customer journey in 2021. Auto insurance products are more valuable when they are based on miles driven. Home insurance products are more effective when they are integrated with connected homes, so that they can prevent or minimize damage from water leaks or fires. 

Building this level of personalization for customers requires a technology infrastructure that enables real-time insights from vast amounts of streaming data from a variety of data sources. Data and analytics, powered by AI, can enable personalized, contextualized interactions across the entire insurance life cycle, from sales and underwriting, to claims management and support.

Behind all the technology, there is still the need to humanize insurance. Customers deal with insurers when accidents happen, theft, natural disasters, hospitalizations, death of loved ones. It is at these moments that a human touch is essential.

The Customer Experience Leaders

FWD Group is a pan-Asian life insurance business, focused on making the insurance journey simpler, faster and smoother, with innovative propositions and easy-to-understand products, supported by digital technology.  Through this customer-led approach, FWD is committed to ‘changing the way people feel about insurance’1.

In line with its commitment to create a best-in-class experience, FWD has created a real-time feedback mechanism, which captures feedback from customers during the purchase, servicing and claims processes across major markets, channels and product lines. This allows teams to review its customer experience and swiftly improve its product and service quality, as well as address customer feedback quickly and fairly.

ÖAMTC perform highly in Austria, known as the “yellow angels” they are a roadside breakdown company with some 4,000 employees. They have used advanced technology to improve the experience their customers have from developing an app that synchronizes with a cars telematics system to provide remote monitoring and fault diagnosis through to the use of AI to drive staff scheduling models. This ensures there are sufficient staff in the right place based on patterns of information, day of the week, weather, delays and vehicle types all drive predictive models.

MAIF is a self-described activist insurer. The company has boosted its commitment to being a more responsible insurer, focusing intently on its social and environmental commitments. It now likes to call itself an “activist” insurer that is “humane and responsible”.

It also stands out for the very personal services it offers its clients (domestic assistance, education, financial and banking services, and others) delivered through subsidiaries and authorized affiliates. The business’ DNA revolves around client obsession: members and employees state “I am MAIF” rather than “I am with MAIF”, emphasizing the idea that the company is more of a family than a separate business.2

Many insurers are having to adapt their long-term strategy and rethink how they engage with their customers as the uncertainty from COVID-19 continues. Focusing on CX can give insurers an advantage over competitors by using customer insights and technology to help them predict their customer’s needs before they realize them themselves.

Laura Hay
Global sector lead - insurance


Insurance industry Hall of Fame 2021





Allstate Insurance


Bao Viet














*Brands are listed in alphabetical order

1A different kind of insurer with a vision to change the way people feel about insurance - FWD Group