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Insurers ‘heeding wake-up call’ on digital change

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Nearly one-quarter of insurance leaders list “customer experience” as their top priority for the year, research by technology provider TAS shows

Artificial intelligence and Big Data are equal second on the priority list, followed by product differentiation.

“It is very encouraging to see Australia’s insurance industry progress the way it has over the past 18 months, with many insurers embracing disruptive technology and innovation,” TAS CEO Shane Baker said.

“Insurers are transforming into 21st-century digital organisations. While it has not been easy or straightforward for insurers, in many ways taking the first steps were the hardest.

“Australian incumbents have received a wake-up call and are paying attention.”

TAS interviewed 50 insurance leaders, including from the life industry, between last October and February.

The Hayne royal commission did not feature among the questions posed, but TAS believes the industry is aware it needs to work on improving customer satisfaction.

“While we have not heard the industry directly refer to the royal commission, data from the report and direct engagement we have with insurers indicates that feedback has been taken on,” Mr Baker told insuranceNEWS.com.au.

“The customer is now the focus and priority. Insurers are making positive strides towards transforming into 21st-century digital enterprises with the customer at the centre.”

The industry is still nervous when it comes to partnering with insurtechs, the study shows.

“To remain competitive, traditional insurers must prioritise tech investment, either through partnership with an insurtech or by investing in developing their own,” the report says.