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Newsweek Vantage Report Finds that Technology and a Drive Toward Customer Empowerment Provide the Winning Formula in a Highly Competitive Insurance Market
[October 26, 2018]

Newsweek Vantage Report Finds that Technology and a Drive Toward Customer Empowerment Provide the Winning Formula in a Highly Competitive Insurance Market

NEW YORK, Oct. 26, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Newsweek today released the results of a new report on insurance technology from their Vantage Thought Leadership division.

The study finds that the traditional insurance offering combining a good product with a reasonable price and fast claims service is no longer enough to bring competitive advantage. Instead, winning firms are effectively using "customer–centric" IT while better collaborating with, and enhancing training for, their distributors.

The report, entitled "Empowering Consumers and Agents—The New Basis of Insurance Competition" is based on a survey of 300 C-level insurance executives from across APAC, EMEA and North America, a quarter of whom represent companies with gross written premiums of over $500 million a year. Respondents were able to offer valuable perspectives on how insurers view their customers, what actions they have taken to adapt to an evolving market and what their priorities are moving forward. The report was sponsored by Vlocity, Salesforce and Deloitte Digital.

The report argues that while the insurance industry is no different to any other in facing both threats and opportunities in the digital age, its risk-averse culture, legacy infrastructures and traditional approach to distribution present the industry with additional challenges in meeting customer expectations. This, however, is starting to change.

"The industry has reached a tipping point where leaders are acting with greater urgency on the need for rapid innovation in the face of fast-changing customer expectations," said Jeff To, Global Head of Insurance at Salesforce. "The Celent/Newsweek research is important because it provides insight into how insurers can align their transformation efforts with customer wants and needs. Through its partnership with Vlocity and Deloitte, Salesforce is committed to helping insurers deliver compelling experiences that truly matter to their policyholders, agents and employees."

Michael Fitzgerald, Senior Analyst at Celent, and author of the report, said, "Insurance executives feel that the traditional factors are no longer differentiators. They are table stakes. Competitive advantage in the insurance market lies in delivering expected levels of customer experience and improving the effectiveness of distribution channels." He continued, "Acting on this changes many things—what systems are invested in, what skills are needed and how people are incentivized, how an insurer partners with providers, etc.".

Dev Pragad, CEO of Newsweek, commented, "The insurance industry, like all in this new fast-evolving digital economy, needs to adapt to survive. Leaders need to be willing to embrace new technologies and the new ways of thinking, that sometimes run counter to legacy systems and approaches. This fascinating report by our Vantage Thought Leadership division provides compelling evidence of the need for change, provides case studies of businesses that have grasped the nettle and suggests actions for businesses to create short- and medium-term value."

About the author

Michael Fitzgerald brings extensive industry experience to his analyst role at Celent. Prior to joining Celent, he was vice president of enterprise underwriting solutions at Zurich North America, where he led the evaluation of technology alternatives to support a new underwriting product development process. He has also held a number of positions at Royal & Sun Alliance, including a field operations regional executive role. His technology implementation experience includes the installation and maintenance of billing, automobile policy administration and workers compensation automation. In the 1990s, Mike led an initiative which delivered one of the first global online technical underwriting and claims learning platforms in the industry.

Mike's research focuses on innovation, emerging technologies (blockchain, artificial intelligence), billing, business process and operations, social media and distribution management.

Mike has a Bachelor of Arts in economics from Davidson College and an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. He is a Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) and a certified Project Management Professional (PMP).

About the survey

Three hundred C-level insurance executives were surveyed in July of 2018…. The number of respondents was evenly distributed across APAC, EMEA and North America. Input was received from all major lines of business: Life and Annuities (45%), Health (33%), Group (12%) and Property and Casualty (10%). These leaders represented a broad number of functions within their firms, with the largest groups involved in claims, operations, corporate leadership and business unit leadership. The views of this group were compared against consumer research regarding buying preferences. This report draws from those results to provide insight into the strategic choices and investment decisions facing insurers.

The survey was sponsored by Vlocity, Salesforce and Deloitte Digital.

About Newsweek Vantage

Vantage is an exciting new division of Newsweek that combines meticulous research and expert analysis to explore topics that are defining the global business environment. This study is the third of a series of research reports that will be released in the coming months on topics as varied as the impact of technology in oil and gas, and the circular economy.

About Newsweek

Newsweek is the modern global digital news organization built around the iconic, 85-year-old American magazine.  Newsweek reaches more than 30 million people each month with its thought-provoking news, opinion, images, graphics and video delivered across a dozen print and digital platforms. Headquartered in New York City, Newsweek also publishes international editions in EMEA and Asia.

About Vlocity, Inc.

Vlocity, a Forbes Cloud 100 company and strategic Salesforce ISV, delivers industry-specific cloud and mobile software that embed digital, omnichannel processes for customer-centric industries. Built in partnership with Salesforce, the world's #1 CRM company, Vlocity is one of Salesforce's fastest growing partners. Vlocity Industry Cloud Apps embed industry-specific functionality, best practices and business processes for the Communications & Media, Insurance & Financial Services, Health Insurance, Energy & Utilities and Public Sector industries. Vlocity enables companies to achieve faster business agility and time to value from the cloud across digital and traditional channels. Learn more at and follow us at @vlocity.

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