By Mark Breading, ReSource Pro —
Every year at this time, we are treated to many articles, videos, and news accounts of the developments at CES, formerly known as the Consumer Electronics Show. The event long ago expanded beyond just consumer tech to tech relevant to businesses and individuals alike. This year, you may have already seen reports of transparent screens, glass panes that convert sunlight to electricity, a small surveillance camera that can identify faces from miles away, and lots of food tech among the thousands of new innovations shown at CES2024.
A long but incomplete list of areas covered at the event includes mobility, smart home, drones, AgTech, sleep tech, fitness and wellness, beauty tech, EnergyTech, psytech, metaverse/XR, robots, laptops, cameras, mobile phones, TVs, and much more. There were amazing innovations in each of these areas (although finding them among 4000+ exhibitors across multiple venues and millions of square feet of floor space was not always easy). The big question – and main topic for this blog – is whether all of this really matters to property/casualty insurance.
The short answer is yes, but the more nuanced answer is it depends. Many of the new innovations at CES are not in the market yet, or at least not in North America. Others are unique products seeking a market – some may ultimately be successful, while others may find adoption challenging. However, there are many products that represent the evolution of existing, successful products, adding or enhancing capabilities.
From a P&C insurance perspective, there are a couple of ways to think about the tech evolution on display at CES. The first is how new tech impacts the risks the industry insures for individuals, businesses, and governments. For example, CES is one of the best places to go to understand vehicle tech and the evolution of mobility. In one place, you can assess the state of electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles/features, and in-vehicle technologies for vehicles for personal or commercial use on land, sea, or air. The incredible advancements in vehicle tech have a large impact on risk.
Smart home/property tech is another obvious area of interest for many insurers. While adoption has been slower than many hoped for, new innovations and companies continue to move into the space. These provide new partnership opportunities for insurers, new possibilities to mitigate risk, and new factors to consider in underwriting and claims.
Digital health options continue to expand rapidly. Although P&C insurers may be less interested in the fitness/wellness side than life/health companies, there continue to be advancements in tech to reduce or avoid accidents, enhance treatment plans, or improve rehab. These are important parts of the evolving health/medical landscape that affect casualty and workers’ compensation.
While there are other areas to explore that may address risk, there are two other dimensions that should be considered. One is that industries are being reshaped. New companies are emerging, incumbents are evolving or, in some cases, may become obsolete, and whole new industries are being created. Naturally, all of these need insurance of various kinds and may be either new prospects for carriers or existing policyholders that are changing.
The second additional area to consider is that insurers can directly apply some of these technologies to improve operations. This has already been evidenced in many areas, such as drones, mobile technologies, and AI, among others.
In conclusion, it is important for every carrier to understand the evolution of advanced tech and how it may affect customers, risks, and operations. The big challenge with an event like CES is understanding adoption timeframes. Some of these technologies are already a factor for carriers in short-term strategies, while others should be considered in mid-term or long-term plans.
Advanced technologies are evolving at a rapid pace. There is a wide range of new products and technologies entering the market that can help mitigate risks and optimize operations, but this abundance of choices makes it difficult to prioritize investments. ReSource Pro collaborates with carriers to structure roadmaps by guiding strategic objectives and helping align investments to reduce risk and improve organic growth.
About The Author
Mark Breading is known for his insights on the future of the insurance industry and innovative uses of technology. Mark consults with insurers and technology companies on forward-thinking strategies for success in the digital age. His inventive methodologies, fresh ideas, creative conceptualizations, and ability to incorporate InsurTech and transformational tech in business strategies are unparalleled. He also leads SMA’s research program, publishing 25-30 research reports per year and conducting various custom research projects for insurer and vendor clients. His thought leadership in the areas of InsurTech, transformational technologies, customer experience, and digital strategies has earned him a ranking of one of the “Top Global Influencers in InsurTech” by InsurTech News and Onalytica and a place in the ten finalists for the “Top Global IoT in Insurance Influencer Award.”
Before joining SMA in 2009, Mark spent 25 years with IBM in roles including the Global Insurance Strategist and Director of Global Financial Services Executive Conferences in addition to leadership roles in consulting and marketing. Mark co-developed IBM’s Account Based Marketing program and led the global project office to implement ABM across all industry verticals worldwide. Mark has held both technical and business roles in sales, consulting, marketing, and business strategy and has advised insurers around the world for almost 30 years.
About SMA, a ReSource Pro company
At Strategy Meets Action, our clients advance their strategic initiatives and accelerate their transformational journeys by leveraging our forward-thinking insights, deep vendor knowledge, and vast industry expertise. Strategy Meets Action is an advisory firm that works exclusively with insurers, MGAs, and vendors in the P&C market. For more information, visit www.strategymeetsaction.com.
About ReSource Pro
ReSource Pro brings integrated operational solutions to insurance organizations to improve growth, profitability and insurance outcomes. Headquartered in New York, ReSource Pro’s global service centers address client operational needs around the clock. Recognized as an industry thought leader and listed as one of Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies annually since 2009, the company is renowned for its focus on innovation, service excellence and trusted partnerships, and its unique productivity platform for insurance operations. More than 5,000 ReSource Pro employees provide dedicated support to hundreds of insurance organizations, consistently achieving a +97% client retention rate over a decade. For more information, visit www.resourcepro.com.
SOURCE: Strategy Meets Action (SMA)