Delioitte has released its 2013 report, “2012 Global Insurance Outlook Generating growth in a challenging economy takes operational excellence and innovation,” with several interesting recaps of 2012 and forecasts for 2013.
“Deloitte (News - Alert) says while the economy will continue to challenge insurers, companies should identify growth sectors and ‘piggyback’ off of them,” according to a piece that summarizes the Deliotte paper. “[Further], Insurers can take advantage of opportunities from rebounding auto sales, greater construction, and millions of new insureds brought into the healthcare market due to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Overseas as well, a growing middle class in China, India and Brazil are creating new market opportunities.”
With regard to investment strategies for the 2013 fiscal year, the report reminds interested parties that the Federal Reserve plans on holding interest rates at low levels through mid-2015.
Nevertheless, Deloitte predicts insurers will become “more aggressive” in their investment approaches in every area, but especially hedge funds, oil and gas assets, and real estate.
The report has some significant final conclusions for targeted industry insiders, but ends with rather ambiguous language:
“It’s relatively easy to identify the challenges facing insurance carriers and their distributors, but it’s a lot harder to determine how an individual insurer should respond,” it said. “Each course of action has its own risks and rewards, but perhaps the one certainty is that doing nothing is rarely an option. Even carriers that consider themselves successful under their own version of the status quo should evaluate the potential vulnerabilities of their business models in a rapidly evolving economy and insurance marketplace. For now, senior executives at least should begin assessing how the challenges raised in this report are likely to affect their ability to generate growth and profitability.”
“Each issue is both a threat as well as a potential opportunity, depending on how a particular carrier chooses to address the challenge,” the piece held.
In its final analysis, Deloitte advises firms that keep product design and technology at the forefront of the business model will enable insurers to more easily identify the needs of their customer, both in their base as well as untapped markets.
Insurance innovation in evolving arenas will soon find effective approaches to addressing cybercrime, political unrest, and new market realization and discovery.
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Edited by Braden Becker