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David Richards, Innovation GroupDavid Richards, Innovation Group

Technology features heavily in the short-term insurance industry this year, and with good reason. To succeed in the new world order of intense competition and economic uncertainty, innovation and insurance businesses must co-exist.

Here are a few of the trends to expect over the next year:


In 2012, the number of smartphones in the world passed one billion. The ubiquity of these powerful devices and the proliferation of apps that are available mean they are a trend that can no longer be ignored. Although the widespread purchase of an insurance policy via an app may be some way off, 2013 looks set to be the year when the short-term insurance industry takes a greater interest in the customer’s online journey.


Apps are very definitely here to stay, and 2012 was the year when insurer app production finally started gathering pace. For example, last year, Aviva released an app in the UK which monitored policyholder driving and offered discounts for safer driving. In 2013, expect to see a raft of similar apps, all designed to engage the consumer and make the policy purchase and claims process as painless as possible.


As a rule, players within the short-term insurance industry have traditionally built their applications and systems in a silo, from the ground up. The industry has always generated vast amounts of data, and developments in this area will mean making better sense of the existing data to gather new insights into consumer behaviours, attitudes and demographics.


As with data, the short-term insurance industry has been somewhat slow to recognise the benefi ts of cloud computing compared to other industries. However, companies at the small to medium end of the market are waking up to the benefits of SaaS and the impact it can have on their business. In 2013, there is likely to be an increase in numbers of larger scale organisations within the industry following this lead and using cloud solutions to deliver business agility and improved performance.

About the author: David Richards is senior manager: insurance software solutions for Innovation Group.