“Every assumption you had is now irrelevant, your zone of uncertainty has expanded, volility is your new normal, and unpredictability is now your only certainty. Welcome to your new future!” – Futurist Jim Carroll
I’m preparing and researching for a major upcoming insurance conference, and am knee-deep in my research, reviewing several hundred recently articles on the impact of Covid-19, the global pandemic and economic upheaval upon the industry. A key conclusion? “Your future was already volatile – but now, your zone of uncertainty has become so much larger. Agility is no longer an option – it’s now your oxygen!” That was the first version of my quote.
But there’s more at work here. This industry is built and based upon risk assessment, through careful analysis of predictable outcomes. So many other industries are built upon similar assumptions as to how the future might turn out – we need some certainty to figure out where we need to go!
So much for that concept – every assumption is now irrelevant and somewhat out of date. Not only that, but our future is both predictable in its eventual outcome but unpredictable in the path to get there – certain assumptions as to how things might turn out have completely changed in terms of the speed of disruptive ideas.
For example, in the era BC (“Before Covid”), I would speak of a world of real time life insurance and wellness policy underwriting based upon real time health care analysis, not esoteric life expectancy tables. The idea was that an insurer could utilize connected medical devices – blood pressure and glucose monitors, exercise trackers and more – to enter into a cooperative insurance policy with a customer. Show good results, and you get a discount on your insurance.
Parts of the industry were already cognizant, aware and aligned to this future, and some had actually gone down this path, albeit in a small manner. Now, the impact of Covid-19 has led us to a new world of the massive acceleration of telemedicine and a greater appreciation for health care device connectivity – with the result that this particular trend has accelerated to a huge degree!
That’s but one example – as the saying goes, ‘but wait – there’s more!” And in fact, it is critical that insurance companies – and all other industries – put their ‘old future’ under a new microscope to determine what’s different – and what they should do to get there in good shape!