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Insurance sector lags on innovation

Insurance sector lags on innovation

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By tlewis ·
September 18 2015

Insurance sector lags on innovation

The insurance sector is falling behind when it comes to innovation, with less than half of insurance companies adopting a formal innovation strategy, according to a KPMG report.

Insurance sector lags on innovation
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In a recent KPMG global survey - A new world of opportunity: The insurance innovation imperative - it was found that although 83 per cent of insurance firms acknowledge the interrelatedness of innovation and success, only 43 per cent of Australian respondents have an innovation budget.

KPMG head of insurance Martin Blake said: "Rapid innovation has created significant challenges for insurers, with 48 per cent saying that their organisations are already experiencing disruption from new, more nimble competitors."

Mr Blake added: "The insurance industry will need to lift its game if it wants to increase innovation and fend off disruptors."

The report found that Australian insurers' growth strategies are focused on "enhancing existing products and services". It also found that Australian firms are more likely to grow as a result of focusing on new customers with existing products, rather than developing new products.

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"The insurance industry seems caught in the innovator's dilemma - much of the focus is on expanding products for existing customers or marketing current products to new customers," Mr Blake said.

"Organisations will need to navigate their own path through this new world of opportunity, developing new business and operating models and new partnerships in order to out-compete and out-innovate their peers and bold new entrants."

When compared to their global counterparts, however, Australian insurers saw more opportunities in digital technology.

Over the past five years, Australian firms were more likely to have implemented cultural change programs, internal crowd-sourcing and employee competitions to source ideas.

"While many respondents collaborate with other companies and have partnerships with academics or other industries, many also look internally for ideas," said Mr Blake.

The KPMG survey recorded responses from 280 insurance firms across 20 countries.

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