08 Aug 2018

How Four New Internet Developments May Impact the Insurance Industry

By: John Baker

How Four New Internet Developments May Impact the Insurance Industry

Instant comparison shopping. 24/7 service. Quotes in minutes. Just think, where would you be tomorrow if the Internet disappeared today? The truth of that point is so telling, it's a bit of a bore to remark on how thoroughly the Internet has changed the face of business. Yet, in the digital world, more change is the only certainty. Here are four internet developments that could soon be meaningful to your business.

Get ready for 5G.

According to Kate Browne at Risk & Insurance, in fewer than five years, we'll have access to a network "which is likely to be 100 times faster than the average 4G transmission" that we use today. She described this as "a paradigm shift similar to the transition from the typewriter to the laptop."

The new 5G network will reduce the lag between when a signal is sent and received to one millisecond. On its face, that may not sound too revolutionary; after all, today's connections already feel pretty instantaneous. The real paradigm shift has to do with what 5G would support: an "ecosystem of fully connected intelligent sensors and devices" such as smart cities and self-driving cars.

Anticipate outages from rising seas.

As 5G prepares to speed things up, the oceans are getting ready to sink 'em down. The "physical, concrete objects" that power the Internet, such as "giant data centers and miles of underground cables," are in reality less "magical and intangible" than they may seem – and quite a bit more vulnerable.

Over the next 15 years, we can expect "roughly 4,000 miles of fiber-optic cables in U.S. coastal cities" to go underwater, according to a new study by the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Oregon. When they do, the infrastructure – installed in the 1990s with no concern for climate change – is likely to fail.

Expect more from AI chatbots.

According to Tech Emergence, artificial intelligence is promising a "seamless automated buying experience" through the use of chatbots, which will detect a customer's geographic and social data in order to offer personalized interactions. Combined with custom, on-demand coverage for specific belongings or happenings in your life, this trend could converge on a whole new customer relationship. Imagine making a purchase or experiencing a milestone in your life, and instantly receiving a message from your insurer offering relevant coverage for it.

Lean on your reputation.

According to the 2018 insurance shopping study by J.D. Power, insurance shopping is hitting a historic low; meanwhile the biggest factor for customer retention and attraction is the insurer's reputation.

"We're entering an era of consumer-centric insurance that will likely be marked by a surge in new digital offerings and serious efforts by insurers to improve the auto insurance shopping experience," said Tom Super of J.D. Power. In order to differentiate, they're "making bets" on digital personalization for improved interactions – still, the reputation of the insurer's brand is the driving factor in a customer's consideration.

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