Insurance CEOs see 'over-regulation' as key threat

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‘Over-regulation' is seen as the key threat to insurer growth prospects by 91% of insurance CEOS surveyed for PWC.

The survey of 80 CEOs in 37 countries also found that 59% believe there are more business opportunities than three years ago, while 61% see more threats, such as those from technology.

Technology's use was widely recognised - 90% said it can help sharpen data analytics, 88% said it could strengthen operational efficiency and 81% said it could enhance customer experience.

However 70% said that the speed of technological change represented a threat to their company's growth prospects.

The survey also found that 71% of insurance CEOs see the limited availability of key skills as a threat to growth.

Jonathan Howe, UK insurance leader at PWC, said: "The fact people are living longer and have more wealth to protect presents insurers with an opportunity.

"However, with Solvency II now less than a year from going live and other regional and local changes coming up over the horizon, the challenge for the UK industry is how to minimise the upheaval and build the FCA's conduct risk agenda requirements into a reliable and cost-efficient business."

Howe added: "Most insurers are still primarily focused on e-commerce - doing what they already do just via a different channel.

"Challenges include increasing commoditisation and the need to have lower cost digital distribution and advanced digital profiling to respond more effectively to customer demands.

"The winners will be those using digital to engage more closely with customers, fine-tune underwriting and develop customised risk and financial solutions as well as those who develop the advanced customer data analytics programmes already established in other sectors.

"Real-time risk monitoring, proactive risk prevention and lowering the cost of life and pensions options for younger and less wealthy customers will also be key to success."

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