The insurance market in Italy in the era of Covid
The year 2020 will go down in history as the year of the global pandemic.
The crises generated by the Covid-19 pandemic, especially the health one, inevitably had implications in all sectors of the economy, also affecting the insurance sector.
In the months affected by the lockdown, especially in the second quarter of 2020, there was a considerable reduction in premiums collected, also due to the pressing security measures and procedures for safe access to public places.
Compared to 2019, statistical surveys indicate a 3.9% decrease in the volume of premiums written considering the Life and Non-Life classes for national companies and non-EU agencies, a 13.9% decrease for the representatives of European companies that operate in Italy under the establishment regime, and a decrease of 12.3% for companies operating under the freedom to provide services present in the IVASS Group Register.
Basically, in 2020, total premium income underwent a change of -5.0% which translates into approximately € 150 billion.
While in 2019 the overall insurance premiums collection had recorded an increase of 4.5% compared to the previous year for the Non-Life business, and of 3.8% for the Life business.
The current context of uncertainty created with the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic makes the forecast scenario for the insurance market more complex. Above all, the uncertainty relating to the duration of this phenomenon, the impacts it has on the national and international economy, make impossible to determine in the medium-long term what implications it may have on insurance operators and on the performance of the sector.
There have been strong impacts in terms of regulatory interventions in support of the insurance sector, and its companies today face with major changes in financial reporting, products and operations. Furthermore, the macroeconomic situation arising from this emergency negatively affects the profitability of insurance companies, which find themselves having to face the important challenges that are emerging on the horizon, such as the issue of asset allocation that will have to evolve to respond to the current context. market-, that of reinsurance – which represents a new challenge-, that of digital transformation, which will be one of their main growth factors.
On the other hand, with the introduction of the 110% Superbonus and the tax concessions it entails, interesting opportunities and challenges have opened up in the insurance sector.
Trends and changes expected in the insurance market from 2021 onwards
Insurance companies are already adapting to the new trends that are emerging on the horizon, which can be summarized in two categories: technologies and the environment.
Specifically, there are 14 trends that are destined to dominate the present and future scenario of insurance companies, and which will bring about great changes in the world of the insurance business.
The data – driven
We are now immersed in technological innovation, and data-driven decision making is already used in the insurance world and will continue to play a substantial and growing role in the sector. In a data-driven society, every person can use data to make better decisions, and can access the information they need, when they need it.
The open insurance / ecosystems model
It is based on the sharing of data between insurers, banks, start-ups, tech companies, and aims to create new integrated products in various fields. New players enter the insurance market, which thus becomes more competitive, and this possibility of synergies with new interlocutors opens up new ecosystem possibilities for insurance.
Digital engagement platforms
The insurance sector must evolve and adapt to the pressing digital transformation. The innovative methods of interaction do not necessarily have to replace traditional distribution routes, rather they can integrate them for a more complete offer. There is always a growing attention to virtual assistant and chatbot models.
It is an insurance model focused on the prevention of damages rather than their compensation. It is a new trend, which is starting to expand. There are already players on the market who apply reward and gamification levers to encourage the user to follow virtuous behaviors.
The gamification tool is proving to be a lever of success for brands and companies on the social web. It follows the dynamics and logic of a game, such as points, levels, rewards, within contexts that have nothing to do with a game, and the aim is to involve and retain the user at all points of contact digital and social.
The connected insurance
This is one of the trends in the insurance sector connected to the emergence of new technologies and the ever-increasing demand for flexibility, and is part of the data-driven discourse. It uses IoT platforms to exploit the information obtained in real time, on the basis of which the prices of the insurance product are then calculated.
The built-in insurance
Embedded insurance is insurance that is offered as part of another transaction. This is to entice the user to equip himself with a security tool associated with the user. Short-term or subscription-based policies that can be canceled at any time have a more attractive price, and at the same time offer the user the certainty that at any time, if they wish, they can cancel the signed agreement.
This type of policy appeared on the Italian insurance market in 2020. It wants to adapt to the demand of the digital consumer for faster and more personalized services. It has enormous potential and, despite being in its infancy, it already has a positive growth trend.
Policies for catastrophic natural events
The damage caused by the climate and natural events, which intensified in 2020, represent the second fear in the world after health. The insurance culture regarding risks linked to weather conditions is not yet well developed, but the perception of Italy’s vulnerability with respect to possible risks from natural disasters is high and places this phenomenon in second place after health.
With the growing trend of demand for more flexible insurance models, the trend of parametric insurance is also taking hold. This insurance product departs from the traditional offering by offering predefined payments for certain events, such as natural disasters in a specific area, rather than for the actual damage suffered by the user.
Changes in mobility
While on the one hand the pandemic has considerably limited travel, on the other, new ways of moving have spread, such as micro-mobility, which introduce new challenges and potential. New ways of using transport have been developed, such as car-sharing and ride-sharing, not to mention new self-driving vehicles which, when allowed to circulate, will entail great challenges for insurance companies. One of the effects of technological innovation is undoubtedly the formation of new categories of users and therefore the need to create new insurance products. For example, policies based on driving patterns and distances traveled are likely to increase. Mobility is an important trend in the sector and insurance companies must be prepared to face the challenges that lie ahead in this sector and which will be nothing short of epochal.
Still in the context of the fast-paced digital transformation of the insurance sector, an increasingly important role will be played by the increasingly sophisticated tools for automation, data and process management, personalization and the creation of new offers tailored to the user, such as technologies. of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Predictive Analysis.
Cyber security risks
Both companies and users continue to grow awareness of adopting measures to protect against the risks of opening up to new vulnerabilities of their IT systems, especially due to the massive transition that has occurred this year to smartworking systems. In the insurance field, targeted insurance policies have been developed to protect against damage caused by cyber crime.
Both environmental and social sustainability is an increasingly felt and emerging issue in the various sectors. Sustainability factors are also taken into consideration when choosing insurance. Therefore, insurance products have been created that aim to promote sustainable mobility with a reduced environmental impact, which provide the user, increasingly green, with covers specifically designed for bicycles and e-bikes, photovoltaic systems, ecological vehicles (electric, hybrid or low emissions).
In Novires we are constantly evolving to offer dynamic and advanced expert services in line with the insurance market trends of the next five years.
Our objectives are always both to satisfy the emerging needs of insurance companies and to offer policyholders high-level professional expert services always in line with their expectations and with the technological and social trends of the market.