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What does 2018 hold for General Insurance?

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What's in store for General Insurance in the next twelve months? We take a look...

2017 was a rollercoaster year for the insurance industry, especially in the UK. With worldwide market uncertainty, and the government pushing forward with its plan for Brexit, insurance firms across the country had to contend with the upcoming implementation of GDPR, as well as a fierce war for talent that looks set to continue into this year. 

Despite that, 2017 was also a period of massive growth and the coming twelve months look set to build on. With InsurTech disrupting the traditionally conservative market, and Mergers and Acquisitions creating a sea change in the insurance landscape, 2018 looks to be a year for positive market growth, high levels of overseas investment, and new, more intelligent recruitment solutions. 

There’s a lot to look forward to within insurance for 2018: here are our predictions for the coming months.

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Market growth and consolidation

Last year saw a great deal of activity within the market as overseas investment poured in, creating numerous new MGAs and providing financial backing for Broker growth and acquisition. The result was a great deal of competition between established and start-up companies. This competition looks set to continue into this year, and to stand out from the crowd many insurance businesses are attempting to diversify their offering and make the most of the changing market by expanding into niche risk sectors such as cyber, M&A and the burgeoning technology scene. As a result, we expect a huge rise in demand for skilled positions in areas like Technical Underwriting, niche product lines expertise, and those with the regulatory experience necessary to navigate the increasingly-complicated insurance market. 

The high volume of Mergers and Acquisitions activity last year is also reshaping the way in which business is done across the country. Many large transactions caused shockwaves in 2017, whilst other large broking houses started buying and consolidating smaller companies around the country, thus shrinking the number of businesses in the market and consequently increasing competition for the best jobs.

War for talent 

Indeed, the war for talent is set to continue and grow in 2018. With many major national Brokers pushing forwards with investment hires this year, in an already-competitive market, many companies are already putting effort into innovating their client offering and recruitment strategies in order to clinch the best talent, especially in more niche industry sectors.

To attract and retain the best candidates across the coming twelve months, we expect to see many employers rethinking and improving their candidate offering. Salaries will remain competitive, and Brokers are already creating stronger and more inventive USPs to attract employees; employee benefits will likely become a large talking point, with companies upgrading their offerings for a more modern-day workforce, including flexible working and fast-tracked career progression. Many forward-looking firms like Allianz are also looking to start their own graduate training programmes to nurture their own talent pipelines.

Smarter recruitment solutions

We’re also looking forward to seeing many companies take charge of their recruitment and develop more cohesive, effective recruitment strategies aimed at modern-day candidates. To remain competitive in the war for talent- and to decrease expensive turnover rates in an uncertain market where bottom-line profitability is of paramount importance- online recruitment strategies, careful onboarding processes and thorough candidate vetting are the savvy Recruiter’s best tools.

New approaches, inparticular Retained Solutions, are also being recognised as an excellent way of finding candidates well-suited to their role. With an experienced Recruitment Consultant focused purely on creating a bespoke candidate shortlist for your company, candidates are carefully psychologically vetted, examined for job suitability, and onboarded, thus increasing the likelihood of a successful, well-suited hire. As firm believers in the success of Retained Solutions, this is something that we at IDEX look forward to seeing more of in the future. 

The rise of InsurTech

Technology has become a massive talking point within the insurance industry over the past year, and will definitely dominate the marketplace over the coming months, too. Alongside the burgeoning Cyber Insurance sector, and new services aimed at catering for technology-savvy consumers, many entrepreneurs are making the most of the new opportunities offered by technology. 

The result has been a slew of new InsurTech startups (for more information, see our blog on the InsurTech revolution here) that marry convenience and instant access with easy-to-use insurance services, often with the use of smartphone apps. With74% of insurance companies of the opinion that InsurTech poses a significant threat to their business, it’s clear that insurance needs to adapt to this new way of doing business if they are to thrive in today’s changing market. Indeed, many are starting to: insurance giant Aviva is partnering with InsurTech startup Neos, which uses sensor technology along with its insurance deals that can send information about breaks, break-ins, or leaks straight to your smartphone. We expect to hear a lot more noise from InsurTech over 2018, especially when it comes to innovating the traditionally staid market.

A customer-facing approach

Indeed, one of the changes that InsurTech is fast causing in insurance is a shift in focus to a more customer-services-based approach. In an age where consumers have a plethora of insurance firms to choosefrom,and expect instant service from whomever they select, insurance firms need to communicate more effectively with their clientele, and inspire customer loyalty, if they want to retain their business. 

The result has been a shift in perspective as firms scramble to update their market offering, introducing online portals that make purchasing insurance easier than ever, and using new services like chatbots or robo-advisors to ensure instant responses. Today, traditional firms cannot depend on customer loyalty for business: we’re expecting companies to continue upgrading their services over 2018 and committing to a more Internet-savvy way of doing business if they want to survive. 

We’re looking to the future.

At IDEX, we’re excited to see what the next twelve months hold for General Insurance. That’s why we’ve put together a Salary Guide for 2018, which tells you everything you need to know about employment within the industry.