Italian insurers look towards digitalization as lockdown continues

GlobalData’s revised post-COVID-19 forecasts show that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant damage to insurers in Italy. The total value of general insurance premiums in Italy is now expected to decline by 4.4% in 2020, from growth of 2.2% previously. Similarly, the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) up to 2023 is now forecasted to be -0.9% from 2.3% beforehand.

Deblina Mitra, Insurance Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Although the pandemic has increased digital awareness among Italy’s insurers and led to new product developments, premiums forecasts have been slashed. Nevertheless, Italian insurers have entered into collaboration with insurtech firms to use their digital platforms for the offering and distribution of products. Several insurers have also created incubators in order to improve product outreach and customer service during the pandemic.”

Recent developments, such as offering home protection policies and business interruption policies through digital platforms, as well as a rise in video conference and teleconsultation for product information, will limit human exposure.

Mitra continues: “Furthermore, the use of smart contracts for accident insurance and instant messenger channels for travel insurance for claims management and redressal will improve process efficiency and limit human contact.”

The main concern in the digitalization trend is the rising risk of cyberattacks. Italy’s social security website was hit by a cyber-attack in April 2020, during the application of coronavirus benefits.

Mitra concludes: “Attacks such as this will create demand for cyber insurance, with insurers already focusing on blockchain technology to ensure data security and big data management.”

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