Ferrante-Schepis and Maddock’s provocatively titled debut looks at the need for innovation in the deeply conservative insurance industry.
Insurance, as the authors put it, is a product “sold, not bought.” It’s not something people want, it’s something they grudgingly buy after a major life change or when a sales agent pitches them hard enough. Worse, the people who really want insurance are precisely the ones to whom the insurance companies don’t want to sell. The first part of this book explains how the insurance industry has gotten itself into this situation, while the rest of the book describes how it can dig itself out. Part 2 explores ways the industry can begin to entice consumers rather than having to hunt new customers down. Part 3 explores the use of language, transparency and social dynamics in connecting to potential customers, especially Gen Y customers, while Part 4 lays out a road map for creating and nurturing innovation. Finally, Part 5 toys with some ways that cultural icons, such as Mark Zuckerberg, American Express and the Occupy Wall Street movement could take over the insurance industry. Insurance executives have a well-earned reputation for being traditional and rules-oriented, which doesn’t exactly make them inclined toward major innovation. Yet, this book predicts that, eventually, some bright spark will come up with a new way of meeting today’s insurance needs—and the old-model insurance industry will go the way of the dodo. The authors make a compelling argument for the need for innovation and tell how to go about it, sprinkling the book with what-if scenarios designed to get the reader thinking. The suggestion of an innovation portfolio to diversify the associated risks is a particularly clever idea that will appeal to those counting the costs of creative thinking.
A strong case for innovation, with supporting methodology that will appeal to executives in the risk-averse, regulation-bound industry.