Four consumer trends shaping the future of commercial insurance

EY’s Chris Raimondo highlights the four major forces reshaping the P&C marketplace…

Consumer trends

Consumer trends have a way of reaching B2B markets faster than many industry observers expect. That’s why senior insurance executives focused on the large commercial and reinsurance markets would do well to keep an eye on how changing customer expectations are reshaping personal lines.

Consider the rise of embedded insurance. What started with protections for travel and consumer electronics has expanded to include many bigger-ticket items.

Prominent automotive manufacturers now offer insurance to consumers at the point of sale and are looking to add other protection-related services.

Such offerings will become more popular as mobility-as-a-service subscriptions and self-driving vehicles become the norm. Embedded fleet insurance policies are the logical next step for manufacturers.

EY’s recent NextWave Insurance Consumer and Small Business research highlights the major forces and megatrends reshaping the P&C market, as well as highlighting the next generation of customers. Those forces include:

  • The consumer revolution: demand for hyper-personalised policies and protections to meet unique individual and situational needs has increased dramatically.
  • The emergence of real-time risk protection: AI, machine learning, automation, digital platforms and data analytics enable insurers to deliver flexible services instantaneously and at scale.
  • The rise of ecosystems: as industry lines blur and barriers to entry fall, insurance becomes ubiquitous for all types of purchases; insurers will orchestrate their own ecosystems and embed in those led by others.
  • New risks necessitating new products: evolving societal norms and cultural values – from climate risks to personal data ownership to virtual worlds – spur new risks and invite product innovation. 

Ongoing disruptions from emerging tech, proliferating data, new competitors and regulatory changes underpin these profound shifts. Parallel forces are at play in commercial lines. Consider how more corporate customers are looking for flexible policies that can be adjusted quickly as risks change, which requires the development of dynamic underwriting and pricing capabilities.

Certainly commercial carriers are encountering non-traditional competitors, including captives, MGAs and even ambitious brokers. Insurtechs and big tech platforms that gain traction in personal lines might find commercial markets appealing.

“We believe innovators in both large commercial insurance and reinsurance markets are poised to unleash an era of impressive growth”

Personal lines carriers are also examining opportunities in commercial lines as their traditional business faces new threats, including OEMs launching insurance companies and increased adoption of autonomous vehicles. Forward-looking executives are beginning to explore the implications of personal auto policies morphing into product liability coverage.

We believe innovators in both large commercial insurance and reinsurance markets are poised to unleash an era of impressive growth. Firms that upgrade their value propositions, build collaborative cultures and fully digitise their operations for broader connectivity will be best positioned to win.

To learn more, read EY’s latest NextWave Insurance research at

Chris Raimondo is EY Americas insurance technology consulting leader