Underserved Markets Ripe for Insurance Innovation, Swiss Re Americas CEO Says

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Underserved populations and market niches are ripe with potential for insurance innovators who are willing to take on the challenge of creating opportunities in areas that may seem unprofitable at first glance, says the chief executive of the Americas unit for one of the world’s largest reinsurance companies. And the ability to reach those markets digitally is key.

Life insurance for middle income families in the United States is one such underserved market, according to J. Eric Smith, CEO of Swiss Re Americas.

That’s “one area that I see as ripe for innovation. It’s an underserved portion of the market,” Smith told attendees at the Entrepreneurial Insurance Symposium in Dallas in September. “In the U.S., if you look at life insurance and look at people that are making $40,000 to $90,000 a year in household income, which is a lot of the households in the U.S., there’s nobody in life that’s taking care of those people anymore.”

The products are out there and they are affordable, but middle income families “don’t buy it because no one’s talking to them about it and no one has figured out how to do it online,” he said.

Source: Insurance Journal (link opens in a new window)

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financial inclusion, microfinance, microinsurance