The Inherent Good of the Insurance industry

The Insurance Industry is “Inherently Good”, to adopt Immanuel Kant’s belief in the inherent “goodness of man upon birth”, we believe in the inherent goodness of Insurance as an industry.

Yeah, I know what your thinking…if you were paying attention in philosophy class why are you a retired insurance executive???

I wasn’t paying attention that well, otherwise I wouldn’t have landed in insurance…

Insurance Industry Reputation

Although good, the insurance industry doesn’t have the best reputation.

According to McKinsey, it is one of the largest obstacles the industry is facing today.   The Insurance industry reputation is in the bottom quartile, and is near the bottom when consumers were asked about the perception of the industry. Some of the most recognized carriers’ and brokers’ brands are described as conservative, boring and not innovative.

But perception vs. reality is a constant battle no matter what the topic.

It’s tough for insurance customers to understand all that the insurance industry does for society, humanity and global economic growth (especially when they are in a negative feedback loop about insurance).

Here are a few examples:

  • Impact on economy  – the prominent role risk management and insurance has on the economy was seen during the recession, during Hurricane Katrina, 9/11, Japanese earthquakes, Hurricane Sandy, etc. These periods of great uncertainty and chaos are times when economic activity can slow drastically or come to a halt.  It is the insurance industry that helps get the global economy back on it’s feet.  By diversifying risk across the globe, one country or region doesn’t experience the full burden of loss.  Paying one claim at a time to help restore the loss of each individual or business.
  • Impact on employment – the insurance industry is constantly looking to attract and train new talent.  As it is experiencing a brain drain in the next decade, the industry needs to hire and train professionals.  This will help the US and global employment numbers.  As well as the insurance industry, provides employers the assurances through systems like Workers Comp, and other 3rd party liability coverage to hire and grow their businesses.
  • Impact to human life – From aiding a family to pay for hospital bills to rebuild after a disaster or bringing peace of mind to a first-time business owner, insurance is a great way to make a difference in the world.
  • Impact on emerging countries – As emerging economies grow, insurance help build and sustain a middle class.  Insurance provides the emerging economy to compound economic growth and protect assets.
  • Charitable involvement – the insurance industry does a tremendous amount collectively to give back to society.

There are many other benefits that are not addressed above, but these are a few.

As the industry groups together, there will have to be a group effort to lead the re-branding and marketing of the insurance industry (the threat of disruption from Insurtech may require it).   The Industry reputation needs to be seen for all the good of the products and people in the industry actually provide – rather than the collective negative view currently.

If the Insurance Industry continues to maintain its integrity and legitimacy, hopefully the image and reputation will turn.

Any insurance professionals reading this article, please continue to do your best to maintain the integrity and legitimacy of those before you – and help promote this wonderful industry.

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Arnold Smith

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