The Robots Are Coming: How automation is rapidly changing the face of the insurance world.

The Robots Are Coming:
How automation is rapidly changing the face of the insurance world.
By: Mike McDonough

Remember the old horror movies that ominously showed how we would all be replaced by robots one day? What if I told you that future may not be as fictional as we once thought?

Automation is the process of using technology to streamline or accelerate jobs or processes. For years people have been using automation to make everyday life easier. Whether it’s cooking, cleaning, driving or working, technology has made great leaps recently to make life easier and decrease the work we have to do.

But that’s the problem; soon we won’t have any work to do at all.

According to a survey by the BBC, automation could soon take up to 47% of all jobs in the US. That’s a staggering number, but what’s more startling is how quickly it’s happening. The number of jobs claimed by automation could be nearly 5 million between today and 2020. You read that right – from now until the end of the decade, technology will claim over one million jobs every year.

But the insurance industry must be safe, right?

Wrong. Automation is set to claim over 25% of the insurance industry’s full-time positions over the next decade.

And one of the areas that could feel the tech crunch most of all is an area that’s in high demand today: Underwriting.

According to The Insurance Journal, Underwriting could see up to 35% of its jobs swallowed by emerging technology. That’s big news since companies are currently scrambling to fill openings in that area. And when systems develop to understand more complex natural languages, more areas like sales, IT and even marketing could feel the heat.

So what does that mean for people in the field today? Less people will learn the business at lower levels, and that means fewer employees will have the skills necessary for leadership roles that oversee all that automation.

Talent is going to become a more precious commodity as technology takes its place. Executive leadership positions will become harder to fill as training is replaced by tech and entry-level employees are swapped out for data entry specialists.

If you’re an insurance employer that wants to avoid the talent gap that comes with tech, start investing in retention and training to build that next generation of leadership organically. Otherwise, you may not get the qualified applicants you’re looking for when your current executives retire.

If you’re a job seeker in the insurance field, make sure you seek out training that you might not be getting on the job. That could come in the form of online classes, outside reading or hands-on training from more senior employees. You’ll find that extra work invaluable when you apply to higher positions against your untrained peers.

Automation is coming, and it will be here before you know it. The best way to prepare for the tech trends to come is to make sure you have the right talent in place as a company and to seek out training as an employee. After all, innovative thinking, personal connections and true talent in the insurance field are all things that a machine can never replace.

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