It was the best of insurance times, it was the the worst of insurtech funding times…that was 2022 in a nutshell.
We thought it would be fun at IE to look back the Predictions 2022 features to see what came true this year, before staring into our Mystic Meg crystall ball to predict next year’s trends. The two part feature looking ahead to 2023 will appear later this month.
So here’s the good stuff from last year that was on the money;
MOTORCYCLE BROKING: RETRO & TOURING WERE THE GROWTH AREAS
Your IE editor’s prediction that the revival of BSA and the tedious Covid travel restrictions would shift the market away from big touring bikes and towards naked/retro bikes failed to come true. Touring bikes actually grew in popularity, although volumes remain low at 2500 units or so.
Overall, our prediction that the motorcycle market would grow, thus creating work for specialist brokers was accurate, with the MCIA stats showing a modest 2.8% uptick from Jan-Oct (most recent data). Modern classics were up 12% in 2022, at some 10,700 units, so brands like Royal Enfield, newcomers like Moto Morini, CF Moto, plus the Japanese had a successful year selling retro roadsters, naked all-rounders and adventure styled street machines.
START-UP FUNDING & EMBEDDED
Forrester predicted that 2022 would be the strongest yet for digital insurance start-ups and platforms, with some $20billion being raised. The picture for 2022 was mixed, but the overall consensus seems to be that investment in new tech like eco-systems and platforms was down. Statista estimates that insurtech investment was down from $14.9bn in 2021 to just $4bn during the first half of 2022.
Forrester was on target with their prediction that embedded insurance would become a bigger thing in 2022. They estimated that one third of insurers would embed their products within other brands or partnerships and this was a big trend during the past year. Aviva teamed up with Zego on fleet, Blink worked with Salaam Takaful in Pakistan on travel cover, while Assetinsure recently launched embedded goods in transit cover in Australia on various online purchases.
Rowan Bamford (pictured) at Liberty GTS correctly predicted that governments would become more agrressive in their tax demands, so as to recoup the borrowed cash during the pandemic. He also predicted that many companies would pause for breath, as they got to grips with the acquisitions they had made in 2020-21. Rowan was also spot on when he predicted that ESG and woke considerations regarding a company’s past investments and profits would become a sticking point in some mergers or acquisitions.
With a note on other investments becoming more attractive due to rising interest rates in 2022, and thus draining investor capital into other spheres apart from M&A, Rowan wins out 2022 Seer Of The Year award. Very sharp take on the year indeed.
OXBOW RIGHT ON ESG/SUSTAINABILITY C SUITE
Oxbow Partners accurately predicted the rise of the ESG/Sustainable Business Unit within insurance companies back in December 2021, with C Suite departmental heads and the empires of staff and resources that go with that policy. Oxbow also noted last year that insurance brands would face close scrutiny on greenwashing from regulators, investors and the public.
Partly, they were right about that, although the existing consensus on electric cars being somehow inherently “green” is still underpinning much investment and corporate PR. This attitude prevailed in 2022, despite the blatant child labour, environmental damage, water consumption and modern slavery used to extract and manufacture the raw materials for batteries and battery packs being highlighted in the mainstream media.
Lorenz Graff at bsurance rightly highlighted the rapid shift away from insurance brands demanding documents, to using data sources to track digital footprints. He also predicted more embedded insurance offers, driven by AI and based around people’s changing lifestyles, especially in the Life sector.
In some respects 2022 did see some movement in the Life sector, although many UK brands continued to sell Life cover using the traditional fear factor. The backlog of cancelled appointments, operations and rationing of NHS treatments was arguably a bigger driver than either AI or embedded tech, as regards the continued take up in private Life and Healthcare insurance in the UK market.
CYBER; RANSOMWARE ATTACKS WILL GROW
That prediction was made by Raf Sanchez, Head of Cyber Services at Beazley back in early January 2022.
The prediction was that cyber criminals would continue to look for easy pickings within companies and use the denial of access to systems and data to extort cash. Of course nobody predicted the Russia-Ukraine war, but aside from that and the suspected ransomware attacks that emerged from the conflict, it has been a tough year for insurers around the world, as customer records have been downloaded and dispalyed on the dark web. Some companies have paid, some not.
Safe to predict another year of ransoms and data hacks lie ahead, regardless of any peace treaty negotiated over the loss of territory in eastern Ukraine. The continued growth of digital currencies, backed by governments, the World Bank, Fed, WEF and others, will all provide the means to funnel the ill-gotten gains into digital blind alleys too.