November 14, 2017

Amazon is a largish entity, you’d think. Large enough, you’d suppose, to pretty much do what it pleases. Large enough, you might also imagine, to swallow the insurance sector whole, should that be the course it chooses to flow down.

As large, though, as Amazon is, insurers, it seems, did not see it coming. Not until sometime last week, when Insurance Ache spotted its approach and set off the alarm. ‘Look out, insurers, your days are approaching their end!’

There have been hints of such things dropped before, of course. And insurers have chosen not to panic. Some will say that IA’s being alarmist. But then you’d be alarmed if something looked set to sweep away the sum of your readers.

Obviously, it goes without saying that Amazon has the data and the infrastructure to do insurance if it chooses. But complacent insurers all chose to suppose that Amazon chose not so to do.

What the mighty Amazon was doing, it now transpires, was not lying quietly idle, but surreptitiously sneaking up on snoozy insurers. Amazon, so rumours suggest, has been secretly scouring the City for recruits in the world of insurance.

When quizzed about these rumours by the Ache, an Amazon spokesperson chose not to speak. Not telling, they firmly no-commented. But data mongers GlobalData say they are, that Amazon’s sights are set on insurance disruption.

In a survey by said GlobalData, one in five consumers said they’d be happy to buy car insurance from Amazon. Throw in Prime and they’d probably all go for it. Amazon’s trump card could be that it’s trusted, where insurers are generally not.

Aside from the distribution, the data, and the cross-sell customer base, Amazon’s in-home AI devices like Echo and Dot can keep tabs on customers, work out what they might need to insure, and whether their claim looks dodgy.

So that’s it for those poor old insurers. Disrupted all the way to an untimely demise. Perhaps they could still underwrite some risks, but only the ones no-one else wants, or the aggregate slough of such stuff.


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