The insurance market has provided a multitude of positive stories as well as the odd note of pessimism over the past year. There has possibly never been a better time for industry commentators. Plenty of news for debate, controversy and celebration. So, it seems apt to look back on our blogs of 2018 to pick our highs and lows of the year.

Artificial Intelligence was never far from the news

To start with the highs, this was a year of seemingly endless technology possibilities for the insurance market. No review of these would be complete without investigating the potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Indeed, we did just that at the start of the year with AI, an insurance revolution – fact or fiction? We concluded that AI of itself will not revolutionise the insurance market, but it has the potential to radically improve the industry.

AI has continued to dominate column inches over the year. Scroll onto December and Forbes has weighed in with 120 AI predictions for 2019. Although not exclusively insurance focused, the article is full of information, insight and predictions. On the whole, each of the contributors promise “…less hype and more practical, precise, and narrow AI” in the coming year. Insurance will certainly benefit from practical applications, rather than theoretical hype.

Blockchain also attracted a fair share of interest

Another subject of much debate was blockchain. Our conclusion in  Blockchain – not just for the techies was that blockchain should not be ignored, but it will take several years before all the issues are addressed.

The Gartner survey mid-way through the year revealed the scarcity of current blockchain deployments. The article is full of interesting insight, including this sobering statistic for those promoting this technology. 34% of those surveyed had no interest in blockchain.

Accenture finished the year on a much more optimistic note with their Ultimate guide to blockchain insurance. According to their research, 84% of insurers say that blockchain-based ledgers and smart contracts are reinventing the way they engage with new partners. And their conclusion? Well, Accenture definitely see bright horizons: “The promise and implications of blockchain are so profound that the technology could revolutionise business practices as we know them”.

And what of the insurance market as a whole?

Finally, a look at the insurance market as a whole. We quoted the Aviva Chief Executive Mark Wilson in our blog The insurance business model needs fixing. Wilson said  “The dysfunctional market is a problem for the whole industry that requires an industry-wide solution”. This statement should be viewed as a real opportunity.

This is the time to fix the so called ‘dysfunctional market’. There is the potential to move the market towards a world of true solution led insurance. This is obviously the view of the Aviva leadership. As we end 2019 they have given us a glimpse of what a new insurance world may look like. Their new AvivaPlus subscription-style insurance is designed to meet the needs of the modern insurance customer. This model moves away from presenting products in silos and offers solutions based on the customers. Initially the AvivaPlus model offers home and motor insurance. Ultimately the plan is to add additional insurance lines.

So, let’s end the year on a high. For those in the insurance market with passion, vision and a determination to put customers first, the future looks bright.