Many of the leading global insurers have diversified their global footprints through acquisitions or organic growth. In their quest for future growth, however, they often focus on competitive differentiation by focusing on investments in products or in back-end insurance functions. In our view, distribution can offer insurers a more secure path to sustainable competitive differentiation because it directly strengthens customer relationships, improving the ability of insurers to both acquire and retain customers.
To ensure a return on international investments, insurers should focus on developing innovative distribution strategies that are designed to address the unique needs of their markets. Developing innovative distribution strategies begins with assessing the potential channel options. While options vary across countries, most feature a mix of agents, brokers, bancassurance, affinity and retail, and direct to consumer (D2C). We see leading international insurers devising successful strategies by using a structured process to integrate global, regional, and local perspectives.