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Library: EY – Growth through differentiation: Four principles for mutual insurers

Executive summary

Mutual insurers represent an important and growing sub-segment of the overall insurance market, with some of the most prominent and successful brands in the industry. Mutual insurers, which we at EY refer to as ‘mutuals,’ are better capitalised than their stock insurer counterparts and grow at marginally higher rates, though they run underwriting losses some years due to their practice of paying dividends to policyholders.

 The Digital Insurer reviews EY’s Report on Growth through differentiation: Four principles for mutual insurers

Mutuality has a future – if it holds to four key principles

Just as the strategic priorities of stock carriers are changing, mutuals also face an evolving landscape, with fast-rising customer expectations, new competitive threats and disruptive technologies – all issues at the top of C-suite and board agendas across the insurance industry.

Opportunity for growth

To understand the most important imperatives for mutual and cooperative insurers and define just what sets them apart from stock carriers, EY conducted an extensive scan of the mutual market (pdf) during 2020. Specifically, we looked at how mutuals of all sizes and types devise and operationalise purpose-led strategies to differentiate themselves and accelerate growth. Indeed, mutuals seem uniquely well positioned in an era where purpose and long-term value creation have become strategic imperatives for the entire industry.

Based on analysis from the International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF)1, mutual insurers account for approximately 27% of the global insurance industry market share. Over 5,000 mutual, cooperative and member-owned insurers generated more than $1.2 trillion in gross written premiums in 2017 and achieved a 30% growth in premiums in the 10-year period since the onset of the financial crisis (2007 to 2017), compared to 17% growth of the total global insurance industry.

We conducted benchmarking surveys in more than 35 markets around the world, and engaged 140 participants, mainly senior executives from EY’s Insurance practice. We did a deep analysis of 10 mature mutual insurance markets and the market performance of more than 50 mutual insurers.

Four core principles of mutuals

Our research scan focused on the areas that serve as a framework for mutual operations, including policyholder and member engagement, financial benefit, community orientation, value-add services, governance and funding structure, product and policy differentiation, and portfolio strategy and innovation.

From this research, we identified four core principles that differentiate mutual insurance companies from stock carriers:

  • Purpose-led strategies prioritise long-term thinking and value over profitability.
  • Member centricity requires owner engagement models unique from standard customer engagement models.
  • Value creation for core and peripheral member segments is critical to growth and innovation.
  • Social and economic change across local communities and underserved segments is fundamental to brand and purpose.

Collectively, these principles represent a strategic playbook for mutuals to find success in the dynamic, technology-enabled and purpose-led insurance industry of the future. This article explores the four principles and describes the mutual maturity model we developed based on the research. It also includes survey findings and panelist comments from a recent virtual EY event attended by more than 150 senior insurance executives.

See the full report for more…

Link to Full Article:: click here

Link to Source:: click here

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