On the one hand: Some leading competitors are generating stronger profitability and return on equity (ROE) than for many years. Insurers are learning how to survive in the fast-moving, price-transparent world of distribution via price-comparison websites (PCW). Forward valuations for leaders are comfortable and not indicative of an industry which investors believe to be in imminent danger.
Yet at the same time, personal insurance CEOs thinking about the medium-term horizon tell us of very legitimate worries over a 5-10 year horizon: will there be demand for today’s insurance product? Will they retain any control of the customer relationship? Will they be out maneuvered by faster or more agile competitors?
So what is really going on and what are the choices for executives?