Insurers must get with tech: McKenna

The director of the Finance & Technology Centre said the direct comparison websites emerging in the annuity market will “surely’’ be replicated for protection, comparing this to the threat posed by iTunes to the traditional music industry.

Speaking at the Protection Review Conference in London today (11 July), he said: ‘’People now expect to run their lives on mobile devices. They expect total ease of use when buying life insurance, but even if the industry is slowly reacting to technology, it continues to operate an online version of a 19th-century process.”

The industry also discounts younger consumers at its peril, Mr McKenna added, and risks underestimating the rise of telematics technology to monitor customers’ health.

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He said: “Using a similar device as the Google glasses in medical biometrics could make underwriting as simple as a voice command. This could be used to help underwriters understand whether soneone has really given up smoking, for instance.

“We have to develop services, with the help of technology, to give consumers, rather than what we think they want.”