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Insurance is the ultimate shared value industry, where social impact is integral to economic success. Reducing accidents, improving health, and helping organizations better prepare for economic risks all improve the profitability of insurers.

Yet many insurers remain stuck in a passive model rather than actively pursuing shared value, thereby overlooking opportunities to improve outcomes for both the company and society.

This report, developed in collaboration with Shared Value Initiative, Discovery Vitality, IAG, and Skandia, includes illustrative case studies to help insurance leaders re-examine their business strategies. The research also offers ideas for how actors such as NGOs and consumer groups can work with insurers to reduce risk and advance their own missions to improve society. Key topics include healthy aging, safer urban living, disaster resilience, and more secure rural livelihoods.

Top Takeaways

  1. Three mutually reinforcing strategies create shared value in insurance: Focusing on risk prevention; Closing the protection gap for the underserved; and Investing in prevention and protection systems. 
  2. Much like banking, insurance is an enabler of virtually all other sectors. Insurers often need to activate an ecosystem of complementary companies, policymakers, and civil society actors to create shared value.
  3. To create truly powerful impact, insurers need to move beyond a narrow internal focus to embrace an externally-oriented approach that influences the behavior of those they insure.

Insurers that incorporate society’s needs into their core business strategies will find lasting competitive advantage.

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