Michael Costonis, Author at Insurance Thought Leadership




Michael Costonis

Michael Costonis

Michael Costonis is Accenture’s global insurance lead. He manages the insurance practice across P&C and life, helping clients chart a course through digital disruption and capitalize on the opportunities of a rapidly changing marketplace.

With over 25 years of experience in insurance, Costonis has helped shape the future for some of the world’s most successful companies by developing strategies, managing technology transformations and navigating business process change. In his career with Accenture, he has worked with more than 50 leading insurers in 18 countries.

Costonis is a sought-after public speaker and author of numerous articles in leading insurance publications. He has been quoted in The New York Times, Bloomberg News, Financial Times, Forbes, Best’s Review, Insurance & Technology and more. Costonis received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Swarthmore College. He is based in Philadelphia.

Recent Articles by Michael Costonis

Insurance Hasn’t Changed, but… (Part 5)

This is the fifth part of a five-part series. The previous articles can be found here, here, here and here. If you’re just tuning in to this series, here’s a brief recap of what we’ve discussed so far: Insurance is ripe for disruption, and insurers must balance two measures to respond. They need to get […]

Insurance Hasn’t Changed, but… (Part 4)

This is the fourth part of a five-part series. The first three are: here, here and here.   It’s time to take a long, hard look at the insurance industry. Customers see insurance as a grudge purchase, not as something they buy eagerly to gain peace of mind so they can live boldly. Customers don’t […]

Insurance Hasn’t Changed, but… (Part 3)

This is the third in a five-part series. The first two parts can be found here and here. If you’ve been to a home improvement store lately, your experience may have depended on a few factors. For example, the process of buying a lightbulb is incredibly complicated. What’s the difference between a watt and a […]

Insurance Hasn’t Changed, but… (Part 2)

This is the second part of a five-part series. The first part is here. We’ve all read the productivity articles about the world leader who eats the same thing for breakfast, repeats the same 40-minute workout and reads the newspaper in the exact same order. We’ve heard about elite athletes with rigid pre-game routines, down […]

Insurance Hasn’t Changed Much, but…

Insurers cannot afford to be complacent when disruption has upended other industries. The industry can, and must, embrace change and the future-fearlessly. Insurance hasn’t changed much in 200 years. It’s still about capital placed against risk. It’s still about creating tailored products for customers. It’s still about using information to sell through channels, to generate […]

Core Transformation Is Not Negotiable

Many insurers are focused on how to innovate, but most do not have a stable, cost-efficient core to support and fund their innovation efforts. Both are necessary. We’ve all read the productivity articles about the world leader who eats the same thing for breakfast, repeats the same 40-minute workout and reads the newspaper in the […]

How to Adapt to Driverless Cars

There is little doubt that the widespread adoption of autonomous vehicles will have a huge impact on the automobile insurance industry. Research and computer modeling conducted by Accenture in collaboration with the Stevens Institute of Technology indicates that as many as 23 million fully autonomous vehicles will be traveling U.S. highways by 2035 (out of about 250 […]

How Can Insurers Leverage the Cloud?

Insurers often fail to embrace the cloud for three reasons—and all three are fallacies. Accenture recently worked with a multinational insurer on its cloud implementation and helped it achieve an 80% reduction in costs of a particular environment of an application suite. However, many insurers have been reluctant to tap into the power of the […]

Why the Cloud Makes It All Happen

New technologies like blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI) and the IoT offer insurers a better way to engage customers. One crucial enabler? The cloud. It would be an understatement to say that insurers have many more tools at their disposal today: new technologies, advanced analytics, access to broader data sources, for example. But these new tools […]

The Cloud’s Vital Role in Digital Revolution

Insurers often overlook the importance of cloud computing in their quest for digital transformation. They fail to recognize that the cloud is an essential component of a successful digital strategy. Many insurers are positioning themselves to take advantage of the digital revolution that is sweeping the industry. Some companies, however, are neglecting an essential element […]

Busting Myths on the Cloud (Part 2)

Many insurance companies are not moving to cloud computing because they believe they can’t recover their sunk costs in IT infrastructure. This is not correct. Insurers can achieve big total cost of ownership (TCO) savings by migrating to the cloud. Cloud computing offers insurers substantial benefits as they endeavor to adapt to changing market conditions […]

Time to Bust Myths on Cloud Computing

Insurers are under increasing pressure to accelerate innovation to keep pace with new disruptive technologies and changing customer behavior. Cloud computing provides a crucial vehicle for much-needed digital innovation. It underpins all the major digital advances insurers need to adopt to satisfy future customer needs and meet long-term business objectives. Innovations as diverse as digital […]

Can’t We All Just Get Along?

In many insurance companies, claims and procurement departments do not work well together, even though a closer alignment could bring a number of benefits. Why do these two functions spend so much time debating their respective areas of responsibility? In part, it’s because they co-exist as uncomfortable partners, each with their own biases and interpretations. […]

How to Face Rising Compliance Risk?

As digital capabilities expand, so do compliance risks—especially those related to privacy and cyber risk. Enhanced analytics and visualization tools are providing insurers with new and better ways to identify, manage and report risks. But along with the availability of more sophisticated technology comes increasing compliance risks related to privacy, cyber risk and the use […]

Platform Economy: Unprecedented

Just as the industrial era changed every aspect of life, the digital economy era will bring tremendous change to the insurance industry. With the rise of the Internet of Things and the wealth of data it could potentially produce about the lives and assets of the insured, carriers need to consider where they might face […]

5 Stages on Journey to Personalized Insurance

How well do insurers know their customers? Consider Maria, a 30-something woman living in a large city with her fiancé and his two children. Their household income is between $50,000 and $75,000, and they own one vehicle and a three-bedroom townhouse. Historically, this could have been enough information for an insurer to provide adequate customer […]

Are You Ready for the IoT?

It’s no longer a question of whether insurers should prepare for the Internet of Things (IoT), but when and how to do so. Connected cars and homes are already here, with Ford’s CEO predicting driverless cars on the road by 2020 (the same year that Toyota plans to launch its driverless car). But preparing for […]

Ready to Be an ‘Insurer of Things’?

The saying goes: The only constant is change-and, in our technologically enabled world, change continues to quicken in pace. For insurers grappling with legacy systems and striving to become more customer-centric, another shift is coming. In fact, many would argue it’s already here. Welcome to the Internet of Things. Are you ready to be an […]

A Blind Spot for Independent Agents?

In our survey of nearly 1,200 independent agents (IAs) in the U.S., we discovered that IAs generally don’t see technology as the answer to their needs. Indeed, they ranked digital capabilities as fifth out of 12 overall priority areas. In this Insurance Chart of the Week, we’ll examine IAs’ attitudes toward technology. Independent agents’ lower […]

Next Steps for Insurance Companies in the 'Sharing Economy' (Part 3 of 3)

As of January 2013, there were 46 active car-sharing programs and over 1 million members in North America alone. Worldwide, car-sharing companies operate in more than 27 countries on five continents with more than 1.7 million members. Given the momentum behind the sharing economy, it may be time for insurers to take a closer look at […]

Is That Opportunity Calling in the 'Sharing Economy'? (Part 2)

Last week, we looked at the potential of the sharing economy and some of its top performers.This week, we’ll explore how insurance fits into that picture. Start-ups in the car-sharing economy are attracting major investors who believe in their business model. There is, however, one area in which start-ups have not been able to gain traction—insurance. Many tell […]

The 'Sharing Economy': What It Means for Insurers (Part 1 of 3)

Insurers have always been at the forefront of responding to user needs. Direct marketing and online portals make it easier for consumers to understand and purchase insurance. Usage-based insurance (UBI) allows safe drivers, particularly those who drive less, to reduce their premiums. Even insurance company-sponsored coffee houses offer a unique way to gain financial service […]

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