Crystal ball gazing: what will insurance look like in the future?

I recently signed up for superannuation. I'm sure I'll look back on this one day and remember it was a good decision. I was sitting there the other day, in the bank up on Constellation Drive, and I'm tapping away on the keyboard looking at some imaginary dollar figure that's supposedly going to protect me in the future, come what may.

That's the problem with the future. It's relatively quiet. The future sends no messages back to the present. So, we're left with trying to guess at what the right things are to do today to ensure we are still around tomorrow. This is OK for the little decisions like what to buy for dinner or whether to go on holiday. But what about the big stuff—doing your OE, moving country, choosing a job, getting married, having kids, saving for retirement. How do you know if any of them are going to be the right decision in 10 years?

Tricky, eh?

So, given the future has, as far as I can see, still failed to give us firm indication of its plans, one of the main goals in any business is figuring out how do we protect the company and ensure it survives? We know we need to make good business decisions for tomorrow like hiring the right people, or planning a new marketing campaign.

But what about the big stuff?

From an insurance industry perspective, this may include driverless cars, homes that protect themselves, robo-advice, peer-to-peer insurance, blockchain, Bitcoin, Ethereum, IOT, drones, intelligent homes, robot workers, global workforces, quote aggregators, the sharing economy, micro-rentals, urban intensification, congestion-charging, electric vehicles, and fin-tech.

These are all part of our future but they are part of our insurers’ future too, including AA Insurance. So, would anyone like to tell me which one is sending the strongest message back to the present telling us we ought to pay attention to it?

One thing we know about the future is that it is unpredictable. And so, it is likely that people will always create accidents. Whether it be the captain of the Titanic suggesting his eye test could wait until after the ship got back to shore, or a failure to appreciate just how much someone else’s laptop doesn’t bounce.

Therefore, it is likely we're always going to be liable for something.

Insurance will change—and we’ll need to change with it. Life will always create mishaps regardless of how we cause the damage in future. Maybe you are driving a shared car, spilling coffee on a shared iPad, or sailing a shared ship to New York with 2,000 passengers and a firm belief that icebergs are the stuff of fairy tales. Whatever it is, you're probably going to do something wrong at least once in your life, and need protection if you do.

In a practical sense, we know today some customers are after a very low sum insured on their home’s contents. Merely because what they actually want, is liability cover.

So maybe the future for many customers is about simpler and more flexible liability cover for the many things that could go wrong.

Hopefully, my super will at least pay for that in 20 years.

Aaron Dickinson

GM Strategy, Insights & Analysis, AA Insurance

About AA Insurance

AA Insurance is an independently operated, New Zealand-based joint venture between the New Zealand Automobile Association (NZAA) and Vero Insurance New Zealand Limited (VINZL). Since 1994 we have demonstrated trusted expertise in home, contents and car insurance in New Zealand, and in 2018 introduced commercial small business insurance. We underwrite our own policies and sell direct to New Zealanders. Our 930+ staff look after over 480,000 customers with 970,000 policies.

We proudly partner with Variety NZ and Eden Park and have been consistently recognised by: Reader’s Digest Most Trusted Brands (since 2011) and Quality Service Awards for Car, and Home and Contents Insurance (since 2015), Kantar Customer Leadership Index (since 2019), Canstar Blue Most Satisfied Customers (2011-2018), and the Colmar Brunton Corporate Reputation Index (since 2015) that recognises New Zealand’s most successful companies. AA Insurance was also named Consumer NZ People’s Choice award winner for car, home and contents (2019 and 2020).

AA Insurance has an AA- (Very Strong) Insurer Financial Strength Rating given by Standard and Poor’s (Australia) Pty Ltd. For further information visit

For more information please contact:

Rachael Joel, Botica Butler Raudon Partners, (09) 303 3862, 021 403 504 or

Amanda Fifield, AA Insurance, 027 406 1787,

Media contacts

Customer enquiries

Call us on 0800 500 231 or contact us

Journalist only enquiries

Mobile: 027 406 1787 Email:

Rachael Joel

Group Account Director, Botica Butler Raudon

DDI: (09) 303 3862 Mobile: 021 403 504 Email:

Marketing and sponsorship enquiries