06 October 2020 - 17:30
Living longer… Living healthier
Challenges and opportunities of the demographic transition
We live in a world where people live longer than ever before. According to projections, the share of over-60 population is expected to dramatically increase in next 50 years, doubling in size. Today’s demographic transition is the result of a decline in fertility and an improvement in survival in relation with the increased use of more effective medical treatments. Today, although the demographic boom is a key issue all around the globe, two thirds of the world’s older people live in developing regions, where the population growth rate is higher compared to developed countries.
The increase of life expectancy and the decline of birth rates can be considered important achievements of modern science and healthcare, bringing several opportunities but also constraints. Increased life expectancy, in fact, does not only consist in a longer lifespan, but also in a gradual and slow decrease in physical and mental capacity, later retirement, the loss of loved ones, loneliness, dependence on others and consequences that are strictly affected by the social and economic environment.
Another important aspect to consider is that this process does not only affect individuals but also their families. This means that the elderly can find themselves in very different situations that need to be addressed accordingly. In addition, the seniors’ lifestyles can vary to a large degree: certain, for example, are very active, feel healthy and want to travel. It is therefore of the utmost importance to guarantee to these people, with particular regard to people over 60, the chance to live ageing in the best possible way, with services providing proper economic, social, psychological and healthcare support.
Even if this phenomenon affects many sectors and several firms all over the world are working to assist the ageing population, the insurance industry can play a strategic role offering special solutions to meet the seniors’ needs. Generali’s offer is dedicated to people of all ages, but the Group intends to further expand it and tailor its services to better address today’s demographic changes and meet all the needs of the elderly and their families, to make their life easier and make them feel that they are not alone.
The Generali 2021 strategy speeded up the Group’s assistance proposition in terms of Innovation and Digital Transformation, further accelerated by the need to respond to the COVID-19 emergency. This meant boosting the digital transformation of distribution, also through the digitalization of the agent-customer relationship, while keeping in mind the importance of the human touch that distinguishes Generali and constitutes the foundation of the Group’s ambition to be Lifetime Partner to its customers. In this context, Generali also launched the Community of Senior Services, born to support the Strategic Project on Senior Offers with the aim to identify innovative solutions to respond to the seniors’ needs as demographic trends continue to evolve and new challenges arise. Leveraging on the Innovation and Digital Transformation pillar of the Generali 2021 strategy, the Community of Senior Services pursues its goal working in close partnership with international colleagues, boosting collaboration, team spirit, innovation and promoting new ways of working that are enriched by the different backgrounds and experiences of its members.
All of this provides fertile ground for the development of an offer that includes support lines, healthy ageing support, medical second opinion, digital wellness platforms, concierge services, home modification services and family support, among others. Indeed, Generali’s awareness about the significance of the demographic transition and the situation created by COVID-19 includes a particular attention toward the world of caregivers and the development of new technologies aiming at making life easier for the elderly, helping them to be more autonomous and independent, for example when booking healthcare services, assistance, and consultations.
In the last few months, COVID-19 had a significant impact not only in terms of health risks, but also for what concerns isolation as well as the increased need of senior citizens for autonomy and financial protection. The crisis will have a long-lasting impact, introducing and exacerbating feelings such as fear and uncertainty. This is why Generali took action to develop several additional solutions such as the provision of reliable information on COVID-19, health assistance, out-of-home services, and remote symptoms monitoring.
The COVID-19 pandemic posed serious challenges in an already complex scenario characterized by unprecedented demographic changes. In such a context, Generali is all the more committed to enhancing its actions, also leveraging on its Senior Services Community of Practice to provide senior citizens with all the support they need, in line with its sustainability commitment and with the Group’s corporate purpose: to enable people to shape a safer future by caring for their lives and dreams.