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The Ultimate Disruption: Trump Wins

Robert Regis Hyle | November 09, 2016

It’s a new day, America. I just wish I knew what that meant. I’m sure I’m not alone in wondering where things are headed over the next four years. People who believe they know where Donald Trump will lead this country are only kidding themselves. He has been an outsider like no other person ever elected president.

He also believes, for the most part, that he did this on his own. He has battled with members of his own party as well as with the opposition and even though the Republicans now control both houses of Congress and the executive branch, we can hardly expect business as usual.

The newly elected president will not betray the people who put him in office, at least not yet. His winning margin over Hillary Clinton doesn’t scream mandate, but this was as much a victory for Donald Trump then it was a victory for the Republican Party.

As I listened to a gracious and humble victor early Wednesday morning, I was heartened by his words and believe his agenda will revolve around bringing some unity to this country rather than settling scores.

Still, as I listened to the pundits discuss what the election of Donald Trump will mean for America, one voice stood out: This is how Trump won the election. Can we expect a 70-year-old man to change the way he does things?

At the ACORD conference last week, I spent time speaking with people about insurance issues, but for fun I asked them what they felt would happen after the election. Most believed Hillary Clinton would be victorious and there would not be any great changes in the business climate of this country.

And if Trump was elected? The general agreement was that no one could predict the future with such an unpredictable person in charge. Novarica’s Matt Josefowicz agrees: “Most insurers' corporate strategy departments were reading the same polls as everyone else, and were planning for a Democratic administration with a possible Democratic senate,” he says.

Josefowicz believes insurers should start worrying about healthcare again. “However flawed the Affordable Care Act may have been in the industry's eyes, at least it was a known quantity,” he says. “With the incoming administration's plans to repeal-and-replace facing no opposition, everything may be up for grabs again.”

He also believes insurers need to worry about interest rates. “While the Trump campaign has indicated they favor higher interest rates, market uncertainty, a global low-interest environment, a rhetorical focus on jobs creation, and a Fed chair whose term lasts until 2018 may indicate that the current ultra-low interest rates will continue for the next few years at least,” says Josefowicz. “Insurers will remain in the double-bind of being resource strapped while badly needing to invest in new capabilities.”

We have spent a great deal of time over the last two years talking about disruption in the world of insurance and technology. Most have looked at it as a good thing for the industry and discussed the need to get on board or be left behind.

Well, the ultimate disruption took place on Nov. 8, when Donald Trump shocked the world and was elected 45th President of the United States. No one predicted such an event would take place, so it seems silly to try and predict what the benefits or consequences of such an electoral decision will mean. We’ll find out soon enough how much disruption we can handle.

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