I think of the insurance business (and banking for that matter) as a process-driven technology industry, like manufacturing.
We have a very similar value chain, with engineers pulling costs out of the system and slowly tailoring products to peoples’ uses. Over time, the systems employ fewer, more skilled people and the products become ever more commoditized.
Value and innovation are not revolutionary in these businesses, but incremental, and brands are a key differentiator among the otherwise indistinguishable elite few operators.
The most powerful in the business are those most gifted salesmen that can make a commodity feel less like one, all while quietly making it more so.