Just to be clear right in the beginning, regulation and tech startups are not the major threats for a life insurer these days. It makes sense to have a closer look at what is boiling in the kitchens of the new (and old) competitors:
1) Asset managers offering simple, easy and cheap alternatives to classic life insurance saving plans. Transparency about costs will foster this and asset managers are already present in the retirement phase.
2) Banks are offering tailor-made structured products. Especially in markets with rising interest rates this will really become a big threat.
3) Big Techs are preparing their market entry (or are already present). They know all about their clients and how to deal with them.
4) Confrontative startups have fresh and innovative ideas about making life insurance easier and more flexible. Quite often they are backed by (re)insurance companies.
And last but not least:
5) Reinsurers are discovering the real value of retail clients (and their data). They cooperate with front-end focused insurtech startups and create their own primary insurers.