2019 Insurance M&A outlook

| March 1, 2019

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The stage is set for the continuation of an active insurance industry M&A environment in 2019. Sustained US economic growth, rising interest rates, and higher investment income are among the positive factors bolstering insurance companies’ results in 2018 and positioning them for enhanced top- and bottom-line growth in 2019.

Spotlight

Coöperatie VGZ

Coöperatie VGZ is one of the largest non-profit health insurers in the Netherlands. Through brands such as VGZ and IZA, we want to offer our 4.2 million insureds the best care at the best price. With around 2,500 people, we form an enthusiastic, informal and young organization that works on smarter care organization every day.

OTHER ARTICLES

3 MODERNIZATION OPTIONS FOR INSURERS

Article | April 7, 2020

The global outbreak of coronavirus has exposed an unpleasant truth: many insurers are stuck with legacy systems that prevent them from offering seamless digital experiences to their customers and/or employees. Even more damaging, they can’t lower operating costs at a time when claims are climbing, and margins are disappearing. This isn’t a momentary problem. As bleak as things seem at the moment, one day this crisis will be over…and property & casualty (P&C) providers will still seek to modernize to remain competitive. Reconciling this seemingly contradictory mission – how can an insurer reduce operating costs while providing a better experience?

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Online Business Insurance & Why It Matters for Entrepreneurs

Article | March 2, 2020

If you’re a new online entrepreneur, I’m sure you’ve realized how much there is to read up on and prepare for when it comes to being ready to successfully run a business on your own. One of those big things that so many people overlook are the different types of insurance you need to make sure you’re protected in all circumstances as a business owner.

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Will your insurance IT investments pay off?

Article | April 12, 2021

Automated claims processing, price comparison platforms, mobile bill paying—these are just some of the digital services that insurance customers expect and insurers want to provide. As the demand for digital skyrockets, so does the need for insurers to invest in IT. In the past seven years, the share of IT in total operating costs of property-and-casualty (P&C) insurers increased 22 percent. The rise of digital means technology is no longer a cost center. Rather, it is an asset that, if managed well, can increase growth and profitability. But do these IT investments pay off? As the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbates already increasing cost pressures, insurers’ IT budgets are under scrutiny; they want to see the business impact of their IT investments. Insurers with targeted IT investments achieve better growth and performance Data from McKinsey’s Insurance 360° benchmarking survey provide strong evidence of the positive business impact of targeted IT investments. In fact, insurers that invest more in technology outpace competitors that don’t pursue targeted investments in business measures such as gross written premium (GWP) growth, return to shareholders, and expense and loss ratio (exhibit). As an example, in life insurance, companies that invested more in IT saw a greater reduction in expense ratios (by 2.0 percentage points) and higher returns on technical reserves2 (1.7 percentage points) when compared with insurers with lower IT investments. Insurers achieved these outcomes within three to five years of making their investments. For P&C insurers, those with high IT investments achieved approximately twice the top-line GWP growth of low IT investors. High IT investments also produced a greater reduction in combined ratios when compared with those with low IT investment. Four areas for targeted IT investment So what kinds of technology investments can help insurers achieve growth and improve productivity and performance? Investments in four areas are critical: Marketing and sales: Marketing technology solutions can increase sales and processing efficiency, improve the quality of core customer-facing processes such as policy inquiries and policy applications, and improve customers’ overall experiences. McKinsey’s Insurance 360° benchmarking data show that tech investments in this category can facilitate top-line growth for P&C insurers by up to 20–40 percent; for life insurers, that growth could be 10–25 percent over a three- to five-year period. Underwriting and pricing: Automated underwriting fraud detection can improve the likelihood that insurers correctly identify fraud and set accurate prices. A pricing tool kit that analyzes pricing across competitors and enables a flexible, more segmented market versus technical pricing further improves profit margins. Insurers that deploy these and other product, pricing, and underwriting technologies have seen improvements in their profit margins by 10–15 percent in P&C insurance and 3–5 percent in life insurance. Policy servicing: Workflow automation, artificial intelligence–based decision support, and user experience technologies in policy servicing and within IT can improve the customer self-service experience and automate back-office processes, thus reducing IT and operations expenses. And state-of-the-art self-servicing options will reduce processing times and even improve customer experience. An analysis of programs for large-scale insurance IT modernization finds that insurers that deploy these and other product, pricing, and underwriting technologies have seen improvements in their profit margins by 5–10 percent in P&C insurance and 10–15 percent in life insurance. Claims: P&C insurers can use automated case processing—machine-learning technology trained to process basic claims cases—to segment more complex cases and significantly improve claims accuracy. Combined with better partner integration and steering technologies embedded in a transformation of the claims operating model, such technologies can help P&C insurers improve profit margins by 25–40 percent, according to McKinsey analysis of large-scale IT modernization programs. To realize the full value of IT investments, insurers must strategically allocate their resources and view tech as an asset, not a tool.

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The economy is slowing down: what does it mean for insurance companies?

Article | April 21, 2020

Since 2010, as countries waded out of the recession of 2008, they enjoyed economic growth. Coupled with technological innovation, the global economy really got a boost. But, mirroring Nature’s cycles, it seems it is now time to hit a plateau and slow down. In this article, we explore why the slowdown could be happening and more importantly, what it means for us in the insurance industry.

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Spotlight

Coöperatie VGZ

Coöperatie VGZ is one of the largest non-profit health insurers in the Netherlands. Through brands such as VGZ and IZA, we want to offer our 4.2 million insureds the best care at the best price. With around 2,500 people, we form an enthusiastic, informal and young organization that works on smarter care organization every day.

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