Article | July 14, 2022
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.
Article | July 15, 2022
Despite ongoing concerns about COVID-19 variants, most insurers anticipate a faster economic recovery and increased investments in digital technology in 2022. One-third of those polled expect revenues to be "significantly higher" next year. The global demand for insurance is expected to rise further.
Insurers face a variety of challenges, including economic hurdles such as the possibility of sustained inflation; sustainability concerns such as climate risk, diversity, and financial inclusion; and rapidly changing consumer product and purchase preferences.
Attracting (and Retaining) Talent Will Be Critical in a Hybrid Work Environment
Future of work considerations have also grown in importance as carriers strive to develop flexible return-to-office strategies while also struggling to retain and recruit high-level talent in a highly competitive job market, particularly for those with advanced technology and data analytics skills.
Insurers Must Find a Way to Balance Technological Adoption with the Preservation of the Human Touch
Insurers are becoming more reliant on emerging technologies and data sources to increase efficiency, improve cybersecurity, and expand capabilities across the organization. Most, however, should focus on improving the customer experience by streamlining processes with automation and providing customized service where needed and preferred.
Opportunities to Increase Stakeholder Trust Have Arisen as a Result of the Pandemic
On a more fundamental level, many carriers should consider taking steps to increase stakeholder trust in order to increase retention and profitability. This could be accomplished in part by increasing transparency in how insurers collect and use personal data. They can also become more proactive in seeking comprehensive solutions to large-scale societal issues, such as reducing the financial impact of future pandemics and closing coverage gaps for natural disasters.
Article | August 9, 2022
Insurtech is advancing, and the significance of an effective policy management system cannot be underrated. Policy management professionals understand the payoff it offers to an organization. On the other hand, a policy management system that just isn’t a good fit can prove to be a lot more expensive than previously budgeted.
So what is it actually costing you? Is your policy management software updated, or are you still using an old version? Do you know how much it is hampering your financial productivity? Even then, often, an outdated system may not be affecting your process significantly but damaging it in other intangible ways that are just as crucial to business success. Analyze your current system for the following:
Financial Implications of the Current System
Manual processes for policy creation and management make up the costliest part of running a policy management system. Paper-based solutions incur high costs that can be easily avoided by using digital systems that use automation extensively. With thousands of policies and compliance procedures for your team to manage, costs can add up quickly, especially with printing and distribution costs.
In addition to these expenses, manual processes are also responsible for policies being misplaced or lost. It may also result in a large fine for noncompliance if some policies are accessible to unauthorized employees.
Organized policy management procedures are critical for high operational efficiencies. Policy management systems that require manual supervision can prove to be expensive over the long run as they require employees to monitor them constantly. However, automated policy management systems enable policy teams to optimize their resources better and direct team members to speed up other more crucial processes.
Furthermore, modern policy management systems don’t need constant monitoring and require only a one time set-up. This enables teams to allocate resources where they are urgently needed.
If you have an outdated policy management system, chances are it takes a lot more micro-managing than it needs to. Businesses must be able to optimize their resources better but with old and outdated systems, it ends up cutting into the productivity and performance on an everyday basis.
In addition, it puts undue stress on employees to keep up with compliance norms and changing regulations and policies. Policy management often requires various employees to pitch in with their inputs, and using an old system that doesn’t offer the option to collaborate can take away a huge chunk of productivity daily.
What’s the Bottom Line?
Automated policy management systems can undoubtedly save you a lot of time and resources. If you’re facing sky-high costs just to maintain your policy management system, it might be time for a rethink. From automating the lifecycle of policies and procedures to streamlining the management of policies by your agents, consolidating a policy management process with software is one of the best insurtech trends to look out for in 2023. It is probably what your organization needs to move the needle.
Article | April 16, 2020
Since we have launched the COVID-19 Insurance Plan on ETMONEY, our users have been insuring themselves against COVID-19 in huge numbers. And there is a good reason for that. While we are all taking precautions it is a smart idea to be prepared for any eventuality.
But if you are someone who is still thinking whether you should get amazing one of its kind insurance, there are 10 reasons you should be getting it right now.