What makes an insurance coverage provider an insurance coverage provider and never a generic monetary providers group? This is greater than a philosophical thought experiment.
I feel the perfect reply to that is underwriting. A provider may, in principle, outsource each a part of their enterprise and so long as it was nonetheless analyzing and pricing danger, you might nonetheless precisely describe it as an insurance coverage provider. Underwriting is the guts of the insurance coverage enterprise.
This is what makes a longitudinal research of underwriters so vital.
Since 2008, Accenture has partnered with The Institutes to survey underwriters about underwriting. To my information, that is the longest-running longitudinal underwriting survey within the trade.
And the outcomes of our most up-to-date P&C Underwriting Survey, carried out final 12 months, are nothing lower than alarming.
Here are 5 key takeaways from the info.
1: Underwriters don’t spend a lot time underwriting.
We discovered that the common underwriter in the present day spends 70% of their time at work on non-underwriting actions. The common underwriter in our research spends 40% of their time on administrative duties, 30% on negotiation and gross sales help, and 30% on precise underwriting.
One underwriter advised our analysis staff that “underwriters have been became advertising and marketing executives as an alternative of underwriting executives.”
Another spoke of “the misperception that expertise has made it simpler for extra workloads. It helps with higher resolution making, nevertheless it provides time for every submission to open and use all the brand new instruments.”
2: Inefficient techniques, redundant inputs and guide processes are the most important hurdles.
These had been probably the most generally described hurdles to underwriting enterprise success by a large margin. Others challenges with small however nonetheless vital pickup had been outdated or rigid techniques, lack of understanding on the level of want, poor group of underwriting info, and inadequate concentrate on coaching.
3: Underwriting high quality is declining… based on underwriters.
We discovered that the proportion of underwriters who describe their underwriting processes and instruments as “superior” has declined significantly since our final survey in 2013. We measure this throughout 5 dimensions within the survey, and all 5 have declined. For instance, 52% of underwriters advised us in 2013 that their technical coaching packages had been superior. In 2021, that shrank to 34%. Frontline underwriting practices declined alongside comparable traces, with 63% of underwriters ranking their very own as “superior” in 2013 and simply 46% doing the identical final 12 months.
4: Technology could also be doing extra hurt than good.
The use of expertise, broadly talking, has been ineffective at decreasing the workload of underwriters, with 64% telling us it has elevated their workload or made no distinction.
There’s an vital nuance to unpack right here. Most underwriters have seen some constructive impression from expertise on their work. A majority of respondents to our survey mentioned it has boosted their pace to cite, improved their skill to deal with bigger quantities of enterprise, and boosted their entry to information.
But simply 46% say it has had a constructive impression on automating or eliminating non-core duties, and solely 35% say it has boosted their skill to cross-sell accounts.
5: The expertise administration image is bleak.
Perhaps probably the most alarming findings of this latest survey come from evaluating how underwriters felt about expertise administration at their carriers in 2013 and 2021. In a nutshell, carriers have hemorrhaged constructive sentiment.
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Taken by itself phrases, every of those 5 findings comprises a regarding reality concerning the defining operate of insurance coverage organizations in the present day. Taken collectively, the outcomes are nothing wanting alarming.
So what’s behind them? And—extra importantly—what’s to be executed about it?
In this weblog collection, we’ll discover these very important questions.
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