Why insurers have to rescue underwriters from siloed knowledge | Auto Financiez


In 2008, Accenture printed the outcomes of the primary P&C Underwriting Survey in partnership with The Institutes. As the longest-running longitudinal underwriting survey within the insurance coverage business, this report reveals a holistic image of the place underwriting has been—and the place we’re going. Namely, it exhibits us the connection between the objectives leaders set over the past decade and what the tangible progress has resulted from these initiatives.

One of the important thing insights I gleaned from the 2021 P&C Underwriting Survey is that not a lot has improved for underwriters over the past 15 years. Despite leaps ahead in know-how, underwriters nonetheless face the identical challenges they did in 2008 and, in some areas, the state of underwriting as a core perform of the insurance coverage enterprise has worsened.

In my earlier posts, I mentioned the shift to automation, the results of know-how within the underwriting course of, and the diminishing deal with the work underwriters do. In this publish, I wish to spotlight the significance of the underwriting skillset and discover a special strategy to marrying know-how to that ability set which can make underwriters’ jobs simpler and more practical.

Back in 2008, our survey revealed that greater than 40% of underwriters’ time was spent on non-core duties. Underwriters have been struggling to maneuver on from legacy programs and undertake new options. Fast ahead to 2021 and the newest survey exhibits that solely 35% of underwriters really feel that know-how has decreased their workload. In 2008, that quantity was almost equal, at 36%.

In each 2008 and 2021, an absence of information integration was cited as a problem that accompanied new know-how, with 72% of respondents in each years reporting the problem. In 2021, 79% of respondents reported that lack of course of integration was the most important purpose know-how negatively impacted their workload.

This knowledge made me mirror on the day-to-day obligations of the underwriter and take into consideration why know-how hasn’t made the act of underwriting any simpler. Today’s responses present that there’s much less worth positioned on underwriters themselves. There’s empirical proof for this together with knowledge exhibiting that survey respondents largely see underwriting recruitment, coaching and retention packages of their organizations as poor.

Additionally, deal with core underwriting controls and self-discipline is down: simply 30% of an underwriter’s time is spent doing danger evaluation and producing quotes. Risk evaluation is the core competency of an underwriter. Their job is to overview knowledge throughout completely different sources and synthesize it to make an correct (and worthwhile) choice. With this lens, I see the underwriter as the unique knowledge scientist.

The status and worth positioned on the underwriting occupation has taken a dive over the past 15 years, which has left underwriters caught with the identical issues they confronted over a decade in the past. Insurers have prioritized minimizing bills and “demystifying” underwriting by automating the method or reducing the underwriter’s position in danger evaluation.

We’ve achieved this by offloading work from the underwriters, offered new danger and pricing fashions to assist choice making and tried to leverage automation to make underwriting simpler. None of those initiatives are unfavourable in and of themselves. They all work nicely for assessing less complicated, homogenous dangers whereas driving down price and enhancing pricing consistency. But they miss the elemental problem of extra complicated underwriting.

The actual problem is that underwriting remains to be a paper-first course of with necessary knowledge siloed in PDFs and spreadsheets connected to emails from brokers. To assess danger, underwriters nonetheless have to maneuver between completely different paperwork, on the lookout for knowledge that’s formatted in several methods relying on the dealer it’s coming from.

Though we’ve tried to make the processes round underwriting simpler, there hasn’t been a deal with enhancing the info science facet of underwriting. This requires knowledge to be extra accessible. We have to implement options that assist underwriters extract, handle and assess all their knowledge in a single place in a means that additionally offers related context and deeper insights.

Many organizations have made important strikes to develop into data-driven over the past 15 years. Insurance has at all times been pushed by knowledge, however it’s time to rethink how knowledge aggregation and evaluation are optimized in underwriting processes. If insurers wish to see better effectivity and improved consistency and high quality in danger and pricing choices, our focus can’t stay on offloading work from the underwriter. We want to assist underwriters do what they’re greatest at analyzing info, uncovering patterns and making choices based mostly on a holistic view of an applicant.

To do that, we have to think about third-generation underwriting platforms like these I mentioned in my earlier publish. It actually comes down to 5 easy priorities:

  1. Invest in options that pull all the info underwriters want out of their silos, bringing info from PDF and spreadsheet attachments into one place, ultimately eliminating that mode of communication altogether.  
  2. Organize info, data and knowledge across the crucial underwriting choice steps of triage, danger analysis and pricing.
  3. Present info in context. For instance, allow underwriters to take a look at new submissions in comparison with related submissions to assist them perceive how the submission or renewal differs.
  4. Integrate this data-driven, analytics-first strategy into present workflows to make the expertise seamless.
  5. Set up the standard controls, measures and suggestions mechanisms to enhance the standard and consistency of underwriting inside the new course of.

Luckily, we’re already seeing insurers taking steps in the direction of enchancment on this space. The 2021 survey exhibits that 67% of insurers will prioritize investments in underwriting platforms over the following three years. Seventy-one p.c need to add predictive analytics to their tech stack whereas 66% plan to put money into buyer and dealer portals, one other method to streamline knowledge aggregation.

If you wish to know extra about how we’re serving to corporations handle these 5 concepts, let me know. 

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Disclaimer: This content material is offered for common info functions and isn’t meant for use rather than session with our skilled advisors.



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