What makes an insurance coverage provider an insurance coverage provider and never a generic monetary companies group? That is greater than a philosophical thought experiment.
I feel the most effective reply to that is underwriting. A provider may, in idea, outsource each a part of their enterprise and so long as it was nonetheless analyzing and pricing threat, you could possibly nonetheless precisely describe it as an insurance coverage provider. Underwriting is the guts of the insurance coverage enterprise.
That is what makes a longitudinal research of underwriters so essential.
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 latest P&C Underwriting Survey, carried out final yr, are nothing lower than alarming.
Listed here are 5 key takeaways from the info.
1: Underwriters don’t spend a lot time underwriting.
We discovered that the typical underwriter at this time 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 assist, and 30% on precise underwriting.
One underwriter advised our analysis crew that “underwriters have been become advertising and marketing executives as an alternative of underwriting executives.”
One other spoke of “the misunderstanding that expertise has made it simpler for extra workloads. It helps with higher choice making, but it surely provides time for every submission to open and use all the brand new instruments.”
2: Inefficient techniques, redundant inputs and handbook processes are the largest hurdles.
These had been essentially the most generally described hurdles to underwriting enterprise success by a large margin. Others challenges with small however nonetheless important pickup had been outdated or rigid techniques, lack of expertise on the level of want, poor group of underwriting info, and inadequate give attention to coaching.
3: Underwriting high quality is declining… in line with 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 yr.
4: Know-how could also be doing extra hurt than good.
The usage 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 essential nuance to unpack right here. Most underwriters have seen some constructive affect from expertise on their work. A majority of respondents to our survey mentioned it has boosted their pace to cite, improved their capacity to deal with bigger quantities of enterprise, and boosted their entry to information.
However simply 46% say it has had a constructive affect on automating or eliminating non-core duties, and solely 35% say it has boosted their capacity to cross-sell accounts.
5: The expertise administration image is bleak.
Maybe essentially 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.
Taken by itself phrases, every of those 5 findings comprises a regarding reality in regards to the defining operate of insurance coverage organizations at this time. Taken collectively, the outcomes are nothing in need of alarming.
So what’s behind them? And—extra importantly—what’s to be accomplished about it?
On this weblog sequence, we’ll discover these important questions.
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