In 2008, Accenture printed the outcomes of the primary P&C Underwriting Survey in partnership with The Institutes. Because 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. Particularly, 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 many key insights I gleaned from the 2021 P&C Underwriting Survey is that not a lot has improved for underwriters over the past 15 years. Regardless of 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 operate 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 give attention to the work underwriters do. On this submit, I need to spotlight the significance of the underwriting skillset and discover a special method to marrying know-how to that talent set which can make underwriters’ jobs simpler and simpler.
Again 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 techniques and undertake new options. Quick 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 difficulty. In 2021, 79% of respondents reported that lack of course of integration was the largest motive know-how negatively impacted their workload.
This knowledge made me mirror on the day-to-day tasks of the underwriter and take into consideration why know-how hasn’t made the act of underwriting any simpler. As we speak’s responses present that there’s much less worth positioned on underwriters themselves. There’s empirical proof for this together with knowledge displaying that survey respondents largely see underwriting recruitment, coaching and retention applications of their organizations as poor.
Moreover, give attention to core underwriting controls and self-discipline is down: simply 30% of an underwriter’s time is spent doing danger evaluation and producing quotes. Danger evaluation is the core competency of an underwriter. Their job is to assessment knowledge throughout completely different sources and synthesize it to make an correct (and worthwhile) determination. 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 lowering the underwriter’s position in danger evaluation.
We’ve performed this by offloading work from the underwriters, offered new danger and pricing fashions to assist determination making and tried to leverage automation to make underwriting simpler. None of those initiatives are destructive in and of themselves. All of them work nicely for assessing easier, homogenous dangers whereas driving down value and bettering pricing consistency. However they miss the basic 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 evaluate danger, underwriters nonetheless have to maneuver between completely different paperwork, searching for knowledge that’s formatted in several methods relying on the dealer it’s coming from.
Although we’ve tried to make the processes round underwriting simpler, there hasn’t been a give attention to bettering the information science side 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 approach that additionally gives related context and deeper insights.
Many organizations have made vital strikes to change into data-driven over the past 15 years. Insurance coverage has all the time been pushed by knowledge, however it’s time to rethink how knowledge aggregation and evaluation are optimized in underwriting processes. If insurers need to see higher effectivity and improved consistency and high quality in danger and pricing choices, our focus can’t stay on offloading work from the underwriter. We have to assist underwriters do what they’re finest at analyzing info, uncovering patterns and making choices primarily based on a holistic view of an applicant.
To do that, we have to contemplate third-generation underwriting platforms like these I mentioned in my earlier submit. It actually comes down to 5 easy priorities:
- Put money into options that pull all the information underwriters want out of their silos, bringing info from PDF and spreadsheet attachments into one place, finally eliminating that mode of communication altogether.
- Manage info, data and knowledge across the important underwriting determination steps of triage, danger analysis and pricing.
- Current info in context. For instance, allow underwriters to take a look at new submissions in comparison with comparable submissions to assist them perceive how the submission or renewal differs.
- Combine this data-driven, analytics-first method into present workflows to make the expertise seamless.
- Arrange the standard controls, measures and suggestions mechanisms to enhance the standard and consistency of underwriting throughout the new course of.
Fortunately, 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 want 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 tackle these 5 concepts, let me know.
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Disclaimer: This content material is offered for basic info functions and isn’t supposed for use instead of session with our skilled advisors.