Property/casualty insurance companies plan to invest in technology for underwriting, policy administration, consumer portals, predictive analytics/business intelligence and mobility/virtualization.
Those are the top five technology priorities for carriers, according to the IVANS 2011 Carrier Automation Trends study.
The survey found that 49 percent of the 120 carriers that responded are investing in underwriting solutions to boost efficiencies and grow their business. Carriers said they are looking to differentiate themselves with underwriting applications that incorporate real-time processes and create greater visibility in the front end of their value chain.
The survey shows a heightened focus on expense reduction and growth strategies. Forty-two percent of carriers surveyed are investing in policy administration systems to provide new avenues for capturing market share. Improved workflows and automated underwriting results should help carriers increase their ease of doing business and write more business with agents.
‘The challenge is creating a clear strategy on value creation that aligns technology with business, and optimizes the benefits with a carrier’s business partners,’ says Clare DeNicola, IVANS Inc. president and CEO. ‘Those who are successful will be able to capitalize on new market opportunities and foster long term growth.’
The IVANS study also revealed that 25 percent of carriers already have a consumer portal while 22 percent are currently implementing one and 18 percent have plans to put one in place over the next 12 months. Consumer portals provide real-time quoting capabilities and lead-generating functionality that open up new distribution channels.
Almost 37 percent of carriers are currently implementing or have plans to integrate predictive modeling and business intelligence into their organizations over the next 12 months.
Rounding out the top five technologies are mobile devices and desktop virtualization. Twenty one percent of carriers are putting into operation these technologies and 13 percent are planning to do so over the next year. Carriers are using mobility to improve productivity in such areas as sales, support and claims. According to IVANS, desktop virtualization lowers IT costs, improves agent support and helps with regional compliance requirements.
IVANS also asked carriers about social networking. LinkedIn and Facebook were chosen as the most popular social networking Web sites. Fifty percent are using LinkedIn and almost 49 percent are relying on Facebook as a daily business tool for communication, even though they say a return on investment is difficult to measure for both.
The survey was conducted electronically July 12-16, 2011. The results represent responses from 120 property/casualty insurance carriers from across the United States.
Headquartered in Stamford, Conn., â€¨IVANS Inc. provides the property/casualty insurance industry with managed network, electronic data interchange (EDI) and agency-company interface services.