Navigating change to seize new global opportunities

Major regulatory change. The rise of emerging markets. Ongoing economic uncertainty. Technology-driven turbulence. Increasing consumer expectations.

These are the primary challenges and issues faced by global insurance executives. These challenges also offer the key to future profitability for insurers who make the right strategic, investment, organizational and operational changes.

Our global insurance practice helps insurers around the world successfully meet these challenges. We can help you ask the right questions, set priorities and define the action plans needed to succeed in the fast-shifting insurance landscape.

Our global network of insurance professionals provides guidance and insight on pivotal areas in the insurance industry today, including:


  • Actuarial & Risk Management Strategies

    As the insurance market undergoes radical change, insurance companies face a difficult balancing act. They must identify and assess new options for value creation while continuing to manage risks and meet emerging regulatory requirements such as Solvency II and IFRS.

    Explore the service areas below to learn more about our actuarial and risk management expertise.

    • Risk and capital

      As capital becomes scarce and competition from other financial institutions increases, insurers are evolving from static to dynamic optimization of risk portfolios. We help companies optimize their risk portfolios under current rules as well as expected new regulations such as Solvency II.

    • Customers and growth

      The insurance industry faces many challenges: political changes, economics, product innovation, technology advances, competition from other financial sectors and changing customer behavior. We prepare companies for these changes by providing practical insights on consumer buying patterns. We also help you understand which customers truly create value so you can build strategies to enhance these high-value relationships.

    • Financial reporting

      The global insurance industry is facing a wave of new regulations and reporting requirements. It is crucial for companies to understand the micro and macro effects of new reporting requirements—the importance of reported figures and the wider implications for strategy and operations. We help companies understand and prepare efficient external and internal reporting frameworks by providing actuarial services that are part of integrated multi-disciplinary solutions.

    • Actuarial transformation and offshoring

      To improve cost-effectiveness, insurance companies have a broad range of options: integrated finance solutions, actuarial and risk reporting processes, selective offshoring and shared service centers for improving standardization and output quality. We help companies simplify their actuarial infrastructure and achieve cost efficiency by streamlining or offshoring/outsourcing their actuarial and finance reporting processes.

    • Modeling

      Actuarial and risk models are becoming increasingly crucial to business operations. Although a fast close of actuarial reporting remains important, regulatory focus and requirements to put a robust control environment around models are also increasing. We help companies make their actuarial and risk models efficient and fit for purpose.

    • Audit and assurance

      With long experience as auditors and more broadly on assurance engagements, our multi-disciplinary actuarial teams give comfort to Boards on key strategic items including managing supplementary financial information and meeting regulatory requirements.

    • Asset management

      Asset management is closely linked with capital optimization, product optimization and financial modeling. Facing innovation and competition from other financial sectors, insurers must develop optimal asset management strategies. We help companies with asset liability management, derivative pricing and performance management.

    • Mergers and acquisitions

      As companies revisit and optimize their portfolios, they look to acquire and consolidate more attractive businesses, and dispose of businesses in markets where they cannot compete. With depressed valuations in many insurance markets and the shifting strategies of multinationals, the mergers and acquisitions market is poised to become more active. Our experienced Transaction Advisory team provides integrated services to help companies with valuations and post-merger integration.



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  • Customers & Growth

    Your customers, your growth

    In today’s competitive and capital-constrained market, growing, deepening and retaining customer relationships is vital to achieving sustained and profitable growth.

    Economic drivers, combined with changing demographics and buying patterns, are forcing insurers to re-evaluate their business models, the markets in which they operate and the propositions they offer.

    Other dynamics include:

    • The emergence of disruptive technologies
    • Customers’ unprecedented access to information
    • The growing recognition of the importance of existing customers
    • Evolving consumer protection regulation

    We can assist your organization in addressing these issues to grow, protect and optimize your business. Specifically we can help you with:

    • Turning customer data into value

      Analytics is rarely a coordinated, organization-wide function within insurance firms. Although many insurers believe they are proficient in analyzing their large amounts of data, the role of analytics is changing and expanding rapidly.

      Many executives recognize that they have only skimmed the surface when it comes to turning their data into value. Additionally, a lot of insurers grapple with the challenge of not knowing where to start and how to embed analytics as an organization-wide capability.

      We combine our analytics expertise with business knowledge to help you use the data you have to identify opportunities that will differentiate and grow your business.

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    • Improving and maximizing customer experience

      Leading organizations are focusing on both top- and bottom-line efforts to drive margin improvement and advance a customer-centric operating model.

      One critical component to success is the customer experience, which encompasses the entire customer lifecycle. We can work with you to determine:

      • Which attributes of the customer experience have the most effect?
      • Where can the biggest difference be made?
      • What is the likely impact on revenue and costs?
      • What needs to be done, and when?

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    • Harnessing digital as part or an integrated channel strategy

      Our research confirms that most consumers want access to a mix of online and personal contact. Although digital is not a panacea, it is a critical enabler to deliver the experience customers want.

      The key challenge for insurers is how to harness the power of digital to better engage directly with customers, integrate it seamlessly with existing channels/access points and lower costs.

      We can help you manage this challenge from inception to implementation, working with you to:

      • Assess the maturity and competitive positioning of your current and future digital strategy
      • Develop your digital strategy (including the investment case and delivery roadmap) and work with you to design your multi-channel operating model
      • Implement the required capabilities, including the delivery of digital systems, technology and enhancements to existing processes and channels

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    • Transforming your agency

      There is significant pressure on insurers to improve productivity and customer outcomes, while remaining cost-effective.

      We expect a significant increase in the requirements placed on insurers as regulators present a unified point of view to protect consumers. Costs to retain, support and compensate agents will come under increasing scrutiny as well.

      We can help you transform by:

      • Assessing the maturity, strengths and areas for investment across a broad range of dimensions, including:
        • Alignment of culture and firm values
        • Customer and agent segmentation (and mapping both)
        • Agency management
        • Enablement and operations—options and implementation
        • Agency experience, product innovation and compensation
      • Articulating the desired future state and converting this into an actionable strategy, business case and road map. This also includes the development of alternative or complementary channels to support your current distribution models
    • Creating effective bancassurance relationships

      Despite the global downturn, the bancassurance channel has shown impressive growth in most of Asia Pacific. The growing buying power of the middle class remains the target market of banks and insurance companies, providing significant opportunities for the two to join forces

      We can help you create effective bancassurance relationships by:

      • Setting your bancassurance strategy
      • Performing a review of your bancassurance business
      • Deploying our tools and methodologies to transform the bancassurance customer service model
    • Innovation for transformative growth

      Succeeding in a competitive market takes more than just keeping pace with your rivals—you must surpass them in every aspect of the business. Innovation is the key to having the competition follow you, and it’s the path to transformative growth for your company.

      Innovation requires more than a bright idea or two though. It’s a mindset that must be embedded in your culture and integrated into strategic decision-making.

      Embedding innovation throughout the organization involves gaining insights from other industries, such as manufacturing, and from resources such as research lab and discovery centers. It also means introducing internal processes that enable fast experimentation to transform concepts into tangible outcomes.

      We have the experience and subject matter expertise to establish innovation as a core competency in your organization. Our framework encompasses your company’s vision and culture, its operating model (governance, KPIs and incentives) and the day-to-day processes that power innovation.

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  • Finance Change

    Today’s insurance market is tougher than ever, with increasingly sophisticated customers and difficult economic conditions challenging insurers to innovate and reduce costs to survive. New and demanding regulation is only adding to the pressure.

    Welcome to the “new normal” for insurance companies. By 2020, conditions will be just as, if not more, challenging.

    To succeed in this new normal environment, all aspects of finance operations need attention: processes, people and organization, data and technology, and the sourcing and location of work. They must improve if finance is to meet its three most pressing challenges: lower cost, improved reporting and the delivery of real business value.

    • Enterprise Performance Management

      We have identified seven aspects of a planning, budgeting and forecasting process that must be improved to ensure that it delivers. This has been developed for transforming planning, budgeting and forecasting from an exercise that provides poor value to one that ensures continuous optimization of resource allocation decisions and consistent, effective execution of business strategy.

      To support this we have developed a methodology that accelerates the planning, budgeting and forecasting transformation. The starting point for this journey is to conduct a rapid diagnostic:

      • Assess current state processes, governance, systems, data and organization
      • Compare and benchmark planning, budgeting and forecasting processes with leading practices and identify gaps
      • Identify and prioritize initiatives for performance improvement
      • Develop business case and roadmap for change
      • pportunities identified typically create savings of 20 – 25% from finance costs
        This allows insurers to identify an holistic roadmap for the planning, budgeting and forecasting processes in as little as six weeks.
    • Solvency II Pillar III

      Internal management information (MI) & Pillar III external reporting can sometimes become the forgotten pillar for many insurance companies (as highlighted by 2014 EY Pan European Survey). Solvency II reporting brings all the Pillar I and Pillar II work together. There will be challenges for clients around the frequency and timing of the reporting requirements, and the level of data and analysis required.

    • Finance function of the future

      The current insurance outlook will force finance function to change to deliver value to the business.

      What are the benefits?

      • Cost reduction
      • Improvement in quality of data and control
      • Faster reporting under the different financial reporting and regulatory reporting
      • Added value to stakeholders in the business (business partnering)
    • Investor story

      The complexity and lack of transparency of insurance reporting has impaired insurers’ ability to communicate effectively with investors and analysts. This is a longstanding issue, but one which has created further significant loss of shareholder value during recent volatile economic conditions.

      Upcoming accounting changes may aid communication in some areas, but further complexity and detailed disclosures are unlikely to address the fundamental issues over the ability for investors to understand key business trends.

      As we work with clients to help them prepare for upcoming accounting changes, there are opportunities to play a wider role in helping them plan and develop their MI, bridging the gap between internal decision making, external mandatory reporting and external market communication.

    • IFRS 4 Phase II

      The IASB / FASB joint project on insurance contracts has made significant progress on the latest revised Exposure Draft (ED). We expect the new targeted Exposure Draft to be issued in 2013 and the Standard to be issued in 2014 with a proposed effective date of 1 January 2018.

      It is the right time for clients to start assessing the implications of the new standard and planning the implementation of IFRS 4 Phase II. IFRS conversions are a significant undertaking and require deep knowledge, not only of the accounting differences, interpretations and potential approaches, but also the business implications for performance measurement, staff compensation, tax, regulation and communication to stakeholders.

      Our services include assistance in determining the accounting differences but, even more importantly, we can help design new processes to integrate with existing processes, systems and control changes to provide a detailed and robust approach. In addition, we provide full-scale project management across all work streams involved in the conversion from a global perspective.

    • Integrated reporting

      A new approach to corporate reporting that demonstrates the linkages between an organization’s strategy, governance and financial performance and the social, environmental and economic context within which it operates, integrated reporting represents the tangible proof of how business can take more sustainable decisions. At EY we have defined the path to guide our clients toward more sustainable reporting.

      ‘Integrated thinking’ is the ability of management to monitor, manage and communicate the full complexity of the value-creation process, and how this contributes to success over time. Through this process of ‘integrated thinking’ organizations are able to effectively manage the creation and preservation of value. This can help investors, and other stakeholders, to understand an organization’s:

      • Past performance
      • Current performance
      • Future resilience

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  • Governance

    We, along with Tapestry Network, established the Insurance Governance Leadership Network (IGLN), a global network centered around non-executive directors from a select group of the largest insurers from Europe, North America and Asia. The IGLN provides a peer-to-peer platform for participants to discuss critical issues facing the industry globally. Its primary focus is the non-executive director, but it also engages senior management (notably chief risk officers) and regulators, all of whom are committed to outstanding governance and supervision in support of the mission to build strong, enduring, and trustworthy insurance institutions.
     

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  • Growing in Emerging Markets

    The global economy is at a turning point. Fast-growth economies in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe now form almost half of global GDP and, in 2010, they contributed 70% to overall global growth.

    These trends are accelerating. By 2050, fast-growth economies are projected to account for 65% of the global economy. In contrast, most developed markets are still struggling to recover after the global recession.

    For many businesses, their very survival depends on pursuing a growth agenda. This might include expanding into new markets and sectors, finding new ways to innovate or taking new approaches to talent.

    But there’s one key question that must be answered: how can your insurance business make the most of the many opportunities that exist?


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  • Risk & Regulatory Transformation

    The global insurance industry is emerging from a period of economic uncertainty. As the insurance market is undergoing radical change, insurance companies are facing a difficult balancing act. They must identify and assess new options for value creation while continuing to manage risks and meet emerging regulatory requirements, such as Solvency II. Risk and regulation is high on the agenda for insurers, and we work with clients to show them that good risk management doesn't slow an organization down — it helps it go faster.

    • Solvency II

      “EY welcomes the successful conclusion of the Omnibus II Directive negotiations, which provides clarity over the long awaited Solvency II implementation timeline,” says Martin Bradley, Global Insurance Risk and Regulatory leader.

      The final trialogue on the Omnibus II package delivers a provisional deal as agreement has been gained with Member States.

      For more information and ways we can help, contact our Solvency II specialists.

      Are you ready?

      For related reading, visit our Solvency II site

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      Matching adjustment for equity release assets

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      The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

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      Sorting through Solvency II

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      Solvency II readiness: progress and challenges

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    • Recovery & Resolution

      In the immediate aftermath of the global financial crisis, regulators focused their attention on banks considered “too big to fail.” Now regulators are turning to insurers and assessing which ones are likewise systemically important.

      Insurers and reinsurers will have to demonstrate their corporate agility and strength by setting out recovery and resolution plans (RRPs) in the event of a severe stress situation or failure. Global insurers and large domestic insurers, particularly those with international business, should begin to prepare.

      We help global insurers develop RRPs (including submissions to regulators) using our industry-leading practices, including:

      • Program launch
      • Tailored scope and approach that fits your organization
      • Analysis of existing risk management procedures
      • Analysis of existing recovery and resolution plans
      • Systemic risk management analysis
      • Formal submission preparation
      • Program management or independent quality assurance
      • Delivery of sustainable plans and benefits

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    • IFRS

      We are increasingly living in a global economy — with trade and inbound and outbound investment a fact of life. It's no wonder capital markets have long advocated for globally recognized accounting standards.

      Until recently, that common accounting language has been a missing link. Now, policymakers, lawmakers and regulators are working alongside standard-setters to provide a single set of high-quality, global accounting principles.

      Benefit from our timely insights as your prepare for this transition.

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      Changes to Exposure Draft Insurance Contracts

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    • Structural change & optimization

      The corporate and capital structure of insurers is being shaped by regulatory and capital reform and the implications of recovery and resolution. At the same time, insurers are focusing more closely on management and the value generated from in-force business.

      Combining actuarial, accounting, regulatory, operational and tax knowledge, EY offers a deep understanding of the structural options available to companies. We also have extensive implementation experience, with an approach that spans all parts of your balance sheet and recognizes the implications for asset and liability management.

      Our approach takes into account metrics to be optimized, internal restructuring and transactions, external risk transfer, operational efficiency and new business design and strategy.

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      Life and general insurers have historically relied upon investment markets as key sources of profit and crucially have been able to do this whilst embarking on relatively “vanilla” investment strategies. In the current low yield environment, broadening their horizons is critical to maintaining profitability.

      Fortunately there are a range of economic and political initiatives driving demand for institutional lending; in addition to this, traditional lenders (mainly the banks) are more reluctant than ever to tie up liquidity by lending for long durations. However insurers are subject to less pressure on liquidity than banks which may allow them to fill the void in the long-term debt market.

      EY has developed a series of discussion papers considering alternative investment strategies for insurance companies. These papers will be published over the coming months. The first two in the series consider two asset classes which are not a significant part of typical insurance company investment portfolios.

    • Risk transformation

      In many insurance companies, risk management and actuarial capabilities have grown organically over time -- with new organizational units, processes and technology gradually added to meet evolving requirements for risk control and regulatory compliance. Too often though, these structures are not agile, efficient or aligned to the rest of the business (especially finance and treasury functions).

      Insurance companies need risk and actuarial processes that link effectively with the rest of the organization. The processes must be effective at protecting the balance sheet from unexpected risks, while adding value to business decision-making within tight cost constraints.

      We have the experience and tools to support your design and implementation of the following:

      • Optimal vision and Target Operating Model for risk management
      • More agile and simplified systems and data landscape to support risk-management analytics and reporting
      • Cost-effective risk and actuarial oversight processes, including alternative sourcing options (offshoring and near-shoring)
      • Rationalized approach controlling operational, reporting and compliance risks

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  • Technology
    • Claims transformation

      Our offerings enable transformational or step changes in claims capabilities. Our expertise and analytical insight can help you achieve better claims outcomes and expense management.

      Our team can help insurers in the following ways:

      • Claims performance analysis

        An independent review can help your organization identify areas of claims inefficiencies and processes that can lead to failed implementation or claims overpayments.

      • Claims analytics and predictive modeling

        Predictive modelling techniques are crucial to improving your claims operations. Our teams have a deep understanding of these techniques and can use the resulting analytics to assist organizations in several ways:

        • - Identifying drivers of unexpected claims development
        • - Providing data guidance
        • - Implementing models
        • - Prioritizing processes via loss mitigation strategies

        When combined with data from our claims leakage analysis teams, these analytics can be incorporated into a program that reduces overall claims costs and expenses and enhances underwriting practices.

      • Claims capability maturity assessment

        This assessment benchmarks your current business claims processes and capabilities against industry-leading practices. By knowing where your organization stands, you are one step closer to a strategic business and technology program.

      • Claims target operating model and organizational design

        We help organizations redesign their claims organizations, processes, governance and technology to align to business and operational strategies. We serve you by focusing on performance, process excellence, skill specialization, shared services, sourcing and continuous improvement.

      • Claims transformation business case development

        Our deep industry knowledge helps us prioritize claims initiatives that will provide the best return on an insurer’s investment.

      • Claims technology enablement

        Our full-service claims system selection, design and implementation capabilities leverage onshore- and offshore-based functional and technical claims professionals. They provide extensive delivery experience in project management, business analysis, process design, business and systems architecture, product configuration, systems integration, conversion and testing.

      • Claims change management

        We offer a compelling vision so you can drive change, improve stakeholder engagement and communications and boost operational readiness. We also help you support training and align human resource processes (such as career paths and performance management) to encourage desired behavior and sustain results.

      • Claims customer experience strategy

        A review of the claims customer experience can result in a differentiating, multi-channel design that aligns with an insurer’s corporate customer strategy. By bringing industry insights and experience to the process, we provide guidance in developing a customer experience roadmap that is tailored to claims strategic initiatives and practical to implement.

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    • Policy Administration & Billing

      Insurers are under constant pressure to reduce underwriting operations costs, while continuing to grow their customer base without increasing headcount. They also face tougher demands from producers and customers who want faster quoting, more accurate policy issuance, diversified billing and payment options and real-time self-service capabilities.

      We can help you optimize the following:

      • Assessment

        We perform a detailed assessment of the current state of operational efficiency using our proven cost-related tools across rating, quoting, issuance and billing activities. This assessment can include an evaluation and quantification of the total cost of ownership for legacy policy and billing systems.

      • Business and solution architecture

        We develop a business architecture and implementation roadmap that sequences deployment of functionality by product line, geography, channel and transaction type. Our business case frameworks can accelerate measurement of business and technology cost reductions as aligned to the roadmap.

      • Policy administration and billing solution implementation

        We provide a full range of implementation services including solution selection, requirements, design, configuration, integration and deployment. We also assist with the change management aspects of these programs, helping establish new processes and controls to improve regulatory and internal audit compliance.

        Working with leading policy and billing solution providers, we present you with objective insights to navigate the complex vendor landscape. Our extensive delivery experience with vendors helps with software selection and guides you through project delivery to achieve cost reductions and process improvements.

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    • Product Development & delivery

      Incompatible systems, organizational silos and disjointed processes perpetuate costly and low- quality product development approaches. As a result, many insurers have redundant product portfolios that complicate underwriting, operations and claims processes.

      As insurers look to refresh and expand their products, these issues restrict their ability to react to market changes and satisfy their customers.

      Product design and delivery architecture are central to innovation and fulfillment across the insurance enterprise, and they must be integrated into both business processes and technology solutions.

      We can help your organization take the following steps to develop a robust suite of products designed for specific customer needs:

      • Assessment

        We review your current product development, processes, systems data, interfaces and delivery capabilities to increase speed to market. We offer tools to evaluate your products, learn if there are ways to simplify them and help reduce costs.

      • Business and solution architecture development

        We help you properly align organizational needs and technical priorities for product development. We ensure assessment and future state definition can be delivered using best market practices. By applying our proprietary tools, maturity models, product design know-how and business case frameworks, we assist with architecture assessment and help insurers deliver future solutions that are in line with best market practices.

      • Product development workstation

        We align and integrate product development workstation capabilities with other underwriting and policy administration systems. This includes developing a target solution architecture, as well as selection, design, configuration, integration and deployment of an effective workstation.

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    • Underwriting & Pricing Effectiveness

      Given unrelenting economic uncertainty and prolonged low interest rates, insurers face significant profit- and growth-related pressures and thus must improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their underwriting capabilities.

      One way to improve risk selection and pricing is leveraging data to embrace more sophisticated segmentation. However, success will ultimately depend on adopting enhanced analytical and modeling techniques.

      We can help you optimize the following:

      • Assessment

        Insurers must improve their underwriting and pricing operations to create consistency in their processes, while enhancing insight-driven decision-making, team collaboration, cross-sell/up-sell growth and account management. We review your organization’s current underwriting and pricing performance, measure it against industry standards to determine where to make investments and provide technology solutions to fill operational gaps.

      • Business and solution architecture

        We offer program management, functional and technical design, integration, configuration and testing and deployment. We also assist in the technology selection process, helping you narrow the wide spectrum of underwriting automation components and applications.

      • Underwriting workstation solution implementation

        We assist you with the full spectrum of implementation services for underwriting solutions, including rules engine point solutions (typically selected by personal and small commercial line insurers) and robust underwriting stations (typically selected by middle market, specialty and large/multi-national insurers).

        Unlike policy administration and billing systems, underwriting solutions can involve customization and extensive integration. We support the full implementation cycle, from requirements scoping to vendor software selection to deployment. We also provide important change management services to help you establish new roles and responsibilities in the new underwriting environment.

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