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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  • 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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      EY - Summary of technical specifications for QIS 1 carousel

      Summary of technical specifications for QIS 1

      Read the key considerations and implementation issues that insurers and reinsurers need to know before carrying out a detailed Quantitative Impact Study (QIS 1).

      European Solvency II survey 2014

      With the Solvency II deadline approaching, European insurers are working toward compliance. See which countries are making solid progress.

      EY - Webcast: preparing for Solvency II Pillar III

      Webcast: preparing for Solvency II Pillar III

      Join our upcoming webcast where we’ll explore the preparations needed to meet Solvency II requirements. To register for this event, click here.

      EY - Matching adjustment for equity release assets carousel

      Matching adjustment for equity release assets

      Equity release assets may be ineligible for a matching adjustment under Solvency II. Read our suggestions for European enhanced annuity writers who invest in these assets.

      EY - An in-depth conversation about Solvency II

      An in-depth conversation about Solvency II

      Otto Thoresen, Director General of the Association of British Insurers, talks to us about Solvency II and its impact on the insurance industry.

      EY - The UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

      The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

      Director General of the Association of British Insurers, Otto Thoresen, tells us how the FCA is helping protect consumers by creating a more effective marketplace.

      LTGA: EIOPA's findings and recommendations (October 2013)

      LTGA: EIOPA's findings and recommendations (October 2013)

      Get our overview and analysis of EIOPA's findings from the Long Term Guarantees Assessment (LTGA).

      EY - Sorting through Solvency II

      Sorting through Solvency II

      Our Global Insurance leader Shaun Crawford discusses whether or not Solvency II challenges will be resolved soon.

      EY - Solvency II readiness: progress and challenges

      Solvency II readiness: progress and challenges

      Our survey of the European insurance industry reports slow but steady movement toward compliance. See which countries are best prepared, and which are falling behind.

    • 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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      EY-IASB continues re-deliberations

      IASB continues re-deliberations

      In its June 2014 meeting, the IASB discussed discount rates as well as reinsurance contracts and level of aggregation.

      EY - IFRS 4 Insurance Contracts: update on key issues replay

      Webcast: IFRS 4 Insurance Contracts: update on key issues replay

      The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) is currently working on modifications to IFRS 4 Insurance Contracts after the Exposure Draft (ED) received extensive comments from preparers and industry practitioners.

      EY - IASB discusses several non targeted topics carousel

      IASB discussions continue

      During the May 2014 meeting, the IASB discussed several non-targeted topics and held an education session on a model for participating contracts.

      EY - IASB Confirms the use of insurance contracts revenue carousel

      IASB confirms the use of insurance contracts revenue

      During the April 2014 meeting, the IASB continued re-deliberations on its 2013 Exposure Draft Insurance Contracts (ED). Read their tentative decisions on the items discussed.

      EY - Changes to Exposure Draft Insurance Contracts

      Changes to Exposure Draft Insurance Contracts

      The International Accounting Standards Board makes use of Other Comprehensive Income optional and confirms unlocking of the Contractual Service Margin.

      EY - IFRS 9 discussions continue

      IFRS 9 discussions continue

      The International Accounting Standards Board sets 2018 effective date for IFRS 9; Financial Accounting Standards Board scales back the scope of its insurance project.

      EY - Hand holding a compass

      IASB revised Exposure Draft released

      The revised ED for Insurance Contracts is a major milestone toward global consistency of reporting for insurers. Read our special alert about the big news.

      EY - IFRS 4 Phase II: Operational impacts

      IFRS 4 Phase II: Operational impacts

      Are you getting ready to implement the proposed changes in the exposure draft for IFRS 4 Phase II? Find out about the strategic and operational considerations.

      EY - FASB releases Exposure Draft on insurance contracts

      Exposure Draft Insurance Contracts

      The proposed model will affect insurance c ontracts significantly and will apply to all insurance contracts, including those issued by non-insurance entities such as banks. Watch our on-demand webcast on the topic.

    • 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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Regional reports from the Global Consumer survey