Underwriting transformation in the digital era
EY's Digital Underwriting Survey reveals the important and rapid evolution that is proceeding within commercial and specialty insurance. Further, it clarifies the digital technologies and capabilities that are the impetus behind some of the biggest changes to underwriting, the essential function within insurance.
"The “big idea” behind the results confirms that more insurers recognize that the future is now when it comes to digital.”
Key themes emerging from the survey
Looking at 12 specific technologies and capabilities, the survey findings reveal that most insurers are investing now and plan to continue to increase investing.
Predictive analytics, big data, underwriting trading platforms and geographic information systems (GIS) are the most mature technologies currently being adopted.
Blockchain, robotic process automation (RPA) and sensor-based technologies are all high priorities for the future, with organizations planning to commit significant resources.
There is a strong need for longer and closer monitoring time of early stage investments and the potential need for more rigor in business case development.
Insurers and brokers agree that underwriting and pricing capabilities are the most important and potentially valuable in terms of future technology investments.
Actuarial has benefited the most from predictive analytics and machine learning, while policy processing has been the focus of RPA initiatives.
The underwriter of the future
Leading insurers – and the community of professional underwriters – have embraced a vision for future underwriting that involves expanded roles and a focus on higher-value activities that go far beyond the traditional focus on risk evaluation and selection. Respondents to the Digital Underwriting Survey shared their ideas about how both the art and science of underwriting are evolving in four specific roles.
- Sales executives: growing the book of business, increasing retention rates, building relationships, lead generation and prospecting
- Data scientists: data-driven decision-making at the account and portfolio levels, risk insight, profitability analysis, predictive modelling for pricing and risk evaluation
- Customer advocates: improving the customer and agent experience, coordinating account services (loss control, claims, education) to strengthen customer loyalty and improve risk performance
- Innovators: creative problem solving, new product and service development
“The EY Digital Underwriting Survey underscores both the importance and urgency of digital transformation within this essential insurance function.”