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

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

  • Customers and 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.

    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?
    Harnessing digital as part of 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
    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.

  • 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
  • Underwriting and 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:

    Underwriting and pricing operations: 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.

    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.

  • Policy administration and billing transformation

    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:


    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.

  • Product development and 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 fulfilment 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.

  • Claims offerings

    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 analysise

    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 modelling

    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 management reporting and business intelligence

    We help insurers focus on all aspects of the adjudication and expense management process.

    The reporting process includes the following:

    • First notice of loss (FNOL) identification and tracking
    • Coverage investigation, verification and identification of potential subrogation
    • Claims triage for direct process or severity indexing for more advanced monitoring and expense control
    • Vendor management and expense mitigation
    • Development and implementation of effective claim reserving and exposure tracking
    • Claim planning, negotiation and settlement
    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.

  • Are you ready for Solvency II?

    Although political agreement on the date for full implementation of Solvency II remains elusive, EIOPA is currently consulting on guidelines which will encourage preparation activities by both (re)insurers and national regulators.

    Are you ready?

  • Actuarial and 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.

    The combination of our dedicated actuarial and risk professionals and close partnerships with related practices across EY provides truly integrated services across all disciplines in the insurance industry. See where our more than 1000 actuarial and insurance risk professionals serve clients around the world.

    Our deep global knowledge comes from our work with insurance companies, banks, pension funds, private equity firms, sovereign funds and local regulators and enables us to answer key challenges the industry faces.

    Leverage our knowledge by contacting our actuarial insurance team leaders in EMEIA, the Americas, Asia-Pacific or Japan.

    Our areas of focus include the following services:

    • Actuarial transformation
    • Actuarial review
    • Actuarial operations
    • Changes to financial reporting methods
    • Performance improvement


    Related content

  • Be prepared for IFRS/accounting changes

    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.


  • Governance facing the industry today

    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.

  • The emergence of 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?

Contact us

Email Sabine Betz
Insurance Sector Leader
+41 (58) 286 36 37

Email Jördis Kürner
Insurance Sector Operations
+41 (58) 286 33 91

View all our Insurance contacts.

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