Top 10 Trends in Insurance E-Business Today and Tomorrow

Celent predicts that total insurance IT spending devoted to e-business is about US$1.6 billion today and will grow cautiously at about 5 percent per year over the next two years.

New York, NY, USA – September 7, 2004

Celent�s new reports, Top 10 Trends in P/C Insurance E-Business Today and Tomorrow and Top 10 Trends in L/H E-Business Today and Tomorrow, present 10 key trends in each sector of the insurance industry. These trends have been observed by Celent over the course of its ongoing research and supported by data from its recent online survey of more than 65 insurance executives.

“In 2001, when Celent first examined the role of the Internet in the insurance industry, fewer than half of US insurers had any significant e-business systems,” said Matthew Josefowicz, manager of Celent�s insurance group and author of the reports. “But over the past three years, the Internet has become so integral to the way insurers conduct business that it is starting to fade as a distinct category and merge into the overall IT environment as a general enabling technology.”

The trends presented in the reports are:

Property/Casualty Life/Health
1. E-business accounts for 5 to 15 percent of P/C IT spending.
2. Most e-business systems are homegrown or built from components, not software packages.
3. P/C e-business means agent e-business.
4. Insurers look to agent e-business to differentiate themselves from close competitors.
5. Most agents, especially high-value ones, are active portal users.
6. The value of agent e-business is in speed and cost savings.
7. Policyholder portals are for parity, not advantage.
8. Policyholder portal use is limited, but growing.
9. Policyholder portals are for reputation and retention, even more than cost savings.
10. Investment in e-business for prospects is minimal.
1. E-business accounts for 3 to 15 percent of IT spending.
2. Most e-business systems are homegrown, not software packages.
3. E-business is tilted toward agents, but policyholder portals are important and growing.
4. Agent portal use is strong and creating value.
5. Portal-using agents are higher-value agents.
6. Agent e-business is about cost savings and service levels.
7. Policyholder portals are a source of competitive advantage.
8. Policyholder portal use is limited, but growing, especially among higher-value customers.
9. Policyholder portals deliver cost savings as well as improved brand and service.
10. Investment in e-business for prospects is minimal.

Total insurance IT spending devoted to e-business is estimated at about US$1.6 billion today and will likely grow 5 percent yearly for the next two years. In both sectors, most IT budgets are devoted to agent/ distributor systems, but life/health insurers devote almost double the amount to policyholder portals that property/casualty insurers do. This reflects the greater strategic value of policyholder portals in life/health, where they are more widely viewed as a potential competitive advantage rather than as a parity play.

Each report also contains 10 predictions for e-business over the next two to three years, and closes with several key strategic points for both insurers and for technology providers.

Each report is more than 35 pages long and contains over 25 figures. A table of contents for the property/ casualty volume is available here, and one for the life/health volume available here.

Celent’s service offering falls into two categories, consulting and research, each of which is dedicated to technology in the financial services industry. We help banks, brokerage firms and insurance companies use IT to enter new markets in the shortest possible timeframes. All of our services are geared towards facilitating better informed, faster decision making. For more information visit or contact [email protected].