New SMA Blog by Deb Smallwood & Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action —
The insurance industry faced a sobering wake-up call when the pandemic exposed just how unprepared insurers’ digital capabilities were in a crisis. But, in the past two years – particularly in 2021 – the industry has accelerated its digital development, making significant leaps forward in technology investments, workforce evolution, and strategic planning.
Now, new SMA research shows that 100% of property & casualty insurers have digital initiatives underway. How will these initiatives and other trends unfold in the coming months? If the past two years have taught us anything, it is that the industry is constantly shifting and adapting to the needs of the world around it. So, with that in mind, below are SMA’s top five predictions for 2022.
- Core implementation will remain hot: Core systems – policy, billing, and claims – have always been foundational and essential in the insurance industry. But insurers now recognize that the core systems of the past will not cut it in today’s digital-driven environment. Insurers need modern platforms that can plug and play with different channels and absorb new data sources. SMA predicts that core systems will remain a principal focus for insurers this year as many get ready to launch or are in the middle of rolling out new platforms. However, a slight dip in core deals is also expected.
- The customer experience will receive a greater focus: SMA sees more carriers embracing an outside-in lens this year to truly understand the needs of agents, brokers, and policyholders. Insurers will focus on tailoring the customer experience as well as designing self-service systems that provide customers with convenient and easy ways to communicate with their insurers when and how they want.
- Overcoming talent challenges will be a priority: Acquiring and retaining top talent will be a number-one issue for many insurance companies in 2022 as they develop strategies to attract the best talent. The industry already faced talent challenges prior to the pandemic when more of the workforce was retiring and exiting the industry, and fewer were entering. In recent months, the Great Resignation has added additional strain as employers struggle to retain employees. Insurers recognize that recruiting only from local talent pools is no longer enough to fill open job positions and will have to up their game to compete against other employers in today’s competitive job market.
- MGA boom/InsurTech maturity will continue: Over the last five years, SMA has been tracking nearly 100 startup MGAs in the North American market. At the same time, incumbent MGAs are innovating their own operations and pursuing large acquisitions. SMA predicts that the MGA boom will only continue its rapid pace forward this year. InsurTech will also continue to mature and impact the industry as new entrants come into the market and older firms succeed with their current projects.
- Digital/AI intake will be a must: The insurance industry cannot afford to focus on paper forms and cumbersome manual processes. Digital and AI intake will be a massive priority across every sector of the industry in 2022 as companies work toward automating processes and improving the extraction and analysis of data.
For more insights on insurers’ plans and priorities in 2022, watch SMA’s new on-demand webinar, P&C Insurance and the Pandemic: 2021 Reflections, 2022 Predictions, and stay tuned for upcoming SMA webinars and research reports that will address the strategic initiatives of insurers, such as digital transformation, customer experience, workforce evolution, and more.
About The Authors
Mark Breading is known for his insights on the future of the insurance industry and innovative uses of technology. Mark consults with insurers and technology companies on forward-thinking strategies for success in the digital age. His inventive methodologies, fresh ideas, creative conceptualizations, and ability to incorporate InsurTech and transformational tech in business strategies are unparalleled. He also leads SMA’s research program, publishing 25-30 research reports per year and conducting various custom research projects for insurer and vendor clients. His thought leadership in the areas of InsurTech, transformational technologies, customer experience, and digital strategies has earned him a ranking of one of the “Top Global Influencers in InsurTech” by InsurTech News and Onalytica and a place in the ten finalists for the “Top Global IoT in Insurance Influencer Award.”
Before joining SMA in 2009, Mark spent 25 years with IBM in roles including the Global Insurance Strategist and Director of Global Financial Services Executive Conferences in addition to leadership roles in consulting and marketing. Mark co-developed IBM’s Account Based Marketing program and led the global project office to implement ABM across all industry verticals worldwide. Mark has held both technical and business roles in sales, consulting, marketing, and business strategy and has advised insurers around the world for almost 30 years.
Deb Smallwood, the CEO & President of Strategy Meets Action, is widely recognized as an industry thought leader who is known for her expertise in helping companies rethink the traditional business of insurance and position for success in the changing insurance world. Deb’s passion is to advise insurers on innovative ways to leverage InsurTech and the emerging technologies that are required in today’s digital connected world. Deb provides insights that guide insurers on their journeys to becoming the Next-Gen Insurers of tomorrow. For over 30 years, Deb has helped customers understand how to leverage technologies, shift strategies, and make the right strategic investments. Deb has worked with hundreds of insurers and solution providers over the years, enabling them to create high business value and differentiate their businesses through their decisions and investments. Read more.
About SMA, a ReSource Pro company
Strategy Meets Action is an industry-leading strategic advisory firm delivering strategic insights, consulting services, and published research to carriers, solution providers, and InsurTech startups. The firm provides insights and guidance on business strategy, digital transformation, core systems and customer experience. Learn more about SMA at www.strategymeetsaction.com.
SOURCE: Strategy Meets Action (SMA)