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Digital Transformation in Commercial Lines: A Frenzy of New Activity is Underway

New SMA Blog by Deb Smallwood, CEO & President, Strategy Meets Action

Since 2020, there have been endless discussions around COVID-19’s impact on customers’ needs and how the insurance industry adapted swiftly to unprecedented times. Although the pandemic helped accelerate innovation in some areas of the business, many commercial lines insurers also came to realize how unprepared they were for the digital demands resulting from the global crisis. In fact, a recent SMA survey found that fewer insurers consider themselves to be in transformation mode today compared to the pre-pandemic era. So, it is no surprise that in 2022, many senior executives across commercial lines see how imperative it is to transform and innovate, and a sense of urgency is driving a frenzy of new activity.

SMA’s newly released research report, Digital Transformation in Commercial Lines: Project Priorities for 2022 and Beyond, identifies specific project plans for insurers in small commercial lines and mid/large commercial lines this year. Across all lines in the commercial market, insurers are focusing on operational transformation and the technologies needed to enhance data and analytics capabilities in different business areas. There is also more significant activity in initiatives to improve digital interactions with agents and policyholders. However, unique project priorities emerge when looking separately at insurers in small commercial versus mid/large commercial lines.

Within small commercial, SMA’s research finds that insurers in this market are further along in their digital transformation journeys than their peers in mid/large commercial lines. Specifically, small commercial insurers are increasing their investments in straight-through processing (STP). For insurers serving the mid/large commercial segment, modernizing core systems and eliminating manual processes are their top two project areas in 2022. Advancements in these areas will be essential for insurers handling complex and specialized risks that involve vast amounts of forms, documents, and data.

Insurers’ plans in 2022 will only continue in the years to come, and it will be become ever-more critical in a competitive industry environment. Upgrading digital capabilities to serve agents, policyholders, employees, members, and shareholders will be hallmark traits of future market leaders engaged in their digital transformation journeys today.

For more information on the digital transformation journeys of commercial lines insurers, read SMA’s recently published research report, Digital Transformation in Commercial Lines: Project Priorities for 2022 and Beyond.

About The Author

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

SOURCE: Strategy Meets Action (SMA)