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How Personal Lines Insurers are Addressing Digital Transformation Gaps

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

The personal lines segment is known for leading the charge with innovations and technologies – a reputation that only strengthened during the pandemic. From digital underwriting submissions and virtual inspections to digital FNOL and other capabilities, personal line insurers were poised to meet the new digital needs of customers and employees when other industries struggled to adapt to the virtual era. However, in enhancing processes and workflows to adjust to the pandemic’s demands, insurers also uncovered gaps in their digital capabilities, forcing them to reexamine their existing projects and identify new opportunities.

A recent SMA study shows that 41% of personal lines insurers are revisiting their digital transformation strategies in 2022, a significant jump from 19% in 2021. This heightened activity indicates the acceleration of the digital projects identified in SMA’s new research report, “Digital Transformation in Personal Lines: Project Priorities for 2022 and Beyond.”

Unsurprisingly, personal lines insurers are most focused on expanding policyholders’ self-service capabilities. With the pandemic creating the essential need for capabilities such as obtaining a policy, paying a bill, or filing a claim online, customers now expect sophisticated systems that allow them to interact with their insurers when and how they want. Half of all insurers focused on personal lines are also implementing digital platforms. Because digital platforms leverage APIs and low-and no-code technologies that allow for connectivity from various channels, SMA is seeing more and more insurers of all sizes shifting from portals to platform technology. Other projects aimed at leveraging emerging technologies are also rising on the priority lists of personal lines insurers as they complete their upgrades of more foundational technologies.

Although signs point to continued digital transformation acceleration across personal lines in the coming years, competition will only grow fiercer as progress gains momentum. Insurers that pause their digital projects for too long risk falling behind peers, losing distribution partners, and being dismissed by current or potential customers. To stand out in the saturated personal lines market, insurers must commit to modernizing capabilities to serve agents, policyholders, and employees and push forward in their digital transformation journeys.

For more information on the digital transformation journeys of personal lines insurers, read SMA’s recently published research report, Digital Transformation in Personal 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)