- Where Insurance & Technology Meet

Adapting to Change: The Next Era of Underwriting in Mid/Large Commercial Lines

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

What word would you pick to describe the future of underwriting? If ‘adaptable’ came to mind, you would be joining the majority of insurer executives in the mid/large commercial lines segment who thought the same in a recent SMA survey.

The past two years are clear evidence of how commercial lines adapted to a rapidly changing world, especially underwriting. However, another phenomenon was also occurring as insurers pushed their underwriting initiatives forward: many also realized that their digital capabilities were not as far along as previously thought. Now, insurers are accelerating their plans to move their underwriting departments into the next era.

According to SMA’s new eBook, Middle-Market and Large Commercial Lines Underwriting Transformation: The Next Era, 87% of insurers expect big changes to occur in underwriting within the next five years. In 2020, only 69% said the same. Moreover, change is expected to touch every aspect of underwriting, from underwriters’ roles and responsibilities to the processes and resources used. Consider that 90% of leaders think their underwriting departments will significantly differ in five years, with many believing the role will evolve to blend the human touch with AI. In contrast, one in ten executives thinks technology advancements will eventually eliminate the underwriter role.

How insurers leverage their underwriting staff to drive change internally may also impact the path forward of the underwriter career. The more than half of insurers currently tapping underwriters to contribute to innovation initiatives may see their needs for tech-savvy talent increase. At the same time, several insurers are missing opportunities to capitalize on the expertise of underwriting teams to push their organizations into a new digital era.

Learn more about the current state of underwriting transformation and the path forward for the mid/large commercial lines segment by reading SMA’s new eBook: Middle-Market and Large Commercial Lines Underwriting Transformation: The Next Era.

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)