2018 insurance trends

After a whirlwind year for the insurance industry, carriers enter 2018 with a sense of urgency to deploy faster, higher-impact technological capabilities aimed at enhancing underwriting, claims and customer interaction, according to a new Aite Group report. The study, authored by the firm’s Co-Founder and Research Director Gwenn Bézard, outlines predictions for insurance technology in the year ahead. Following is the market researcher’s 2018 outlook for the P&C, life and health sectors.
A ransomware demand for the payment of $300 worth of bitcoin sits on the screen of an Apple Inc. Macbook Air laptop infected by the 'Petya' computer virus inside an electronics store in Kiev, Ukraine, on Wednesday, June 28, 2017. The cyberattack similar to WannaCry began in Ukraine Tuesday, infecting computer networks and demanding $300 in cryptocurrency to unlock their systems before spreading to different parts of the world. Photographer: Vincent Mundy/Bloomberg

Data protection and privacy take center stage

“Several factors, including ceaseless cyber threats and Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), will force insurers to adopt a fresh data strategy,” says Bézard.
A technician uses a computer keyboard as he stands in the server hall of the data storage center at the headquarters of Rostelecom PJSC, the state telecommunications operator, in Moscow, Russia, on Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015. Netflix Inc. signed agreement with Rostelecom to use its TV service starting in 2016. Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

Unstructured data spreads in P&C underwriting and claims

“Consumers want quicker underwriting and claims decisions, which will compel carriers to turn to unstructured data," Aite says.
An Uber Technologies Inc. Volvo self-driving sports utility vehicles (SUV) sits on the road after a high-impact crash in Tempe, Arizona, U.S., on Friday, March 24, 2017. Uber Technologies Inc.'s self-driving cars were back on public roads Monday, three days after a crash in Arizona put the company's testing program on hold. Photographer: Mark Beach/Fresco News via Bloomberg

Technology will become a greater part of loss-control strategies

“High-severity losses are pushing carriers to think differently about how to limit those losses,” according to Aite Group.
A State Farm catastrophe claims adjuster surveys a home affected by Hurricane Harvey in Rockport, Texas, U.S., on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017. Hurricane Harvey inflicted damage on 1.7 million homes that could top $11.5 billion in insured losses, according to CoreLogic Inc. Photographer: Eddie Seal/Bloomberg

Instant claims payments

“In an increasingly customer-centric environment, more carriers will strengthen policyholder engagement and relationships by using available technology to pay claims quickly," Bezard expects.

Life insurers step up digital transformations

“Customer demand and the need to improve upon the full customer experience will force life insurance carriers to look beyond front-office digital solutions to solutions that will support the full policy life cycle," according to the report.

Accelerated life insurance underwriting gets personal

“The need to create an individualized experience while providing immediate gratification, simplicity, convenience and products that fit consumers’ needs is pushing carriers to shift to a true accelerated underwriting process, employing rules engines, scoring tools, advanced algorithms, and third-party data," Bezard asserts.
A technician works near rack servers in the server room of the Sberbank PJSC data processing center (DPC) at the Skolkovo Innovation Center, in Moscow, Russia, on Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2017. Sberbank PJSC, Russia’s most valuable company, will boost its dividend payout to 50 percent of profit or higher, just not as quickly as some investors had hoped. Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloombergg 

Life insurers will embrace robotic process automation

“Reducing operational costs, improving scalability and streamlining internal processes while plagued by legacy systems are some key reasons life insurance carriers are forced to implement RPA to support automation," Aite says.
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Health insurers revamp provider data management

“Better provider data management is being driven by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. But with potential financial penalties, health [carriers] recognize this capability’s importance as their businesses become more consumer-focused,” concluded Bézard.