Many recent reports conclude times are good in the Asian insurance market. Asia’s insurance business was largely unaffected by the financial crisis compared to other parts of the world, Celent says. For its most recent report, the analyst firm questioned CIOs at regional and global carriers throughout Asia about their areas of business focus for 2010 and the state of their IT budgets.
While their IT budgets hold steady, Asian insurers will spend 1% to 3% of premium on IT in 2010, according to the report, “Asia Insurance—The Year Ahead.” Not including Japan, most Asian insurers only spend about 40% of the IT budget on maintenance and 60% on new projects. This is very unlike the UK or the United States, where insurers spend approximately 60% of the IT budget on maintenance.
Underwriting/policy administration, customer service representative portal/desktop and agent portal are the top three areas for increases in technology investment for Asian insurers.
More than 60% of Asian insurers are thinking of using selected emerging technologies, but most are not at the implementation stage yet. A few CIOs said they will use private software-as-a-service (SaaS) for policy admin and customer relationship management (CRM). More insurers said they will only use a SaaS model in non-critical business, such as call center, CRM and human resource management.
As for business strategy priorities, growth, cost reduction, ease of doing business and meeting regulatory requirements are areas of focus for the CIOs.
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