Faster turnaround and easy, efficient collaboration with agents is oft-said to be of paramount importance to insurers in regard to their underwriting operations. And, according to a new survey released by FirstBest Systems Inc., this is still very much the case.
The property/casualty insurance software solutions provider today released highlights from its recent insurer survey, conducted during the 2010 CGI Ratabase User Conference, held in New Orleans. FirstBest and CGI surveyed 45 insurance professionals with IT responsibilities, representing large and mid-size carriers in the United States. Surveys were completed by a variety of roles, including business or rating analysts, product managers, systems developers and software developers. Respondents were asked to rank responses to two underwriting operations questions, and complete one open-ended question about IT and underwriting operations priorities for the next year.
When asked to “rank the aspects of the underwriting process that can be most influenced by technology, based on your company’s priorities,” insurers cited these to be the top areas:
1. Improving collaboration and ease of doing business with agents – 36%
2. Consistent application of underwriting guidelines and discipline – 28%
3. Improving underwriting productivity and quality – 18%
4. Efficiency of underwriting process and workflow – 13% (43% ranked as second highest)
5. Integration of third-party Web services – 7%
When asked to “rank the ways that improving underwriting operations can most benefit your company in boosting underwriting and collaboration,” insurers cited the top benefits as:
1. Faster processing and turnaround time – 31%
2. Improve service levels with agents – 27%
3. Market growth – 24%
4. Increase book of business - 14%
5. Leverage senior underwriter knowledge – 4%
“FirstBest surveyed a highly qualified group of insurers, most of whom represent the leading carriers in their markets, and asked the group to name a few additional areas where their ‘IT operations’ planned to improve in 2010 and 2011,” says Meira Primes, VP of marketing, FirstBest. “Not surprisingly, the most common responses were consolidating or integrating (legacy) systems, improving remote quoting for agents and speeding time to market. Efficiency—of everything from business processes to overall system speed—was a prevalent theme as well. Antiquated or disparate systems continue to challenge and occupy mid-size and large carriers, however many are planning to leverage new, flexible technologies to improve processes, agent relationships and profitability.”
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