Agility, automation and underwriting are central themes in a new report from Strategy Meets Action, titled “2013 WatchPoints for P&C Insurers.”

“Insurers need capabilities that enable them to bring new product offerings and services to market quickly, price with precision, and service their customers in a manner that will ensure a long-term relationship,” the report says.

SMA’s nine WatchPoints, or market trends, for all property/casualty insurers include:

- Insurers should be investing in future capabilities, not just expense management

- Modest economic growth triggers new markets and/or lines

- Interest rates intensify focus on underwriting

The report parses each point of emphasis, including three themes each specifically for commercial and personal lines insurers, adding statistics and examples. The personal automobile insurance market, for example, requires a strong product, pinpoint pricing and a honed marketing strategy, according to the report. However, SMA adds that insurers must possess strong data and analytics capabilities and a nimble organizational structure to react quickly to fast-moving consumer and loss trends in the marketplace.

For commercial lines insurers, automation for certain accounts is not enough, equipping the underwriter with the right information and tools so as not to overlook good risks.

Indeed, sophisticated modeling tools with new sources also are becoming increasingly important for effectively managing property lines, as weather patterns continue to be unpredictable. The knowledge gained from the models is imperative for both assessing the company’s risk portfolio and for effectively managing major loss events.

SMA also provides guidance for software vendors, saying that aside from offering flexible, next-generation technology that can help insurers gain more insight into their business, they also must demonstrate that they are deserving of being viewed and treated as partners and not just vendors.

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