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March 26, 2018

2018’s Top Projects in Personal Lines

Summary:

The key shifts and top priorities are centered on the customer, new technology platform investments and new world initiatives.

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SMA has tracked the changing course of business and technology projects in the insurance industry for nine years. Our recent research for the Strategic Initiatives in Insurance series and our work with insurers clearly support the fact that the P&C industry is changing, especially in the personal lines arena. And this change is having a profound impact on the insurers’ strategies, priorities and technology investments. We see significant spending and shifts in personal lines projects that are aimed at aligning insurers’ strategies to transformation and growth.

For personal lines, just sustaining the business is no longer an option. Ninety-five percent of personal lines insurers now consider themselves to be growing or transforming. Never before have these numbers been so high, or the number of insurers that are just sustaining so low. Priorities have shifted and refocused where spending and investments are concerned.

See also: Insurtech and Personal Lines  

Our study reveals that the key shifts and top priorities are centered on the customer, new technology platform investments and new world initiatives. Several top themes have emerged, and they reflect how the personal lines business is changing today as companies prepare for the future:

  • It’s all about the customer, from the top business drivers of customer expectations to the top investments in self-service portals, mobile apps and CRM systems with new user experiences and enriched capabilities.
  • New technology investments support mobile, website and call centers. Insurers are even exploring digital platforms and omni-channel investments.
  • There is a renewed interest in telematics and usage-based insurance (UBI). This is clearly a required response to stay competitive in auto – for the time being.
  • Shifts in emerging technology investments provide amazing new opportunities. More than half of the insurers are investing in virtual assistants, chatbots and AI.
  • All aspects of data are hot, from master data management to predictive analytics and big data.
  • Core system investments have shifted from modernizing to transforming and seek to implement new technology platforms and more modern architectures like microservices.
  • Insurers are still balancing investments with agent/broker portals for both sales and service because managing agent expectations ranks as a top driver.

SMA encourages personal lines insurers to look carefully at what is happening around them, both inside and outside the insurance industry today, to keep an eye on the new trends and emerging technologies and to blend the best of their traditional strengths with the new world initiatives, ensuring that they are well-aligned to their own strategies.

Senior leaders should take into consideration all of the various project areas in the report – business, technology and tools and data and analytics – and prioritize in every area. These projects are baseline requirements for remaining competitive. Pay special attention to customer-centric investments, from self-service portals to CRM to mobile, making sure that the data and analytics investments align to customer intelligence.

See also: 3 Forces Disrupting Personal Lines  

Click here to learn more about this report and the other reports in our 2018 Strategic Initiatives Series.

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About the Author

Deb Smallwood, the founder of Strategy Meets Action, is highly respected throughout the insurance industry for strategic thinking, thought-provoking research and advisory skills. Insurers and solution providers turn to Smallwood for insight and guidance on business and IT linkage, IT strategy, IT architecture and e-business.

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