Personal lines insurers are no stranger to widespread digital transformation and innovation, having been at the forefront of these changes for the past decade. When the pandemic hit in 2020, personal lines insurers responded in different ways. Some stayed the course with their existing digital strategies, whereas others began reshaping and even accelerating their plans to meet the shifting needs and expectations of policyholders, agents and employees. As the pandemic wore on into 2021, insurers split increasingly between maintaining or reshaping their current initiatives. Now, according to a new study from SMA, personal lines insurers will continue to advance their digital transformation strategies in 2022, albeit with a new lens and several shifts in priorities.
SMA's recent research report, "2022 Strategic Initiatives: P&C Personal Lines," features market insights from an annual survey of insurance executives about the state of their strategic plans. Despite the numerous and rapid changes resulting from the past two years, the personal lines segment remains committed to digital transformation. One hundred percent of surveyed executives report that digital transformation is a key strategic initiative in 2022. However, compared with 2021, there has been a two-fold increase in those developing strategies over implementing or broadly deploying new initiatives. This reflects a broader industry trend SMA is seeing of insurers opting to reexamine their go-forward strategies in light of lessons learned during the pandemic and to align their transformational and business priorities. What is now clear is that the next wave of transformation is on the horizon.
Just as digital strategies are shifting, so are the key business drivers of personal lines insurers’ investments. While cost containment was a key driver in 2021, executives did not identify it as a top priority for 2022. Additionally, innovation, which has historically been a critical investment driver, returned to the top-five list in 2022 after declining in importance in 2021. As personal lines insurers become increasingly more confident about the state of the industry and workforce post-pandemic, SMA is seeing a corresponding shift in their business priorities.
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Insurers entered 2022 with a new perspective and are taking the time to adapt their business roadmaps accordingly – both in terms of digital transformation and workforce strategies. Personal lines insurers have built a strong platform for innovation and digital advancement, having been a leader in these areas for years. By continuing to focus on their key business drivers and adapting to the changing needs and expectations of their key stakeholders, personal lines insurers are well-positioned for success in 2022 and beyond.
For more information on specific strategic initiatives of personal lines insurers, including both traditional and transformational initiatives, read SMA's recently published research report, "2022 Strategic Initiatives: P&C Personal Lines."