Insurance – Solutions for property & casualty insurers
“Inflation, increasing natural hazards and high competitive pressure will weigh on the profitability of P&C insurers in the coming years. An efficient and flexible operating model and a strategically managed product portfolio will be essential for insurers to defend their competitiveness and grow profitably in an increasingly difficult market.”
Arne van Tongern, Senior Manager, zeb
Despite increasing losses due to natural hazards and rising inflation, property & casualty insurance remains a lucrative and growing segment for primary insurers overall. Consequently, the market is fiercely contested, both on the part of insurers and in terms of sales channels and sales organizations. Tied agents and brokers are trying to defend their leading position against direct sales, banks and car manufacturers. Under the heading of embedded insurance, product-accessorized distribution via cooperation partners outside the industry is gaining in importance.
How can insurers survive and succeed in this market and competitive environment? What are key fields of action and possible solutions for many P&C insurers?
Solutions & fields of action
Insurers pay out around two-thirds of collected premiums as claims payments to customers and claimants. Nevertheless, management often seems to focus more on reducing administrative and application processing costs than on optimizing claims costs. Then again, a claim is every insurer’s oft-cited “moment of truth”. In the event of a claim, the aim is to help the customer quickly and reliably, not only by assuming the costs incurred, but also by providing support, advice and services. For insurers, it is a matter of finding the right combination of customer orientation, efficient claims processing and reducing claims costs. The example of process automation thanks to digitalization and modern core IT applications shows that the three goals do not have to be in conflict with each other. For instance, swift claims processing that is transparent for the customer can not only increase customer satisfaction, but also reduce claims settlement costs.
Along our claims framework, we can systematically show what insurers’ statuses are in terms of strategy and governance, core claims processes (from prevention to recourse) and overarching areas such as IT and human resources, and where action is called for.
While the private customer segment is saturated and highly competitive, the segment comprising small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) not only offers growth potential, but also has considerable catching up to do in terms of digitalization, automation and customer centricity. At around 30% of the total P&C market, business with SMEs makes up a significant and growing share. Comprising both standardizable mass business and time-consuming individual business that requires a great deal of advisory effort, this is a very heterogeneous business segment, but it is attractive enough for many insurers to focus their strategy on it. Thinksurance is showing the market that standardization, simplification and process automation in commercial insurance are possible. We are familiar with market trends and success factors in commercial insurance along the entire value chain and work with our clients to develop solutions for optimizing commercial business in P&C insurance.
Core systems that are too rigid and often decades old prevent most insurers from achieving a competitive time-to-market and are often unable to meet the expectations of today’s customers and distribution partners. Only a few insurers have completed the modernization or transformation of their IT application landscape. Most insurers have initiated IT modernization measures or are about to do so, as the zeb.digital pulse check 2022 also shows.
In addition to technological and regulatory requirements, above all specific requirements resulting from the insurer’s business and operating model are at the beginning and at the core of IT modernization. That is why we believe that the business/line of business managers play a key role in every IT modernization project. We support our clients in the systematic analysis of business requirements for IT applications – derived from the strategy and the business model. These requirements provide the basis for an informed make-or-buy decision and, in the case of a buy decision, for the selection of the appropriate standard software provider (see also IT services).
The primary goal of any IT modernization is to increase competitiveness through a short time-to-market, through cost advantages thanks to a high degree of automation, through flexibility in product development, and through the swift connection of distribution and cooperation partners. We use our business know-how to ensure that the requirements relevant to achieving these goals are taken into account in IT modernization projects.