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Arthur D. Little

Arthur D. Little has been at the forefront of innovation since 1886. We are an acknowledged thought leader in linking strategy, innovation and transformation in technology-intensive and converging industries. We enable our clients to build innovation capabilities and transform their organizations. ADL is present in the most important business centers around the world. We are proud to serve most of the Fortune 1000 companies, in addition to other leading firms and public sector organizations. For further information, please visit www.adlittle.com

Library: iii – Invest in technology – But don’t forget to invest in people

Executive summary:

recent survey of insurance underwriters found that 40% of their time is spent on “tasks that are not core” to underwriting. The top three reasons they cited are:

 The Digital Insurer reviews Triple-I’s Report on Invest in technology – But don’t forget to invest in people

Human capital is essential – don’t skimp on it

  • Redundant inputs/manual processes;
  • Outdated/inflexible systems; and
  • Lack of information/analytics at the point of need.

The survey – conducted by The Institutes and Accenture – also found that underwriting quality processes and tools are at their lowest point since the survey was first conducted in 2008. Only 46% of the 434 underwriters who responded said they believe their frontline underwriting practices are “superior” – which is down 17% from 2013.

“While underwriters believe technology changes have improved underwriting performance, 64% said their workload has increased or had no change with technology investments,” Christopher McDaniel, president at The Institutes Catastrophe Resiliency Council, told attendees at Triple-I’s Joint Industry Forum.

The survey’s findings with respect to talent may shed some light on this. The number of organisations viewed as having “superior” talent management capabilities for underwriting fell 50% since 2013 across almost every measure of performance evaluated.

“Training, recruiting, and retention planning had some of the biggest drops, particularly for personal lines,” McDaniel said. About a quarter of personal lines underwriters said they view their company’s talent management programs as deficient.  That rate rose to 41% for talent retention; 37% for in succession planning; 33% for in training; and 30% for recruiting

“While technology investment may have improved underwriting performance” in terms of risk evaluation, quoting, and selling, McDaniel said those improvements “appear to have come at the expense of training and retaining underwriting talent,” McDaniel said.

Even before the pandemic and “the great resignation,” insurance faced a talent gap.  Part of the challenge has been finding replacements for a rapidly retiring workforce, as the median age of insurance company employees is higher than in other financial sectors.

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