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Library: Majesco – Taming the circus of commercial underwriting

Executive summary

Circus trivia: What is a funambulist? Five years after closing down, Ringling Brothers announced earlier this year that it would return to the circus business — only this time, without the controversy of animals.[i] It will rely upon a greater selection of human performances and high-flying acts, one of which will certainly be tightrope walking. A funambulist is a tightrope walker.

 The Digital Insurer reviews Majesco’s Report on Taming the circus of commercial underwriting

Underwriters won’t need to feel  they’re walking a tightrope, soon

In some respects, commercial P&C underwriters may feel a kinship with tightrope walkers. For years they have been attempting unimaginable feats of balance and dexterity — trying to keep the company’s interests, agent and broker interests, and customer interests all in focus at the same time. All the while, underwriters have also been concerned with balancing their workloads and managing their portfolio profitably.  Anywhere technology could be applied to the process with requirements gathering or decision-making, it was helpful.


Requirements gathering vs. customer experience

The need for underwriting information has sometimes been at odds with the customer experience. Requirements are necessary, but they are a fiery hoop in the middle of the sales process. Agents and customers spend time attempting to collect all of the information. Underwriters keep tabs on where the application and supporting documents are within the process. Real balance is rare, and when it is achieved, satisfaction is still lacking. Commercial underwriters don’t often feel fully satisfied with the information that is provided. Customers may feel like they are having to do acrobatics to get the coverage they need. All the while, a clock is ticking for the agents. Everyone feels the pressure to close the deal.

There has been great progress, however. Commercial P&C insurers have certainly advanced automation. The underwriting process has evolved from a heavily manual, paper-based environment to digitised, automated processes leveraging business rules engines in next-generation core systems. These advancements have paved the way for what’s next — a wholesale reinvention of the underwriting process. These next innovations address growing pain points and they release the power of digital tools and digital platforms to bring efficiency and simplicity to the process. Best of all, they place requirements gathering and customer and agent experience on the same side, both contributing to positive, long-term results for insurers, agents, and customers.


Assessing the need for digital underwriting transformation

No matter where you look in the insurance value chain, you’ll find that any area is crucial. One could argue, however, that no area is more crucial to profitability than underwriting. Underwriting sets the stage for a book of business. It operates at the “policy” level of risk assessment and at the portfolio level of risk tolerance. It requires great care and thought. Underwriting is the friendly guardian at the gate of entry — given the task of being both invitingly service-oriented and ruthlessly protective.

Underwriting, because of its location in the value chain, must also be competitive. It is most helpful to view underwriting through a competitive lens. What can insurers do to help underwriters in their quest to keep the company competitive? From this vantage point, insurers can grasp their gaps and goals for underwriting. Where do improvements need to come from? How can technology provide innovations that make a difference?

For answers to these questions, we’ll draw upon research from joint research efforts between Majesco and Strategy Meets Action. The research gives a succinct picture of today’s underwriting, including:

  • Current pain points in commercial insurance underwriting.
  • Relevant capability gaps that will grow over time if left unaddressed.
  • Opportunities for improvement that will reimagine the future of underwriting.

We’ll briefly review some of their points and then consider how P&C insurers can begin shifting direction right now.

See the full report for more…

Link to Full Article:: click here

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