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Driving Informed Underwriting Decisions

Driving Informed Underwriting Decisions

As insurers look to keep up with more digitally native industries, we can expect to see continued, but smarter, spending on technology. In fact, some reports project an increase in technology spending of 26% by 2026. But as insurers think through their investments and the best way to optimize their teams while remaining cost effective, what’s the best way to make sense of the vast offerings on the market and ensure a quick return on investment?

A good place to start is by addressing the amount of time spent by underwriters conducting research. According to Insurance Thought Leadership, “The average underwriter spends 40% of their time on administrative tasks, 30% on negotiation and sales support and only 30% on actual underwriting.” Technology and business executives are working collaboratively to find and apply tech accelerators to the underwriting workflow to change these figures and gain faster benefit realization.

There are several ways that carriers can approach this. The first is integration with enriched search results from across underwriting platforms, policy administration systems, digital content and claim systems. With multiple underwriting toolsets that are used across different lines of business, underwriters are left with siloed, likely outdated information. Currently, this results in many redundant web browser sessions looking for answers and no single toolset to aggregate that data. With improved integration across platforms, underwriters can gain better insights and spend less time on research. Search Bot Helper, for example, is an aggregator and data mining tool that can improve JavaScript website search engine optimization. Tools like iSwarm, a capability held within InfoNgen, mine content across internal and external sources into a single dashboard.

Another solution could be addressing the talent gap. Some estimates show a projected annual 8,400 openings for insurance underwriters, on average, over the next decade in the US. Combine that talent gap with changing expectations from the “new” underwriter generation and the challenge becomes clear. With more digitally born users entering the underwriting workforce, these future leaders both expect to have proper data and analytics tools at their disposal that are fully integrated and be given the skillset required to integrate sources of data. To fully take advantage of these tools, underwriters need to have the data science expertise required, or the ability to collaborate with data scientists themselves, to extract meaningful insights from the overwhelming amount of data. And that’s not all, insurers need to have the ability to integrate this information directly into their customer relationship platforms, like Salesforce, to maintain retention profits and increase premiums.

As insurance executives hunt for new technologies that eliminate wasted time on web searches, providing necessary data aggregation, as well as populating data into core platforms is a solid starting point. And doing so in a way that spans the workforce of today while attracting future talent results in enhanced underwriting profit. The ideal state is applying these capabilities at an accelerated pace while maintaining a net positive to the budget. By applying these standalone or add-on capabilities to underwriting workbenches, underwriters can then focus on more complex challenges, crafting custom policies faster and boosting customer satisfaction.


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