Life insurance companies are committing to increased underwriting efficiencies and improved risk evaluation by collecting more data and investing in new digital processes.
A new Accenture Research survey of more than 500 underwriters found that insurers are prioritizing data use while also introducing robotics process automation (RPA) and modern policy underwriting platforms. These systems use a variety of data sources—some unconventional, such as social media, and health and wellness apps—to supplement conventional ones to provide deeper and more actionable insights.
Working together, these new technologies can not only improve underwriting efficiency but also create new opportunities by extracting greater value from a deeper data pool. This is good news for underwriters because it allows them to examine risk more thoroughly than before.
Need for efficiency
Improving underwriting efficiency is a key goal for insurers, because our survey found that new technologies have actually increased the workload for underwriters. They told us technology has had a positive impact on their underwriting performance, but as much as 40 percent of their time is now spent on non-core administrative tasks such as data entry and data gathering.
Our research shows that insurers are looking to improve underwriter efficiency by investing in technologies such as AI and Natural Language Understanding/Processing (NLU/NLP). The resulting new capabilities, such as automated data extraction from customer or producer documents, will free underwriters from those mundane tasks and greatly increase their capacity.
Data at the point of need
But these data are only as useful as they are accessible; information becomes far more valuable and presented to underwriters when they most need it. It’s especially useful for underwriters to have needed data at their fingertips at key decision points throughout the underwriting workflow.
My colleague Michael Reilly describes this capability as a “third-generation underwriting platform.” Such a platform enhances workflow and policy systems while containing all the data underwriters need for risk evaluation. When integrated into the underwriting workflow, these intelligent and automated platforms provide underwriters with the data and insights they need, when they need them.
Transformational change underwriters seek
We think these platforms can provide the transformative change to underwriting that point solutions to date have not addressed effectively. Having data at the point of need is key to underwriting transformation.
Third-generation underwriting platforms hold the power to eliminate time spent on data administration, and can even go beyond underwriting by providing insights across the life insurance value chain. Such insights could, for example, influence product development and distribution by identifying and addressing opportunities in new and/or underserved markets.
We invite you to read our latest white paper, AI-powered Insurance: Automated Underwriting – Reimagining the life insurance underwriting experience for productivity and profits, to explore new ways to empower your underwriters. Please contact Michael or me to learn more.