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SMA Research: P&C Insurers Expand Analytics into New Business Areas

Staff Writer | June 20, 2014

Strategy Meets Action (SMA) announces a new research report, “Data and Analytics in Insurance: P&C Insurer Strategic Priorities and Operational Plans for 2014 and Beyond,” which covers insurers' business and IT strategic priorities and operational plans to leverage the exploding sources of data, and investigates how business intelligence and advanced analytics are being applied to innovate and transform the business. 

"The trends in business intelligence and analytics are quite clear. P&C insurers continue to increase investments, double down on risk-centric analytics, and expand usage into new areas across the rest of the business. Opportunities are especially strong for customer-centric analytics," says Mark Breading, SMA Partner. 

The findings, based on interviews and a survey of insurance professionals, include the following: 

  • Very few insurers report an enterprise-wide data and analytics approach – most continue to focus on targeted business area capabilities. For example, only five percent have advanced usage of dashboards across the enterprise.

  • Customer-oriented analytics lag behind risk-centric analytics (e.g. actuarial and underwriting), but many significant new projects and investments are underway or planned based on customer experience initiatives.

  • Pricing and CAT models are the top two areas for analytics in P&C today, but insurers still have many new investments focused on the analysis of the growing sources of data that will help them identify new market segments, products, and services to gain market advantage.

  • Thirty-eight percent of commercial lines insurers are planning budget increases of at least six percent per year over the next three years, compared to 31 percent for personal lines. Both signal aggressive investment increases, with many planning annual increases over 10 percent.

"Analytics increasingly enable insurers to gain new insights across the business that help shape their vision and strategies as a next-gen insurer, while enabling real-time analysis to make decisions quickly,” says Denise Garth, co-author and partner with SMA. “The overriding and critical success factor is data. The rapid explosion of new sources of data, the increasing access to existing data embedded in core systems such as unstructured notes, video, pictures, and more—combined with the increased analytics capabilities—offer new insights and opportunities for insurers to create game-changing results."  

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