7 Tech Trends Shaping Life/Health Insurers in 2014

After examining the events of the past year, a new report from Aite Group synthesized what it believes to be the top trends for 2014 for life, annuities and health segments of the U.S. insurance industry. All of these trends, Aite Group says, will help the industry to become more customer-centric.

1. Payers Crank Up Private Exchanges' Retail Focus

1. Payers Crank Up Private Exchanges' Retail Focus: Challenges with the ACA website rollout have made it clear that health insurers need to invest significantly to be as successful as consumer brands with new private healthcare exchanges.

2. Health Benefit AccountGrowth Begets Mobile Payment Trials

2. Health Benefit AccountGrowth Begets Mobile Payment Trials: Revenue cycle vendors will continue to upgrade their point-of-service and post-service infrastructure, yet more will look to extend both channels, exploring mobile and tablet payment pilots.

3. ACH EFT Remittance Makes Way for Virtual B2B Cards

3. ACH EFT Remittance Makes Way for Virtual B2B Cards: Virtual business-to-business (B2B) card payments will begin to provide an attractive electronic payment option for small to midsize healthcare providers.

4. Life Insurers Prepare to Succeed With Private Healthcare Exchanges

4. Life Insurers Prepare to Succeed With Private Healthcare Exchanges: Investments in multichannel work site sales capabilities will increase and life insurers will begin to implement highly configurable policy administration systems for voluntary benefits products.

5. Life Insurers Apply Lessons From Underwriting BPM to Claims BPM

5. Life Insurers Apply Lessons From Underwriting BPM to Claims BPM: The compliance challenges with unclaimed death benefits lead to a much-needed focus on modernizing the entire life insurance claims process.

6. Continued Low Interest Rates Accelerate Life Insurers' BPO Uptake

6. Continued Low Interest Rates Accelerate Life Insurers' BPO Uptake: To free up IT spending from policy administration system maintenance, life insurers will use business process outsourcing (BPO) more actively for closed as well as active books of business, and they will make progress with the difficult reverse engineering of business logic and calculations.

7. New Turnkey Asset Management Providers Spur Annuities Growth

7. New Turnkey Asset Management Providers Spur Annuities Growth: A new breed of turnkey asset management platforms (TAMP) will appear in 2014 that focuses on the retirement income needs of financial advisors and allows them to be efficient and effective in implementing retirement income strategies.

Insurers will become more customer-centric this year, says Aite Group. Here's how.

Aite Group also identified three trends for P&C insurers. See what they are here.