The Underwriter of Tomorrow

The role of the underwriter continues to change. In order for insurers to modernize their operations and infrastructure, underwriters also must evolve their skill sets and shift their focus to address the shifting expectations of customers, agents and business owners.

To this end, EY published a report that explores the transforming role of the underwriter. The focus of underwriting, EY says, will soon shift away from internal processes and specific transactions toward market-facing relationships and sales. An increasing level of automation and stronger analytical capabilities also will contribute to this shift in focus.

Follow along to see the four roles EY predicts underwriters will begin assume in near the future.

  • Photo courtesy of Fotolia

1. Sales Executive 1. Sales Executive

EY finds that underwriters’ access to information and overall view of desirable customer types position them to more easily understand the characteristics that make a good lead, shape campaigns and play books for sales programs.

  • Underwriters will rely on integrated marketing and sales platforms that reference both internal and external data, such as real-time news feeds, social media updates and research, EY says.
  • Underwriters can assess sales trends to identify patterns and apply similar criteria to other opportunity areas. EY adds that they also can evaluate benchmarks around risk attributes for better pricing elasticity.
  • Photo courtesy of Fotolia

2. Decision Scientist 2. Decision Scientist

The widespread use of analytics offers a significant benefit for underwriters.

  • EY says that multiple, statistically based models will be used with codified, heuristic underwriting rules to achieve new levels of more-sophisticated analytics and rules-based decision support.
  • The continued evolution of predictive modeling will help to spur finer granularity in analytical and transactional model development, which EY expects to expand the underwriting process into the realm of prospecting, sales pursuit, account retention and account servicing.
  • New data aggregator services will emerge, which EY expects to support customer data ownership and facilitate insurer access.
  • Photo courtesy of Fotolia

3. Customer Advocate 3. Customer Advocate

The underwriters of tomorrow will be called upon to help shape the solutions across the network of relationships that will be required to meet higher agent, business owner and consumer expectations, EY says.

As a result, EY believes the focus will shift to developing a “team approach” to account servicing via collaborative tools. When managed effectively, this holistic environment is expected to foster increased customer loyalty through better solutions, which should result higher account retention.

  • Information access will be democratized across the network of account team members and made available through dedicated account sites, EY says.
  • Information is continually searched, analyzed, packaged and delivered to the account team in an effort to keep them apprised of the insured’s business events and activities.
  • Photo courtesy of Fotolia

4. Innovator 4. Innovator

Underwriters’ unique insights into industries and buyer preference, strong agent and broker relationships and account risk assessment and servicing all help with competitive differentiation. EY states that these insights must be codified into products and services tailored to the specific needs and issues of those customer micro-niches to deliver compelling value propositions — both to the agent and the insured.

  • Underwriters can help define the core elements, including relevant rules and pricing frameworks, that are necessary to build standardized product architectures from which tailored offerings for specific market niches can be efficiently launched, EY says.
  • Underwriters also can help determine the most valuable insights from third-party data and customer behaviors, which, according to EY, will be crucial to reshaping interactions with customers and agents, as well as the cross-functional, end-to-end processes that must support multichannel environments.
  • Photo courtesy of Fotolia

To read more about the the changing nature of underwriting and its application to the business, see the following articles:

Underwriting Evolution or Revolution?

Transformational Thinking in Insurance Underwriting

Underwriting Creeps Closer to the Top of IT Budget Priorities

  • Photo courtesy of Fotolia