I spoke to Rebecca Amoroso, vice chairman and U.S. insurance sector leader for New York-based consultancy Deloitte yesterday, regarding the company's 2011 Insurance Industry Outlook.
The company is tracking closely how carriers are using technology to improve the customer experience, she notes.
"Every client has some sort of customer experience initiative going on," Amoroso says. "The business unit leaders are charged with growing a [customer experience] practice."
Insurers are not simply taking a "me too" approach to this issue, she adds. Carriers are leveraging investments in data and analytics to improve the customer experience.
"It's not just about the mobile apps, it's about using information," she says. "It's a race to figure out who can get the information faster and quicker than their competitor."
Another factor driving investments in analytics among carriers is a desire to have better predictive modeling, Amoroso continues. While underwriting is the major end user for these capabilities, Deloitte sees other business applications as well.
Carriers are using predictive modeling to "identify folks who you might not want to leave the firm, to increase employee retention," she explains. "There is also use of predictive models around your agency force in terms of recruitment and profitability."
Deloitte expects cloud computing to continue its growth in the insurance industry as well. By 2014, the company predicts that financial services will be the biggest adopter of cloud, as CFOs pay more attention to it as an efficient way to reduce costs.
Still, core systems are not likely to be migrated to the cloud in that 2014 timeframe en masse,, Amoroso adds.
"There are certain apps that companies are able to take hold of, but we haven't seen the state-of-the-art solution yet for the policy administration system," she says. "We're still at the early stages of seeing what can be done, what can't be done, and managing the risks."
To hear from carriers including Farmers, Amica, and New York Life about how they're leveraging technology to improve the customer experience, check out Insurance & Technology's virtual event next week.
Nathan Golia is senior editor of Insurance & Technology. He joined the publication in 2010 as associate editor and covers all aspects of the nexus between insurance and information technology, including mobility, distribution, core systems, customer interaction, and risk ... View Full Bio