Here in New England, we're seeing early signs of Fall: less humidity, shorter days and cool nights. At FirstBest, we're also shifting gears. Summer vacations are over, kids are back at school and we are enthusiastic about getting back to business basics.
For this month's issue, we've collected some great articles, listed several excellent analyst reports and planned a partner webinar with RiskMeter. If you haven't yet signed up, please do.
In this month's featured article, Geoff Smith shares suggestions for mitigating expense ratios in - "Brother, Can you Spare a Dime?" There is no dispute that the sector now has more, and better, tools to allow faster adjustments to price, underwriting and changing market conditions than it had during previous times of slow premium growth. However, many carriers have not made the strategic technology investments that yield a lower cost structure, higher productivity and support some elasticity when times get tough. A useful read.
We hope you'll take the time to check our Recommended Reading List, where you'll find our selection of some interesting underwriting and technology news, including a summary of a recent Novarica agent survey, which nets out the drivers behind agent-carrier relationships and the factors that make a carrier an agent's top choice.
We hope you enjoy this issue. As always, we welcome your feedback.
Brother, Can you Spare a Dime?
By Geoff Smith, Guest Contributor
Quoting the song title from the best-known song of the great depression may be an inappropriate way to describe the current expense ratio levels of property/casualty commercial lines insurers. But there is no disputing the upward trend of those expense ratios. With the current state of the economy contributing to a continuation of slower premium growth, commercial insurers' expense ratios for 2010 will in all probability increase again.
Read full article »
|Insurers Failing to Invest in Underwriting
While insurance companies have made technology investments to strengthen relationships with agents, they have not invested in systems to help their underwriters achieve high performance, a recent Accenture report said. The report, "Achieving High Performance Through Underwriting: It's Time to Move Beyond the Status Quo," was undertaken with the CPCU Society and based on a 2008 survey, an update from an earlier 2005 survey.
P&C National Underwriter. Read more »
|Do Insurance Systems Suffer from a Legacy of Bad Decisions?
My post last week on the continuing value of "legacy" systems generated a number of responses, and I thought I would surface the discussion as a follow-up this week. In my post, I said that legacy systems, such as IBM mainframe or midrange systems, still hold quite a bit of value for insurance companies, and that perhaps vendors are a bit too hasty casting existing systems to obsolescence while concurrently rushing us into buying their latest and greatest offerings.
Insurance Networking News. Read More »
New York – August 11, 2009 - In a wide-ranging survey, research and advisory firm Novarica (www.novarica.com) documents the relationship between key e-business functionalities delivered through portals and agency management system integration, and agent wallet-share.
|Agent Portal Quality Helps Drive Carrier Choice for Small Commercial Agents, Says New Report from Novarica
Novarica. Read the press release »
The North American insurance industry is plowing forward in an economy that fell completely off the rails during the third quarter of 2008. This year, insurers are challenged by: 1) Hefty declines in rates and written premiums. The global recession has taken a big chunk out of the insurance industry’s hide with consumers “right-sizing” their insurance coverage, and even business policyholders opting to “go naked” or the self-insured route. The economic drag on rates is further amplified by the fact that the insurance industry is now more than five years into a soft market.
|Despite Grim Outlook, Insurance IT Budgets Remain Intact
Insurance Networking News. Read more »