Carriers will find themselves facing another series of unprecedented challenges heading into 2021. S&P predicted in July that the U.S. P/C industry will see a 100.7 combined ratio in 2020, following two consecutive years where it was below 100. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to amplify these rising ratios.

Executive Summary

"Taking an existing paper- or people-based process and slapping RPA on top of it doesn't work," writes ResourcePro's SVP of innovation and analytics, Andy Niver. Here, he outlines the right way for carriers to dive into RPA, describes near-term uses of RPA and AI/ML that can speed carrier-broker-customer exchanges, and reviews the promise of blockchain over the longer term.

As the pressure mounts to stunt the trend on this ratio, insurers will look to areas where they can control their own destiny on the expense side of their business to squeeze as much productivity and efficiency out of those dollars as possible. This means innovation—driven by data, automation and other leading-edge technologies—will be in the forefront to deliver on their promise of results.

Doing so will require carriers to become technology and data experts, and that shift is already happening. One way is through venture capital arms that fund new technology startups to tackle the problems they see in their business, like what Munich RE and EMC Insurance have done. Even brokers want in, with incubator programs like BrokerTech Ventures launched to build the next generation of technical solutions for their specific distribution challenges. Delivering on this shift will require carriers to understand how to master integrating this technology into their operations.

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