An overwhelming majority of underwriters (93 percent) perceive investment in technology as the best way to improve underwriting quality, according to an Accenture survey of U.S. commercial insurance underwriters.

And two-thirds of the 559 survey respondents said technology has significantly improved their underwriting performance.

However, 54 percent indicated that technology has also increased their workload, mainly due to lack of data integration across the company (cited by 81 percent of that group), lack of process integration (67 percent) and insufficient training (57 percent).

Respondents expect to invest in a number of measures over the next three years to improve underwriting effectiveness, including process automation (57 percent), predictive analytics for risk evaluation and pricing (51 percent), and external data to evaluate risk (51 percent).

“Underwriters typically face a number of challenges in evaluating risk,” said Michael Reilly, a managing director in Accenture Property and Casualty Insurance Services. “These include difficulties in obtaining historical, market and claim information while pricing the risk, disconnected account information, and long and unnecessarily complex communication channels…Automated underwriting systems offer the promise of better information and greater efficiency through the reduction of re-working and errors.”

Source: Accenture