Top 3 Areas of Underwriting Improvement for Group Insurers

To remain viable in a tough market, group carriers need to replace their aging technology and outdated business practices to create a flexible and a reusable underwriting workstation.

I’ve spent a great deal of time working with group insurers in my career. Surprisingly, I’ve found that many lack automated underwriting processes and have invested little in new technology over the past decade. What’s more, I’ve found that Group Benefits Underwriting is a fragmented and underserved market with few vendor options available.

Many leading group benefits insurers are dependent upon underwriting packages that were designed for individual life and modified for group. They are using manual processes where their intellectual property is typically buried in notes or in the heads of underwriting experts. This has plagued them with an inability to adapt; in many cases, they are using rigid, outdated technologies, or worse yet – paper-based spreadsheets!

Despite these challenges, it’s clear that Group Insurance carriers need to grow as profitably as possible. Whether it’s speed to market, underwriting consistency, improving pricing or reducing expenses, all group insurers need a flexible underwriting desktop that can easily respond to market changes and increase customer satisfaction. In addition, here are the top three underwriting priorities for many group insurers:

  1. Optimize risk selection, pricing and portfolio management;
  2. Ensure underwriting discipline across their Operations;
  3. Scale efficiently by improving underwriting productivity and collaboration.

First, Group Insurers have a need to optimize risk selection, pricing and portfolio to help them improve portfolio and exposure management with dynamic strategies aligned to profitability and growth. Carriers should exploit an analytics advantage and use predictive and adaptive analytics to power risk evaluation, risk selection & underwriting decisions and operationalize data & analytics directly within their underwriting process.

Second, Group Insurers seek to ensure underwriting discipline across their operations. Carriers need to proactively address the “greying” of their underwriting workforce and improve discipline and skills across their enterprise – making every underwriter their best. Modern business processes, rule and workflow capabilities can help carriers deliver automated and guided processes designed to drive the optimal business outcomes. These combined capabilities are powerful and can be used to assign and manage work across multiple constituents and cases, provide transparency into work status, and measure SLAs/progress on task assignments.

Third, Group Insurers are looking to scale efficiently by improving underwriter productivity and collaboration. These capabilities that will help them utilize intelligent processes and automated guidance to reduce training time and enforce consistency. They will be able to leverage existing technology and eliminate redundancy with fast, easy and secure integration legacy/third party systems. Carriers will also be able to deploy a collaborative process across underwriting functions and support.

Group Underwriting is a complex process, but when priced correctly, it is very profitable for carriers. To remain viable in a tough market, group carriers need to replace their aging technology and outdated business practices to create a flexible and a reusable underwriting workstation. This will help guide their underwriters and provide end-to-end visibility into all facets of their underwriting process.


Download the 6 Core Building Blocks of a Group Benefits Underwriting Application eBook to discover six technology “building blocks” needed for a next-generation underwriting solution that will provide the power and flexibility to streamline underwriting, offer exceptional customer experiences, and increase sales.