Insurer’s Top 10 Imperatives for 2015

February 24 2015 | Monique Hesseling

What is on the mind of insurance executives today? Where have they been focusing their energies, investment, and resources? SMA answers this question every year by publishing the SMA Top 10 Imperatives for Insurers. Our research and strategy activities with insurers provide strong indications regarding the major activities that are underway for this year. These “imperatives” – and we identify 10 each year – offer a framework for business and technology strategies. While the major focus for a specific company may be in just a few areas for a given year, the ten imperatives as a whole represent all the key areas insurers should be advancing to remain competitive. The imperatives for 2015 reflect the industry’s march toward more customer-centric, digital enterprises and the increasing role of innovation. A few of my observations regarding 2015 activities are as follows:

  • Many initiatives are underway and strategically prioritized to enhance interaction and communication with policy owners and distributors. These initiatives tend to be driven, in order of perceived priority, by operational efficiency/cost reduction, increased focus on profitable growth, and increased customer/distributor demands.
  • Strategy development and planning efforts around digital insurer concepts are now being implemented and executed, and insurers expect those to show positive results quickly, by delivering value to customers and distributors, and by improving retention, growth in specific segments, and customer satisfaction/experience.
  • Insurers are working on supporting the underwriting function even more by using technology to select and price risks, and by augmenting underwriting intelligence with external data sources, primarily around location, spatial, and geo data for now. There is an interest in applying social media data next.
  • Insurers have acknowledged that upgrading and modernizing core systems comes with the need for organizational and process change, which allows for transformation. We see initiatives planned for 2015 to capitalize on this learning.

The industry is changing but the fundamentals remain the same. New developments regarding emerging technologies, digital solutions, analytics, and innovation provide opportunities for extending and even rethinking parts of the business. These areas and others are reshaping the business. At the same time – the industry is fundamentally about leveraging a deep understanding of risk and markets to assist customers in protecting their assets and accumulating wealth. The collective expertise and experience in our industry in these areas is what makes insurance unique. All 10 of the imperatives playing out in 2015 enable insurers to improve on their specific areas of expertise and discover or invent new ways to serve customers and improve profitability.

For more information on insurer’s strategic initiatives, read SMA’s new research report, SMA Top 10 Imperatives for Insurers - 2015.Contact Monique Hesseling for further information at

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Monique Hesseling
Strategy Meets Action