Weathering the Storm in Complex Insurance

by Craig Beattie, April 2, 2014
Industry Trends
Asia-Pacific, EMEA, Latin America, North America


In the summer of 2013 Celent conducted a global survey of insurers as well as a series of interviews with insurers involved in complex P&C insurance in Europe. Celent sought to understand the drivers and challenges in today’s economy, and found a market going through extraordinary change. 

Insurers are clearly responding to a new normal — a chain of events set in motion by the financial crisis and now redefining markets. Insurers and reinsurers may have historically dodged restructuring efforts, and this has had effects on the culture of organisations, but now the need for both efficiency and growth has a steel grip on the market.

The pressures are global: the continuing financial situation, the more intense influence of investor and stock market pressures, and of course the rise in frequency and cost of catastrophes. The pressures are also internal, as the need for profitable growth and changing work practices chip away at an old culture.

How are insurers responding? In the report Weathering the Storm in Complex Insurance, Celent seeks to understand the influence of digitisation and the role of agility.

“Insurers are hunting risks, looking for markets within markets and deploying an array of data and tools to help them,” says Craig Beattie, Senior Analyst with Celent’s Insurance Group and author of the report. “Those insurers who feel themselves to be unaffected by the new normal, who are carrying on as they always have, will find themselves fighting hungry competitors for the business that used to arrive at their door.”

This report discusses the many subtle and not so subtle ways the market has changed in the last few years, and how the greatest impact has been cultural. We also make projections for the true effects of this new perspective and new culture, which have yet to be fully realised.

Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies. With a team of internationally based analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is a wholly-owned operating unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

Media Contacts

North America
Michele Pace
Tel: +1 212 345 1366

Europe (London)
Chris Williams
Tel: +44 (0)782 448 3336

Asia (Tokyo)
Yumi Nagaoka
Tel.: +81 3 3500 3023

Table of Contents

Executive Summary



The Quest for Profitable Growth



Complex Insurers Are Investing in Agility



Digitisation Is a Threat and Opportunity







The New Normal in Complex Insurance



The New Normal


Finding Profitable Growth


Agility — The Holy Grail



Achieving Agility Means Sacrificing Flexibility



Mobility and Agility


Digitisation in Complex Insurance



Being Part of a Digital Market



The Role of Data



Data and Mobility


Look to Your Partners


Leveraging Celent’s Expertise



Support for Financial Institutions



Support for Vendors


Related Celent Research


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