The research firm said data analytics, automation and sophisticated modelling tools were just some of the new technologies rapidly transforming how the industry operates and insurers need to consider how these tools will impact on their business.
The report warned, although many insurers may be focused on expense reduction, if firms did not fund technology initiatives they face being left behind.
“This is an important time for this industry; the gap between leaders and laggards is expanding,” SMA said. “The technology choices and investments that insurers are making today are critical – there is simply not time to redo steps taken in the wrong direction. Continuing to invest in the future is essential.”
The report added that there were many areas where technologies are making a major different. SMA said: “Insurers must possess strong data and analytics capabilities and a nimble organisational structure to react quickly to fast moving consumer and loss trends in the marketplace. Furthermore, a robust commercial lines strategy not only requires automation for certain accounts, but it must also equip the underwriter with the right information and tools so as not to overlook “good” risks.”