What does it take to be a high performance insurer? (5 of 6) 
Published: May-11-10
 

I have been discussing the results of the Accenture High Performance Insurer study. In this post, I will discuss two more attributes that insurers must develop to achieve high performance: consistent operational excellence and relentless pursuit of cost reduction.

Consistent operational excellence

This may seem like a given, but it is critical that insurers have standard processes in place. Having rationalized, simplified and streamlined processes in place means that products get to market faster and business cycles are shorter.

Automated and integrated processes increase efficiency and reduce errors. It also allows insurers to concentrate on business strategy and market opportunities, rather than day-to-day activities. Finally, operational excellence implies a continuous commitment to improving and developing the workforce.

Relentless pursuit of cost reduction

Cost reduction is part of every insurer’s activities, but it is important to have an overarching view of cost reduction. Simply cutting costs is not necessarily the most effective or strategic thing to do. For example, investing more in IT or upgrading a legacy system will cost more, but the savings and efficiency that result from that investment can pay off quickly. Insurers must also be open to outsourcing and the cost reduction that this can provide.

Summary

Next week, I will discuss the remaining attribute of successful insurers: active risk management. I will also provide some recommendations for how to leverage these attributes for high performance.

Of the attributes mentioned so far, which ones are most in line with your business's capabilities? Which present the biggest challenge?

Resources

Download the Accenture High Performance Insurer study (PDF).

Catch up on previous posts in this series:

 
 
 
 
Apr-30-12
Great article. It has given me a better understanding of all the attributes that can contribute to making an insurance company more competent, and thus more successful. I agree especially with the point about how certain investments in IT and systems may seem more costly to carry out, but can actually contribute more to the improvement in efficiency and cost-savings.
 
 
Chris Chinniah   |   Apr-30-12   |  10:34 PM

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