Is the Crisis Easing? Q2 Insurance Industry Expectations and Strategies

by Catherine Stagg-Macey,  Craig Weber, August 31, 2009
Industry Trends
Global, Asia-Pacific, EMEA, Latin America, North America

Abstract

Insurers are slightly more optimistic in their outlook. As the horizon extends, the views become more positive.

In a new report, Is the Crisis Easing? Update on Q2 Insurance Industry Expectations and Strategies, Celent surveyed insurers and vendors to ascertain their views of the credit crunch. The survey also looked into the available levers for any business—budgets, staffing levels, and strategies—and how these are being used.

Respondents are confident that their companies are doing the right things to provide jobs, compete effectively, deliver on strategies, and succeed in both the long term and short term. "There is one area of exception," noted Catherine Stagg-Macey, senior insurance analyst and coauthor of the report. "Respondents were slightly less confident this quarter about their company being able to provide a job."

"Not surprisingly, insurers have made more progress in implementing tactical responses,” says Craig Weber, Senior Vice President of Celent's Insurance Group and coauthor of the report. "Around 80% have already frozen or are in process of freezing discretionary spending and travel. Almost two-thirds have cut staff salaries or are in the process of cutting them."

"What was interesting in this quarter’s results was the feedback on strategic responses," said Stagg-Macey. "For example, there are a large number of insurers considering or launching a new product or a new channel. Streamlining of processes is the top area of focus, and there is a great deal of divestment of assets."

Many insurers and vendors seem to have positioned their companies to ride out the storm. Some see opportunity in this crisis, and most have made significant changes to their operations. This report is the second in a series that will track insurers’ responses to the crisis. It is based on a Celent survey that examines insurers’ responses and their expectations about the impact of the crisis.

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
mpace@celent.com
Tel: +1 212 345 1366

Europe (London)
Chris Williams
cwilliams@celent.com
Tel: +44 (0)782 448 3336

Asia (Tokyo)
Yumi Nagaoka
ynagaoka@celent.com
Tel.: +81 3 3500 3023

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Introduction

Quarterly Comparison Summary: Q2 vs. Q1

Assessing the Industry Mood

The Crisis Response

The IT Response

Vendor Views

Conclusion

Leveraging Celent’s Expertise

Related Celent Research

Sign in to download reports and access personalized information