Handling the Crisis: Update on Q1 Insurance Industry Expectations and Strategies

by Catherine Stagg-Macey,  Craig Weber, May 15, 2009
Industry Trends
Global, Asia-Pacific, EMEA, Latin America, North America

Abstract

The global financial crisis continues to have a significant impact on insurers. While insurers have low expectations for immediate improvements in performance, the outlook for 12 months from now is strikingly more positive.

In a new report, Handling the Crisis: Update on Q1 Insurance Industry Expectations and Strategies, Celent surveyed insurers and vendors to ascertain views of the impact of the credit crunch. The survey also looked into the available levers for any business - budgets, staffing levels and business strategies -- and how these are being used at this time.

The impact of the financial crisis on 2009 budgets was somewhat mixed, but the effects on investment decisions seem more moderate. Half of the projects are being reprioritised, but are moving forward. Another third are being delayed or postponed.

"Insurers are pessimistic about the outlook for the broader economy, but they remain bullish on their own companies’ strategies," says Craig Weber, Senior Vice President of Celent's Insurance Group and coauthor of the report.

"While the focus right now is undoubtedly on cost, there appears to be a noticeable shift in how insurers view IT in a time of crisis," says Catherine Stagg-Macey, Senior Analyst and coauthor of the report. "The question for CIOs is how technology can help the business reduce costs. This is an important change from previous recessions, where IT costs were cut indiscriminately."

"Stripping out costs by being smarter positions the insurer for improved profitability when the cycle turns," Weber adds.

This report is the first in a series that will track insurers’ responses to the crisis. It is based on a Celent survey that examines how insurers are responding to changing market conditions 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 subsidiary 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

 
Assessing the Industry Mood 7
Vendor Views 17

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