Is the Crisis Easing? Q2 Insurance Industry Expectations and Strategies

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31 August 2009


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.