Celent European Insurance Newsletter, January 2012

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11 January 2012
London, United Kingdom

From the Senior Vice President for European Insurance

A year ago, European insurers were preparing for uncertainty. Many in the industry had assumed that, within the year, we would have a better view on the economic cycle. But it is not to be. The continued crisis in Europe has made the fantastical become all but possible. Could Greece default? Might Italy follow suit? How many more banks and countries will be downgraded by the ratings agencies?

Some UK insurers have huge exposures to Southern European banks and bonds. Our own UK politicians and press talk up the crisis on a daily basis. When faced with a multitude of possibilities, for which there are no historical data points to point to outcomes, how does one plan for the future? In conversations with insurers, we hear that uncertainty is causing some stasis.

So what might we expect in Europe in the coming year? The European insurance CIOs Celent is talking to are planning for business as usual. Unlike 2008/2009, there are no changes in investment decisions; projects are not being put on hold or being cancelled. However, we do expect some longer decision cycles for new investments

Insurers plan to improve profitability and growth in niche segments. We see continued interest in implementing claims systems, updating e-commerce capabilities, and building new underwriting platforms to support the niche product strategies. To support these investments, Celent will produce research into portal software (Q1), and update our EMEA claims report (Q3).

Life insurers are knee deep in large change projects aimed at addressing compliance, such as RDR (UK only) and Solvency II. In some cases, these compliance projects are half of overall change budgets. Life insurers have been talking once more about reviewing options to consolidate the multitude of core systems. This isn't a new topic, but perhaps the forces of solvency and other regulation will produce some action.

In response to these objectives, Celent is planning a series on options of managing closed books in EMEA and North America. We have also planned a three-part webinar series to review the life PAS landscape in EMEA and discuss the trends in this space.

2012 may be another year of uncertainty. Celent will continue to comment on events and offer up timely research to support IT investment decisions.

Catherine Stagg-Macey
Senior Vice President

Chart of the Month

Personal Lines Telematics-Based Offerings in the Top 20 UK and US Insurers

From the Celent report Telematics-Based Insurance: Has Its Time Finally Arrived?

Celent Published Reports

Research in Progress

  • The CIO Perspective in 2012: Reports for France, the UK, and the United States
  • Global IT Spending Trends in Insurance
  • Life Distribution Technology Landscape
  • Fraud Detection IT Vendor Spectrum


Celent Insurance Webinar Series: EMEA Life and Pensions Policy Administration Systems

Jamie Macgregor, Nicolas Michellod
17 January 2012
31 January 2012
14 February 2012

Celent 2012 Insurance Insight and Innovation Day
Global Insurance Team
Boston, MA
26 January 2012

For more information about Celent events and speaking engagements, please see our Events page.