Five investment ideas to promote next year's results
Today we continue our series on investment ideas for insurance companies in 2021 with a look at Employee Benefit or Group Benefit carrier. These are the carriers that provide disability, life and other coverage to employees and their families through their employers.
2021 Employee benefits will be under a premium hug. The large number of redundancies, declines and bankruptcies caused by the economic impact of the pandemic will reduce the premium available. Carriers with large small commercial or retail and service industry books may be particularly hard hit. We also expect increased debited premiums for health insurance which will put pressure on an employer's ability to buy these additional coverages. 
In that environment, investments in 2021 should focus on cost-saving measures that can maintain or preferably improve service functions. We see four core areas to consider in this area:
Improving the core insurance business by reworking the new business, renewal and ways of service to ensure that the right competent resource does the right job. Benefit companies have generally been less active on this front than some other parts of the industry, so there should be plenty of room for improvement. A data-driven reworking approach often frees up as much as 60% of the warranty period from administrative tasks that can be automated or transferred to cheaper resources and models.
Invest in Intelligent Warranty. Intelligent insurance investments are based on processes that rework the insurance function for improved efficiency. The key to this is to integrate intelligent robotics, machine learning and data visualization tools into the insurance process to further improve the efficiency and consistency of insurance decisions. Advanced robotics can also help with tasks such as data collection, preparation of census and preparation of comparative analysis to help the insurer. Intelligent insurance can also automate some simpler types of coverage.
Digital boarding: One of the more difficult parts of the customer journey for group insurance is after-sales. Once the sale has been won, the employer must be taken on board and the employees must choose optional benefits during enrollment. Development of collaborative digital experiences where brokers, customers and operators can collect and validate key data and steps can eliminate revisions, errors and delays that result in costs and effort.
Build digital ecosystems to efficiently capture employer data . Always getting correct information from the employer is an important part of all benefits. With self-administered bills, it can also be a source of significant recurring costs. Carriers often build customized data collection platforms for customers, but this is prohibitive for all but the largest employers. Fortunately, there are now better choices for operators. Building data collection ecosystems with intermediate providers, such as payroll, or benefit administrators who have the employer's employee information can reduce costs and improve service. This last idea is not a cost-saving measure. In many industries, we are seeing an increase in super services or super packages, which offer everything the customer needs in one easy purchase. The simplest example is some of the new advanced car offers where your car rental, car insurance and car service are rolled together for a single monthly fee. The goal here is to provide complete solutions for customers' needs. We see this trend emerging with players like Intuit, Google and Workday offering packages to small and medium-sized businesses. There is an opportunity in this space to become beneficiaries of their benefits for their benefits if you can quickly adapt to their needs.
Cost savings will be a focus for all benefits in 2021 – but growth opportunities will still arise. Finding the right investment balance between efficiency and expansion will help the benefits implement tough times while building on competitive advantages for the future.
The last post in this series will present some investment ideas for reinsurance companies.
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