The last year has been a great one for Patra, and for the insurance industry as a whole. Business process optimization remains at the core of what we do, but we’re closing out the year with renewed excitement and energy about technology, innovation, and partnership at deeper levels.
As we pop the champagne and reflect on the last year, we wanted to share some of our key observations and learnings from the year with a forward-thinking mindset for the years to come.
InsurTech continues to grow
The global trend toward the Internet of Things (IoT) continues, and insurance is no exception to the digitization wave. More and more technologies emerge specifically aiming to reshape the insurance industry, whether to disrupt the way business is currently done, or enhance existing manual processes through digitization.
As alternative disruptor technologies emerge, you might have concerns about the insurance landscape shifting dramatically. The reality is the vast majority of these new technologies are enablers rather than disruptors: approximately 63% of commercial InsurTech services currently on the market are focused on partnering with the industry as it exists and enabling improvement. Meanwhile, only 9% aim to completely disrupt existing structures.
Our ongoing business model at Patra has been to work with leading InsurTech enablers. We consistently assess existing InsurTech tools, partner with leading third-party technologies and create our own InsurTech solutions to deliver the best possible business process outsourcing.
Automation powering people
While InsurTech continues to advance, many automation tools are emerging that claim to be end-to-end fully automated solutions for common insurance functions, such as quoting, certificate issuance, and payment processing. As we’ve investigated machine learning, AI, and cloud-computing tools that emerge with this claim, we’ve found that in many cases, the processes still end up having a heavy human element.
In 2019, Patra applied our innovation mindset to the launch of three new InsurTech products: CertVault, QBIS, and Patra Pay. We developed each of these products to accomplish a specific function in support of the expertise that only trained insurance professionals can offer. Whether it’s processing payments, improving security in certificate issuance and storage, or centralizing account management, technology and automation should work hand-in-hand with your team.
The future of automation continues to look bright for the insurance industry. That said, there’s still so much room to innovate, improve, and fully automate. We aim to remain at the forefront of the automation wave, both by developing our own InsurTech solutions and partnering with leading developers around the world.
BPO stepping into staffing gaps
2019 saw record-low unemployment, with finance and insurance industry closing out the year at just 2.2% unemployment. Because of this, paired with the steady aging of experienced insurance industry talent, it’s never been more difficult to fill insurance jobs. In fact, the average insurance industry job posting remains open for 49-97 days.
Business process outsourcing will never take the place of a highly qualified in-house team, and that isn’t our aim at Patra. More and more insurance businesses at every level, including carriers, MGAs, and brokers, have turned to insurance BPO services to alleviate a portion of the duties handled by internal teams, ranging from processing and data entry to full servicing for small accounts.
What we saw in 2019 is that more than ever, it’s critical to incorporate efficiencies wherever possible. Working with an insurance BPO partner can help free your team to focus on high-value, high-impact work that fits their specific skillset, while a BPO partner becomes an active collaborator on key tasks, technology enablement, and process consulting. At Patra, we specifically pride ourselves on our ability to deliver in all three of these areas simultaneously, completely embedding ourselves into insurance businesses with the utmost standards for brand continuity, quality assurance, and efficiency.
Looking to the future
The last year of the decade was a great one, and we’re sure that insurance will continue to see innovations, improvements, and changes in the next decade as well. We anticipate changes in business and regulatory environments, including how data is handled, and writing commercial insurance policies for new business sectors.
As you look back on all that your insurance business has achieved in 2019 and set your resolutions for 2020, we’re here to help you bring technology-driven services to new customers, new lines of business, and new teammates.