SMA Reveals Changes in Insurers’ Technology Plans at Instec Client Forum

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Strategy Meets Action (SMA) surveys indicate that of the commercial insurers changing technology spend plans as a result of COVID-19, only one third are pausing or retrenching.

Regardless of where the pandemic leads us, there are certain investments that are foundational. Digital transformation is one of these.

Conferences have gone virtual, and it’s no different at Instec. This year, the provider of software for complex commercial and program insurance is rolling out a series of webinars for clients, in place of its annual Client Forum. The first of these featured Karen Furtado, Partner at Strategy Meets Action (SMA), describing how the pandemic has affected insurers’ technology spend and transformation plans.

Digital transformation has been a high priority in the insurance industry for several years. But now, as they grapple with the business impact of the pandemic, carriers and MGAs have reassessed budgets and projects to account for economic uncertainties and changing risk profiles.

“The pandemic has been a wake-up call for many insurers,” said Furtado. “Some were caught unprepared while others were thankful they had begun moving down the digital transformation path. In particular, for those who were already in the cloud, the transition to work-from-home was relatively painless.”

As a baseline, Furtado’s session began with a summary of technology investment trends in the five years prior to COVID-19. This was followed by a list of “10 Moments of Truth” insurers are confronting now, from stressing continuity plans to highlighting the gaps in digital strategies.

The session also covered changes in insurers’ investment strategies since the onset of COVID-19. The data were based on SMA client surveys that began in March. Responses ranged from retrenching to accelerating. In commercial lines, for example, 25 percent are pausing or retrenching their technology spend, while 49 percent are reshaping or accelerating. (26% have made no change.) For core systems specifically (policy, billing, and claims), virtually all insurers are staying on course.

The session closed with a description of SMA’s Transformation Maturity Model, covering baseline and transformational initiatives for customer and operational experiences. For each of four transformation states, Furtado suggested several questions insurers should be asking themselves to ensure a successful outcome.

“Regardless of where the pandemic leads us,” said Furtado, “there are certain investments that are foundational. Digital transformation is one of these. So, we recommend no matter what your outlook for the coming year, at least some of your technology investment is directed at continuing the transformation journey.”

About Instec

Instec’s unique approach to systems for the insurance industry enables P&C carriers, MGAs, and MGUs to launch programs and specialty offerings from project start to first quote in as little as four weeks. With built-in bureau content and reusable business rules, Instec systems provide a platform for innovation with reduced risk. In addition, cloud-based deployment and subscription-based pricing enable insurers to test new programs at a low cost of entry and scale up affordably as the business grows. To learn more, visit

About Strategy Meets Action

At Strategy Meets Action, our clients advance their strategic initiatives and accelerate their transformational journeys by leveraging our forward-thinking insights, deep vendor knowledge, and vast industry expertise. Strategy Meets Action is an advisory firm that works exclusively with insurers and vendors in the P&C market, offering advisory retainers and project-based consulting services. For more information, visit

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