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Underwriting in a hard market

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Published on:26th January 2023
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As we enter 2023, market commentators suggest the hard market conditions will continue to prevail across most lines of business.

There are signs of softening in some areas, the D&O market for instance has shown some signs of softening, but elsewhere underwriters will still find themselves operating under the shadow of a market that has been hardening since around 2020.

A number of factors have contributed to the lengthening of this cycle, notably the war in the Ukraine impacting diverse areas of the global economy, the lingering effects of Covid-19 and the pandemic recovery efforts, economic downturn, widespread supply chain disruption, and a record year for natural catastrophe events as a result of accelerating climate change.  In all, a grim picture of life on planet earth, but for underwriters, these factors have caused a perfect storm for a sustained hard market.

Time to be creative

During this kind of market cycle, underwriters find themselves under pressure from contracting capacity, tighter underwriting criteria, and a need to get the best possible return on investment on the risks they write. For many, this is their chance to get creative and reacquaint themselves with the challenges and complexities of underwriting – applying their skill and knowledge to accurately assess, select and price risks in a way that isn’t as critical during a soft market. But, as the insurance market has evolved, they’ve become hampered in their efforts by outdated and inflexible legacy systems, disparate data sources, multiple systems, re-keying and spreadsheets. They’re hindered by the increasing admin and bureaucracy created by regulatory requirements and time-consuming yet critical governance and compliance demands.  They have all the expertise and information to make really smart risk decisions and perform the role they love, but they’re held back by an increasing number of hurdles.

It doesn’t have to be this hard

As they try to write profitable business in a hard market, underwriters are looking for anything that can help them to reduce the time they spend on non-value add tasks such as tedious admin and rekeying, streamline the extraction and management of both structured and unstructured data, and help them to make insight-driven decisions.

The good news is that a platform exists that can provide all these benefits and more.  Insurance businesses are beginning to realise the value of underwriting workbench technology. A workbench is a commercial insurance platform which supports and facilitates the underwriting process, from initial enquiry to bind.  It provides a single customer view of data, empowering users to make the right decisions at the right time. Tasks and workflow are driven by intelligent features created to optimise, automate and enhance.

The Send Underwriting Workbench is the most advanced workbench platform on the market, a single platform for managing new business, renewals and endorsements, bringing data, insight and the straightforward management of risk into one place.  We want to help underwriters to focus on what they love doing best, underwriting – and in a hard market that should mean embracing the opportunity to make creative decisions on risk assessment and pricing, guided by their knowledge, not grappling with the many hurdles presented by established processes and outdated systems.

To find out more check out this 2-min product video.

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