Content is King in the Insurance Enterprise

This is the first of a three part series from Strategy Meets Action (SMA) partner – and now Hyland guest blogger – Mark Breading.

A popular theory regarding the World Wide Web is that content is king – the richness of the information is what draws people to use selected sites and entices them to use services and take action. This same theory applies to the insurance industry – the information is what drives the industry.

Information is the lifeblood of the success stories in the insurance industry. Plain and simple, companies that create and manage their information better – from documents to content in a wide variety of formats – tend to be more successful.

To learn how insurers are managing documents and content, and to find out how enterprise content management (ECM) systems fit in the big picture, SMA recently conducted a short survey about how insurers in North America manage information. Insurer participants consisted of 191 respondents representing all lines of business and all company sizes, and I’ll be covering the results from SMA’s survey in a series of blog posts.

Understanding the massive scope of document and content management in insurance requires a quick look at the fundamentals involved in the business of insurance. Insurance is a complex, many-faceted business, providing individuals and businesses with financial protection, loss control/management advice, and wealth accumulation capabilities. The industry ecosystem includes dozens of lines of business, many functional areas (such as marketing, underwriting, and claims), and a wide variety of business partners, as well as governmental agencies that produce regulations that affect business operations in each state and province in North America. Add to this the complexity customers bring with specific needs and expectations – all interacting with insurers and their partners every day.

Put all of this together and you have a document-centric industry – one that builds many forms, letters, statements, etc., all containing content such as policy and coverage provisions, loss run information, contract details contained in certificates of insurance, specifics of marketing promotional offerings and claim information. These documents flow in high volumes within the insurance enterprise and between insurers, agents/brokers, customers, and other third parties. And, a significant amount of the information in this flow is private and sometimes sensitive – with handling that is subject to regulation. Because of this, a critical issue for ECM systems is the ability to deliver documents and content securely to key groups of users.

The primary user group for ECM systems is internal users, i.e. insurance company employees. Sixty-one percent of the insurance company survey participants said that internal users are extensively using ECM systems, as depicted in Figure 1.

Content Is King in Insurance Enterprise
Figure 1. User Groups for ECM solutions


The capabilities of ECM systems typically extend out to agents and brokers, with 60% of insurers reporting some usage by their distribution partners, although only 12% cite extensive usage. Customers and other business partners (such as claims partners) also sometimes benefit from insurer ECM systems, with 40% of insurers identifying some usage by these groups. In the insurance industry, the use of technology solutions frequently varies significantly by company size. This is true for ECM systems. Tier 3 and 4 insurers (under $1B in premium) cite greater use of ECM systems by their employees than do their larger counterparts. 

Based on this information, one result is clear: The growth of content in insurance companies will drive an increasing need for enterprise content management systems. It is common for the amount of information created, captured, and stored by insurers to increase at the rate of 30-50 percent per year. Couple these huge amounts of information with the increasing expectations of customers for timely, accurate information, delivered to them through many different channels, and you have a compelling need for a common system to manage content across the enterprise – and out to the extended enterprise.

Content will remain king in the insurance world – and insurers that want to fully capitalize on their content should deploy integrated, modern enterprise content management systems.

SMA_Mark BreadingAbout the Author

Mark Breading, a Partner at SMA, is a recognized industry expert in the CCM space. With exceptional knowledge and experience in all aspects of customer centricity – CCM, CRM, customer insights, ECM, data and analytics, and more, Mark is the go-to person for all things customer related. Mark can be reached at [email protected].


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