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Claims are considered a "significant driver" of company costs, but a recent survey by Towers Perrin concluded that cost management isn't the only thing on the minds of property/casualty claims officers this year.
Attracting and retaining top talent and the importance of effective use of data and technology are priorities for P/C claims officers in the United States, according to the survey that was sent out to 62 claim officers in late 2007.
Stamford, Conn.-based Towers Perrin surveyed claims officers in companies of various sizes, including those with less than $200 million in written premium, those with written premiums between $200 million and $750 million and those with more than $750 million in written premium.
Of the claims officers surveyed, 90% said increased competition, consolidation and convergence presented the biggest challenge to achieving company objectives, with expense and cost management coming in second.
However, 82% of those surveyed said that attracting and retaining top talent is the No. 1 priority for success in the claims industry.
"Claim officers are all too familiar with the challenges of competitive pressures," said Kathleen Cullen, claim management practice leader for Towers Perrin in a statement. "The way the industry traditionally looked at itself has shifted from budgets and operational controls to a need for more sophisticated approaches regarding managing claim performance and results."
Further, nearly 65% of those surveyed said that the use of better technology and data is needed to help with the handling of more complex claims and to meet objectives, while 50% said claims managers needed better ways to use technology in general.
The complete report, "Property/Casualty Claim Officer Survey: Key Challenges for 2008," can be found free of charge at: www.towersperrin.com.