A new study from Juniper Research finds that insurers will spend $634 million on RPA solutions by 2024, rising from $184 million in 2019; that’s a 245% increase over the next five years. RPA (Robotic Process Automation) is software designed to reduce operational costs by automating basic repetitive tasks.

The research group says previous growth strategies using M&A (Mergers & Acquisitions) in the highly-saturated insurance market have resulted in disparate policies, practices and software. Adopting RPA solutions will appeal to insurers by enabling substantial cost and time savings, created by mitigating these disparities.

Juniper Research forecasts that North America and Europe will lead RPA adoption over the next five years, with more than 65% of insurance providers adopting the technology by 2024. As the insurance market is largely saturated in these areas with flat premium growth, insurers must cut their operational costs quickly to remain competitive. 

Juniper says that RPA will become a crucial enabler in this search for efficiency gains. The research group urges vendors to ensure effective AI integration so that RPA can handle valuable tasks in a highly reliable way.

Juniper anticipates that advances in RPA solutions will drive growth of the average spend on RPA per insurer. It forecasts that the technology would leverage advances in AI to offer increasingly sophisticated services in fields including underwriting, claims management and data handling; driving average spend per company to 30% over the next five years.

“Although automation can bring results in a few weeks, scalability can only be achieved when bots ‘learn’ how to operate outside simulated environments,” says research author Maite Bezrerra. “Bots must be continuously trained to understand exceptions and non-linear processes, or companies risk being left with limited return on their RPA investment.”