Ward Group, a consulting firm specializing in the insurance industry, has launched a new service to evaluate the cost and operational effectiveness of underwriting operations at property-casualty insurance companies.

The company said that the new 2-level approach integrates expense analysis conducted through established Ward benchmarking process with a detailed evaluation of over 265 underwriting procedures. It gives underwriting management both strategic and tactical data to identify opportunities to streamline operations and help to improve underwriting results.

According to Ward, the new service probes real components of underwriting process and helps decision makers answer fundamental questions about their underwriting operation.

Jim Caruso, director of Ward Group, said: “Operating expenses are rising faster than revenue for most insurance companies creating a challenge for underwriting operations. The most profitable companies focus on sound underwriting practices and expense management.”

Ward Group benchmarking is designed for insurance companies to help manage expenses and monitor operational performance. The company has performed over 1,500 benchmarking exercises for around 350 insurance companies throughout North America since 1991.