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Press Release

IFRS 17 disrupting business as usual for insurers

September 28, 2023

Insurers report substantial work is still needed to better understand and explain IFRS 17 results and improve business as usual reporting processes, according to WTW survey.
Insurance Consulting and Technology
IFRS 17 Solutions|Insurer Solutions|InsurTech

LONDON, September 28, 2023 — Insurers have revealed major post-implementation challenges still need to be overcome after reporting their half-year 2023 results under IFRS 17 for the first time, according to a worldwide survey by WTW (NASDAQ: WTW).

The study, which polled 235 insurers from 37 countries/markets and is believed to be the industry’s most comprehensive IFRS 17 survey, includes 160 (68%) reporting for the first time during 2023.

Key findings:

  • IFRS 17 progress: While material progress has been made, survey participants state that much work remains post-implementation.
  • Major challenges ahead as IFRS 17 moves into production: Data, availability of skilled resources and systems/technology remain the three greatest challenges.
  • Barriers to understanding and explaining results: Only 55% of 2023 reporters feel “very confident” in explaining IFRS 17 simple scenario results to senior management or investors. This falls to only 18% and 9% when explaining complex scenarios and extreme scenarios respectively. More than half of 2023 reporters are not ready to perform business planning/P&L projections based on IFRS 17/9.
  • Far from “business as usual”: With almost 70% of 2023 reporters expecting a longer working-day timetable (WDT), most insurers recognised substantial work is required to move IFRS 17 into business as usual reporting to address critical issues. Besides shortening the WDT, this includes material system/process improvements, as well as developing a greater analysis and understanding of IFRS 17 results.
  • Dividend-paying capacity unaffected: Nearly all 2023 survey participants declared that dividend-paying capacity has been unaffected by IFRS 17.

With insurers facing hefty costs to implement IFRS 17, future investments need to be strategic and targeted, delivering quick and tangible benefits,”

Kamran Foroughi | Global IFRS 17 Advisory Leader at WTW

The total cost faced by the global insurance industry to implement the IFRS 17 accounting standard is now estimated to be US$21-27bn. This represents a substantial 15% increase compared to the previous assessment made in 2022. Average cumulative programme costs for the largest multinationals are now predicted to be US$240m each, and US$30m each for the remaining insurers.

Kamran Foroughi, Global IFRS 17 Advisory Leader at WTW, said: “With insurers facing hefty costs to implement IFRS 17, future investments need to be strategic and targeted, delivering quick and tangible benefits. Substantial operational efficiencies also need to be found to maximise the benefits of IFRS 17 and move the reporting into business as usual.”

About the Survey

Now in its fourth year, the WTW IFRS 17 Survey was conducted during June to August 2023 and is based on responses from 235 insurers, including 25 large multinationals and the highest ever participation rate from Asia Pacific. The survey provides insurers the opportunity to benchmark their programmes against peers – comparing their plans, progress made and the challenges they are facing.

About Insurance Consulting and Technology

WTW’s Insurance Consulting and Technology business has over 1,600 colleagues operating in 35 markets worldwide. It is a leading provider of advice, solutions and software – primarily to the insurance industry. Its consulting services help clients manage risk and capital, improve business performance, and create competitive advantage – by focusing on financial and regulatory reporting, enterprise risk and capital management, M&A and corporate restructuring, products, pricing, business management and strategy.

About WTW

At WTW (NASDAQ: WTW), we provide data-driven, insight-led solutions in the areas of people, risk and capital. Leveraging the global view and local expertise of our colleagues serving 140 countries and markets, we help organisations sharpen their strategy, enhance organisational resilience, motivate their workforce and maximise performance.

Working shoulder to shoulder with our clients, we uncover opportunities for sustainable success—and provide perspective that moves you.

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