How Data Is Earning Its Place in Insurance Corporate Strategies

How Data Is Earning Its Place in Insurance Corporate Strategies

Posted on, 02/03/2021

Insurance Leaders Unveil How Their Corporate Strategies Are Influenced by the Rise of Data and Digital Technologies

Insurance has been moving towards digital at a slower pace than some other industries, partly due to the face-to-face traditions within the sector.

However, insurance businesses are realising the customer demand for digital, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic so this is set to change. This has triggered sophisticated approaches to data to take a more prominent position within corporate strategies for insurers.

Data is a core component of digital transformation, and the insight it provides can determine how successful a business is in their decision-making and customer satisfaction.

With this in mind, I asked insurance leaders how their corporate strategies are influenced by the rise of data and digital technologies during our recent The Future of Insurance: Powering the Next Paradigm webinar. The panel included Stephen Catlin, Founder and CEO at Convex, Silvi Wompa Sinclair, Group Head of Portfolio Underwriting at Swiss Re, and James Kent, Global CEO at Willis Re.

In this blog, I’ll present their insights and outline the benefits that have earned data a prime position in each of their strategies.

Better decisions, better CX

For Catlin, providing a good customer experience (CX) has always been a key to success in insurance be it through digital or traditional channels. Despite the changes to operations that digital transformation can bring, Enhanced data management and the derived insight can only strengthen the CX for an insurer further by providing a more comprehensive resolution of the customer.

“The single view of the customer is what leads to product innovation,” says Catlin. It’s this innovation in such a dynamic market that keeps insurance businesses competitive, and customers happy.

However, Catlin warns organisations against overlooking the basics. At the early stages of a data-driven strategy, it’s best to aim with improving the insights from using available data to help customers and brokers with risk assessment and risk management.

Kent agrees that the number one goal of using data should be to serve clients. He succinctly put that investment in data capability leads to “Better pricing, greater efficiency, and lower expenses,” and as a consequence this will help the market as a whole and its participants.

However, throughout our discussion one of the most obvious benefits from data is that it can lead to better decision-making. Good quality data can provide a holistic view of where a business is on its journey, whether its growing or decaying, and what its customers think of its service. With such an awareness, it’s easier for insurers to prescribe more accurate advice to customers, price accordingly and inform its growth plans across different lines of business.

Bringing outside data in

The benefits of using data to inform corporate strategies and business decisions are clearly fruitful, but some potholes must be addressed before implementing a strategy that’s reliant on data.

One issue is legacy systems, which can be rigid by design, seriously outdated and expensive to integrate, as Wompa Sinclair warns. It’s vital that data flows into one single and reliant source, otherwise the view of the customer will remain disjointed.

This is where external data can be useful to help enrich existing or internal data sets. The use of external data can be extremely useful when looking insure complex risks with quagmires of convoluted international supply chains, it can actually help insurers understand who they are insuring within a corporate family tree. “Using third-party data to enrich decisions can be powerful in creating better customer experiences,” confirms Kent.

Although customers are sometimes wary of third-party data, Kent insists that they’re happy for it to be used if they will know it will be beneficial to them.

So it’s clear, Insurers and brokers who want to accelerated their digital transformation must be prepared to invest in the best quality data sources and the capability to maximise the insight from such sources.

“The forward-looking insurers should be looking for opportunities to collect and stream data from devices to support real-time decision-making,” says Kent.

If you’d like to learn more about how insurers can take a confident stride towards using a data-driven strategy, you can get in touch with us at [email protected].
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