2020: The Start of the Next Generation Insurer
Since 2010, Insurance Carriers and Brokers have been looking to enable digital servicing capability while their core systems are transformed. Analytics has become a key business driver for strategic and operational decisions in a slow chasm crossing that started in 1988. And yet today, Carriers and Brokers are still grappling with data ingestion, management, and presentation challenges.
These challenges will not go away soon enough. From product innovation to claims, going through sales & distribution and underwriting, data is the blood of the insurance industry. Business decisions are made while claims losses are scrutinized for fraud, waste, and abuse. In a world of continuous data growth about people, products, economies, weather, etc., decisions are weighed with a balance of experience, data analysis, and gut feeling. Insurance premiums grow, margins are okay, expense to revenue ratio isn’t pretty.
Before discussing the thousand and one ways to data nirvana, I propose carriers and brokers can monetize their data. Monetizing data is a tactic to fund the much needed 2030 vision transformation. This monetization has nothing to do with selling one’s data as one can read in Doug Laney’s Infonomics book. It has to do with leveraging the data being ingested and conformed for consumption in a few key areas:
1. Claims - predicting losses to enable better risk models while preventing fraud, waste, and abuse;
2. Product Innovation - leveraging experience and external near-real time data to continue to improve products towards specific segments;
3. Sales & Distribution - leveraging customer journey intelligence to provide product solutions at the appropriate time;
4. Underwriting Effectiveness - reducing the quote to issue elapsed time is a must to enhance customer satisfaction and bring in premiums earlier.
Why is this important at the inception of this decade? There are four generations of buyers born since 1946. Yes, Carriers and Brokers must consider prospect customers whose ages range from 18 year-olds to 73 minimum and even younger ones in need of coverage...as well as all those from the Silent Generation born before 1946.
Monetization becomes critical. Buying Insurance is not as glamorous as buying a car, a house, clothes, or remodeling. It’s only a social conversation if there are good or bad outcomes associated with the insurer. Hence, Carriers and Brokers must make it an excellent experience every time they connect with a prospect and/or an insurer.
In Underwriting alone, the quote to Issue elapsed time must be significantly reduced to 1.) enable a better customer experience hence higher satisfaction, and 2.) move forward the premium collection hence adding to the revenue till and to the investments pot. In Sales & Distribution, which impacts Product Development as well as benefits from it, approaching a prospect with the right product at the right time will heed better closing results.
Insurers do not need to reach a data ingestion and processing nirvana state to enable this capability. They must, however, understand their processes, where they can be improved and/or streamlined. Such improvements will enable the data monetization required to create the additional capital investment needed to become the carrier of choice by 2025 for all generations going forward.