I was thrilled to be invited by Post to help judge the Data, Analytics and Technology Awards for Insurance 2015. The process provided a welcome opportunity to broadly assess how the insurance has adopted new technology and to review a number of best-in-class examples.
In recent years, insurance firms have been urged to catch up with other industries which have more readily embraced digital transformation. Among this year's awards entrants, there were a number that served as valuable signposts to the areas in which true progress is indeed being made.
Using data analytics to enhance customer experience
By using historic data and creating models to determine the products and benefits that were most relevant to each particular customer, one insurance company was able to simplify and personalise the online quote process for applicants. This reduced the number of re-quotes required by each customer and increased sales conversion.
Using data to make brokers' lives easier
Another firm maximised the re-use of data to ensure that brokers never have to input information on the same customer more than once. As a result, the process for applicants who had previously been quoted is processed automatically, enabling brokers to bind a full contract-certain quote in less than 60 seconds.
Identifying fraud through data analytics
Using data analytics to process thousands of events per second, another company has developed the ability to understand each policyholder in real time and detect behavioural anomalies. This has allowed for better informed business risk decisions. But the firm can now also detect five times more fraud at application stage.
Using predictive analytics to reduce litigation
One technology partner to insurance firms has developed a solution which uses data from the Claims Portal together with detailed injury data. This provides litigation risk analytics based on recent settlement patterns with specific claimant solicitors, which helps predict what the risk of litigation will be, based on different offer amounts.
The judging process really encouraged me to think about where we might be when the 2016 awards come around. Certainly, there remains scope for insurance firms to build on the above by drawing on far more sources of data - both structured and unstructured, internal and external. They can make a wider use of predictive analytics to drive the hyper-personalisation of their offerings.
Further, by making better use of data, insurers can bundle individual products into something that more closely resembles proactive customer protection services. They may also bring in partners from across their business network to deliver an optimised claims process.
Overall, this year's efforts were very promising and it has been fascinating to see where insurance companies, both large and small, have reached on their digital journeys. At the awards ceremony on 19 November, this year's winners will receive much-deserved recognition. But at the same time, I'll be casting an eye around the room and trying to guess where next year's winners may be taking the sector.
By Jane Tweddle, financial services industry principal at SAP UKI
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