SMA: Using Analytics to Improve Customer Communications: A Research Study of P&C in Canada

Insurers and brokers/agents understand that information is the lifeblood of the insurance industry � especially information about prospects and customers. But these days, the value comes more from insights gained through data analysis than the raw data itself. New information and insights that enhance communications with customers can give insurers and brokers/agents a real edge in today�s competitive property and casualty industry in Canada. The question is whether insurers understand what insights are most important to brokers/agents, and whether brokers/agents collaborate with insurers to determine how they can collectively best serve customers and be successful.

In order to better understand the role of analytics for both insurers and brokers/agents, Strategy Meets Action and Insurance Canada.ca are conducting a joint research study, sponsored by IBM Canada. The study identifies which particular types of information and insights are most valuable, how insurers and brokers share data, what IT projects are underway for analytics, and the challenges and roadblocks for the industry in these areas. Participants were also asked to identify the most important sources of data and the business results of initiatives in this space.

Preliminary survey results reveal new insights, including areas where insurers and their distribution partners agree, and other areas where there are some misalignments. For example, both insurers and brokers/agents cited real-time cross-selling/up-selling as the number one area where new insights are most useful. Insurers believe that providing information on life event triggers is also highly valuable to brokers/agents, but this was considered far less important by brokers and agents. Surprisingly, brokers/agents stated that proactive loss control alerts provided by insurers are highly useful � right behind cross-selling information.

The mix of participants in the study provides a good representation of the Canadian P&C industry, with a variety of company sizes and roles involved. The results of the study will be presented during the Insurance Canada.ca Technology Conference on Feb. 28, 2011 in Toronto.

Interviews of insurers and brokers are being conducted throughout January to explore these questions in more detail. Individuals interested in participating in interviews should contact Mark Breading, SMA Partner, at mbreading@strategymeetsaction.com.

About Strategy Meets Action

Strategy Meets Action (SMA) is a strategic advisory firm exclusively serving the insurance industry. By leveraging best practices from both the management consulting and research advisory disciplines, SMA�s services are actionable, business-driven, and research-based � where strategy meets action � enabling companies to achieve business success. Visit www.strategymeetsaction.com for more information.