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Data & Analytics: Going to the Core of InsurTech

In less than 2 years, ‘InsurTech’ has become a topic du jour for insurance and technology professionals. But much of the discussion focuses on ease of use and engagement; it misses some critical fundamentals. Fortunately, there is an opportunity to find the mix of externals and internals creating the magic.

Ease of use is getting easier …

I confess, I am guilty of talking about InsurTech applications starting from the outside. Typically, that means the app on the phone that allows customers to get a quote, or to access insurance policy information (digital pink slips), or to file a claim, etc.

Companies such as MetroMile and Cuvva offer apps that allow users to pay automobile insurance by distance driven.

SafeStuff provides an app that manages a personal inventory of possessions that can be useful in filing claims. Trov takes the inventory concept and allows customers to select what they want to insure, and for how long.

The clarion call for these consumer-facing insurance solutions has two notes:

  • Easy of use. The Sonnet tag line is “Straightforward home and auto insurance done completely on-line”
  • Donna Peeples, chief customer officer at Pypestream, writing in InsuranceThoughtLeadership.com, admonishes us: “We can no longer live inside the safety of our own industry verticals… All companies now live on a horizontal where customers compare us with their last best or worst experience.”

And most developers involved in InsurTech are aware of the flash, if not for the ultimate customer experience, for the attention of VCs.

Making it work

As much as we are maturing on the customer facing side, we have a ways to go for data and new back office roles.

InsurTechnews asked about new opportunities for InsurTech startups in an interview with consultant and analyst Robin Merttens, who advised:

The true value (for startups) lies in the conversion of connected world data into something that truly allows for risk prevention, mitigation and pricing.  So, underwriting algorithms based on AI are key to the creation of real value, but they’re difficult for the startups to build without access to historical data or underwriters domain knowledge.

FinTech providers are addressing this now. The website Let’s Talk Payments (LTP) notes that there are proxies that can substitute for ‘pure’ data and knowledge workers:

The use of analytics in its many forms – big data, data science and many more – is not a new concept in FinTech. The growth in data or data explosion is a function of multiple technological advancements. … The ability to draw insights and the ability to optimally monetize available data would place companies in a unique position challenging established rules and processes. (emphasis supplied)

LTP advises developers to look at multiple alternatives and combinations of raw data and derived proxies depending on the focus of the requirements.

Enter experts in the insurance / data / analytics community …

The theme of the 2017 Insurance-Canada Technology Conference (#ICTC2017) is Disruption => New Realities, New Opportunities, (28 February 2017 in Toronto).   In addition to experts in the InsurTech field, we have sessions from leaders in data and analytics, including:

Additional details and registration information available at #ICTC2017. Looking forward to seeing you 28 February 2017, , Toronto, Canada.

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