Ever since I started working in the insurance community, I learned (and repeated) an admonition to tech leaders: "Technology enables, but Content rules." In other words, knowledge workers (underwriters, claims adjudicators, channel managers, etc.) trump IT workers, if the latter couldn't immediately serve the former.
This is shifting in the favour of technology. While my heart is breaking, I have to pocket my favourite aphorism and look to tomorrow's reality today.
Who is causing the shift and why?
Here are some major bumps in the insurance and technology world....
- Insurance customers have little interest in details of insurance (until there is an incident that requires it, usually with a substantial deductible).
- Insurance pricing can be complex, and opaque.
- Governmental requirements further complicate the product and cause additional friction.
- Existing legacy systems have been modified significantly and make further changes difficult and expensive.
Insurers are looking to gain advantage with customer centricity. However, with increased complexity in details and data, competition muddies the remediation water.
Platforms are set-up to address these challenges....
Joe Caserta, CEO of Caserta- a leading strategic technology consulting and implementation firm - is an expert in Platforms. Joe Caserta was interviewed by Wayne Eckerson, a colleague at Caserta, in a podcast. The results were published as Exploring Modern Data Platforms.
Platforms are very geeky, and highly populated with TLAs (three-letter-acronyms) and product names that I've never heard before. All together, the outcome is a base, which will meet the current needs and remain flexibility to swap-in new functions, sometimes without human intervention.
More importantly, the platform has to have flexibility in the introduction and utilization of Data. In the past, the structure and function would be set to support structured data.
In the current environment, not only do we need flexibility of the structures, we also rely on the business applications. In the past, data and functions were separate. Now, both are introduced simultaneously.
Caserta noted that software development companies and product vendors have been working with these new constructs. However, Caserta said:
for banks and insurance companies and media companies, they’re just dipping their toes in it now, so we’re helping them establish it not only for the analytics platform, but holistically through the company as well.
Smart companies have already instituted programs to support new functions as well as technologies.
How InsurTech is driving harder
It is clear that leading insurers are facilitating changes in functions as well as in technologies.
As well, an increasing number of insurers are moving to InsurTech methods and systems. The question is whether these approaches can meld with existing insurance principles.
Several companies have taken a small leap in the direction of moving targets. For example, CAA insurance has introduced CAA MyPace which focuses on low kilometre pricing. This is facilitated by smartphone support to advise the driver at specific points.
What do you think?
The insurance industry helps to prevent accidents or, if not possible, to remediate losses and damages. We are working diligently to help avoid loss and to prepare to make whole what has been lost.
New approaches could become more granular and protective, but only with the help of analytics and other measures. Is this still within the range of "Insurance"?
We'd like your thoughts.