Insurers Are Betting on Data as Their Competitive Advantage

October 08, 2015 by Lauren Yildirim

Tuesday wrapped up our final day at the Insurance Analytics Symposium hosted by Insurance Networking News, and we’re excited to share a recap of what we learned at the conference!

If there’s one common theme we took away from the Symposium, it’s that insurers are betting on data as their competitive advantage.

From improving the customer experience to reducing risk and better detecting fraud, insurers are using customer data to drive an advantage over their competitors and new entrants to the industry. Specifically, insurers are making significant investments in technology to facilitate better access to new and old data sources.

Insurers are continuing to look for more ways to leverage their arsenal of new and old data to drive major process improvements. For example:

  • Allstate is partnering with Rogers Smart Home to collect IoT data to better monitor the homes of their policyholders and prevent property damage.
  • John Hancock is leveraging customer data collected via Fitbits to drive a better experience and lower premiums for their customers. 
  • EagleView Technologies is using drones to help insurers gather more accurate data for property claims.

While insurers are excited to take advantage of new data streams made available through wearables, telematics and even drones, they’re also looking to unlock historical data that remains trapped in legacy systems or on paper archives. For example, over the next few years, New York Life plans to invest heavily in technologies that can help them unlock data from four key sources, including their historical data that remains trapped on paper.

Corporate Vice President, Ed Walsh, discussed how the ability to pull in historical data from legacy death certificates and other documents will allow New York Like to gather deeper insights that will help them better determine true causes of death. With this data, they’ll be able to better understand death patterns over time to help inform their future underwriting practices. For example, they’ll be able to drive better predictive analytics once they get a firmer grasp on how certain occupations and ethnicities correlate to cause of death over time.

Once accessed, these new sources of data can undoubtedly help insurers drive new products, break into resistant markets and provide a better customer experience. However, the challenge and opportunity for insurers also lies in being able to integrate new streams of data with existing datasets.

One thing’s clear, data and technology are the catalysts driving change across all areas of the insurance business and those who are best able to leverage their data will be set up to deliver the next generation of insurance products and services.

Want to learn more about how insurance companies are leveraging big data to change the way they do business? Read this whitepaper: Bringing Big Data to Life for Insurance.

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