Fintech Finance presents: The Insurtech Magazine 04

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PET INSURANCE The company’s SmartRide and SmartMiles vehicle policies are black box data-driven to help reduce premiums for those who demonstrate safe driving techniques in the case of the former and those who commonly only clock up low miles in the latter. In the business insurance sector, Nationwide has leveraged APIs from Intuit QuickBooks to develop its Business Solutions Center Digital Assistant. The app uses AI, coupled with Nationwide’s extensive Business Solutions Center library of curated content and a policyholder’s QuickBooks data to provide customised

Fast-moving world: Smart cars aren’t saving insurers money... yet

advice on a variety of topics related to running a small business. Fulton says Nationwide's technology innovation lab team, which includes three innovation analysts and nine full stack software engineers, employ a six-step programme when devising innovations, those being concept, canvas, pitch, learning plan, prototype and lessons learned, which combine to bench-test crucial elements such as customer feedback and, vitally, viability. And while successes such as its small businesses app make it to market after undergoing that process, the company is not afraid to pull the plug on ideas that fail to tick all the boxes. “One we stopped along the way, for example, was a project called Trip Replay,” Fulton explains. “The question we started with was could we create a visual representation of an auto accident from the connected car and telematics data we had from the vehicle? And so we spent some time looking at the data we had,

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TheInsurtechMagazine | Issue 4

we went through our process, created a prototype, put it in front of our analysts, and what we found was that the ability to visualise the accident just from sensor data was interesting, but it wasn’t fundamentally a step-change benefit to our claims analysts. So we killed that project and put it on the shelf. Sometimes innovations go all the way, sometimes they don’t, and you just have to be OK with that.” Continuous technology innovation will be needed

have to keep in-step with a fast-moving world. Challenges now being thrown up as a result of climate change and technological advances in other industries, such as car makers, says Fulton. “We are starting to see an increase in weatherrelated events and in their severity: a lot of hurricanes, tornadoes, a tremendous amount of wildfires, and the impact of all those on the homeowner is increasing,” he says. “In the auto space, we are also seeing an increase in severity. We’re putting more and more technology into our vehicles, and so, when you do get into an accident, it’s a lot more expensive to fix. That technology hasn’t yet progressed to the point where it’s starting to have a measurable impact on the frequency of claims but it is already having a measurable impact on the severity of claims. “So, trying to get the pricing right, trying to get the value equation right for members, is probably the number one thing we’ve been trying to address from a Nationwide perspective.”

Sometimes innovations go all the way, sometimes they don’t, and you just have to be OK with that

Fintech trivia:

A tale of two mutuals Sharing roots as mutuals and using similar ‘on your side’ company slogans over the years, it is easy to see why US financial services giant Nationwide occasionally gets confused with the largest building society in the world – the UK’s Nationwide. The former, founded in 1926, is a mere startup compared to the venerable British institution, which can trace its roots back 175 years. But with both organisations highly active on social media platforms, capacity for confusion is even greater

today, so they ‘mutually’ follow one another and enjoy Twitter banter, such as when passing on customer queries posted in error to one or the other Nationwide accounts. Mike Fulton enjoys the unofficial links between the two organisations, which even resulted in him paying a visit to the headquarters of his company’s namesake in Swindon, UK, just to say ‘hi’. “It’s pretty common, especially in Europe, for people to confuse our organisations, so it was fun when I got to actually visit!” he says.

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