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41

ISSUE

ISSN 2515-3803

Connecting Insurers, Brokers, Lawyers & Claims Professionals

What the Tech? Is it really as easy as A, B, C?

The future of the claims industry

What’s on the horizon for technology?

Michael Lewis, Claim Technology

Rob Smale, NED & Business Advisor

Working with

LexisNexis Risk Solutions: Roadshow 2019

Defining a digital journey Steve Forcash, MarkLogic


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These people seemed to go out of their way to help Wayne Brown

Perfect customer service Rachel Rogers

An excellent experience Hala Mhanna


WELCOME

Claim Technology: the future of the claims industry Technology has impacted on practically everything that we do. With the constant and immediate accessibility available today, technology continues to be harnessed, shaping nearly all aspects of our everyday lives. Technology has transformed the industry but there are still more opportunities out there. As Amazon, Uber and Airbnb continue to reshape customer’s expectations, the industry needs to keep up and embrace the value of technology and apply it to the claims process, customer services, and the future of insurance. In this edition you will find articles from a range of experts within the field outlining the benefits of a digital journey and what we can expect from technology as we enter a new decade of insurance.

(Left) Poppy Green, Editor, (Right) Rachael Pearson, Project Manager

Rob Smale, Non-Executive Director and Business Advisor, explores Artificial Intelligence, and discusses what insurers and the rest of the value chain are looking for in terms of technology. Peter Simon, Managing Director at Centrica Home Solutions, looks at how the advent of smart technology could impact on home insurance, while Steve Forcash, CSO at MarkLogic, defines the digital journey and examines the real-world technology challenges facing the industry. We are also introduced to Pikl – the sharing economy start-up dedicated to providing specialist insurance products to sharing communities. In October we hosted a series of roundtables with LexisNexis Risk Solutions, to discuss how data, analytics and technology are being utilised to improve interactions and services within the motor, analytics and SME markets. Taking place across Manchester, London and Birmingham, these events brought together a fantastic panel from across the industry to answer those need-to-know questions, while offering some important insights for you to take away. The full write-up can be found on p.50. As always, we have our resident editorial board experts tackling the industry’s every-day problems, as well as zooming in on those frequently asked questions regarding technology. Nominations are now OPEN for the UK Customer Service Excellence Awards, which is returning for its third year to Café de Paris, London, to celebrate customer service success in the insurance and broker markets. Deadline for entries is Friday 28th February 2020. You can find out more via the weblink: www.customerserviceexcellenceawards.co.uk I hope you enjoy this issue, and if you have any comments or feedback, then please do get in touch.

Poppy Green, Editor, Modern Insurance Magazine. 01765 600909 | @Modern_Poppy | poppy@charltongrant.co.uk

Co-Editor Poppy Green Project Manager & Events Sales Rachael Pearson

ISSUE 41 ISSN 2515-3803

Modern Insurance Magazine is published by Charlton Grant Ltd ©2019 All material is copyrighted both written and illustrated. Reproduction in part or whole is strictly forbidden without the written permission of the publisher. All images and information is collated from extensive research and along with advertisements is published in good faith. Although the author and publisher have made every effort to ensure that the information in this publication was correct at press time, the author and publisher do not assume and hereby disclaim any liability to any party for any loss, damage, or disruption caused by errors or omissions, whether such errors or omissions result from negligence, accident, or any other cause.

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M A G A Z I N E

CONTENTS 09

16

20

INTERVIEWS

NEWS 09 The future of the claims industry

Michael Lewis, CEO of Claim Technology, urges the industry to take action and make the claims process an easier landscape to navigate, creating capabilities that will settle the claim in real-time, putting the customer back in the position that they were in before the claim.

12 What’s on the horizon for technology?

It is an exciting time for technology, but with the hype growing we must be patient and pragmatic as Rob Smale, Non-Executive Director and Business Advisor, reminds us during his interview with Modern Insurance. Throughout our interview, Rob explores Artificial Intelligence and what everyone within the value chain is looking for in terms of technology as we enter a new decade of insurance.

16 The connected home

EDITORIAL BOARD

27 Find out what our editorial board panel of experts have to say in this edition of Modern Insurance Magazine.

Centrica Home Solutions purely focuses on satisfying the changing needs of the customer, and as the rise of smart home devices continues to increase, those needs are constantly adapting and evolving. Peter Simon, Managing Director, discusses the connected home and how the advent of smart technology could impact on home insurance.

SECTOR

20 Becoming a part of the solution

Quantum Technical Ltd are known for their investment of time, resource and expertise into the relationships within their networks, making them top of the list in terms of customer service and solutions. Modern Insurance spoke to David Punter, CEO and Founder, and Julie Eley CMIOSH MIMI, Operations Director at Quantum Technical Ltd, to discuss their approach to the industry.

24 Defining a digital journey

Steve Forcash, MarkLogic’s Chief Strategy Officer for Insurance, is all about using data to develop and leverage analytics to drive insights aimed at reducing fraud and creating an effective digital journey within the insurance industry. Modern Insurance spoke to him about the real-world technology challenges facing the industry right now.

SOAPBOX

43 Modern Insurance’s panel of resident associations

outline the burning issues facing the claims sector.

EDITORIAL

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M A G A Z I N E

CONTENTS 50

61

69

F E AT U R E S 47 Industry Innovators Interview: pikl

The specialist insurance for Airbnb, JustPark and more, Pikl, the sharing economy start-up, is expanding and on its way to further success. After spotting a gap in the market, Louise Birritteri, CEO, decided to go all in and start the online insurance company in 2016 – a site dedicated to providing specialist insurance products to sharing communities. Modern Insurance caught up with Louise and discussed the next phase of Pikl.

50 LexisNexis Risk Solutions: Roadshow 2019

In October, Modern Insurance cohosted a series of roundtables with LexisNexis Risk Solutions. Taking place across Manchester, London and Birmingham, these events explored the transformative power of data and analytics within the insurance industry, highlighting what more we can do to better understand our policyholders and our business goals.

59 Your eyes on the ground

How is technology affecting the claims arena and what are the positive impacts of evidential tech in helping to reduce the lifecycle of claims? John Ridd, CEO at eviid, discusses.

61 Operational resilience, crisis and continuity

Nousheen Hassan, Director and CEO of Innovative Risk & Audit Solutions, delves into the common causes of operational incidents within the insurance industry, offering her share of useful insights when combatting risk internally and externally.

64 Dive In Festival 2019

Marking its fifth year, the Dive In Festival 2019 has certainly made an impact, with over 30+ countries and 60+ cities taking part in activities aimed at supporting the development of inclusive workplace cultures within the insurance industry, this global movement is continuing to develop awareness into action. Here you can find some of this year’s highlights.

67 Reflection leads to action in glass claims

68 The future of motor claims management

Introducing Cobalt, and everything you need to know about the future of motor claims management.

69 Just a thought from Eddie Longworth

66 Diversity and Inclusion

The automotive glass claims industry is changing. James MacBeth, Auto Windscreens’ Managing Director, talks about the technological challenges and opportunities facing the sector.

It’s the vision that matters.

10 MINS WITH

Donna Richards, CEO of Carpenters Group.

70 10 minutes with…

Darren Mendel, Horwich Farrelly

Disclaimer: Our publications contain advertising material submitted by third parties. Each individual advertiser is solely responsible for the content of its advertising material. We accept no responsibility for the content of advertising material, including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. We do not endorse, and are not responsible or liable for, any advertising or products in such advertising, nor for any any damage, loss or offence caused or alleged to be caused by, or in connection with, the use of or reliance on any such advertising or products in such advertising.

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E D I T O R I A L

B O A R D

CONTENTS

27 A change in pace

David Williams, Managing Director, Underwriting and Technical Services, AXA Insurance (UK)

27 A new era of telematics

Martin Williams, VP Revenue & Sales, Octo Telematics

29 Data driven claims management

Jason Tripp, Managing Director, Coplus

29 A partnership approach

Steve Crystal, Head of Financial Crime, Sedgwick

31 More data, more customer loyalty

Trevor Lloyd-Jones, Senior Marketing Manager, Insurance, LexisNexis Risk Solutions

31 Where do you see the greatest need and opportunity for the smart use of claims tech in the future?

33 Cyber crime – staying a step ahead

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Christian Simpson, Cyber Account Underwriter, Allianz

33 The rise of the insuretech

Paul Sykes, Regional Managing Director, ControlExpert UK Ltd

35 Combatting fraud

Donna Scully, Director, Carpenters Group

35 The case for sprinkler systems in schools

06

Kieran Rigby, Global President, Crawford Claims Solutions

Tilden Watson, Head of Education, Zurich Municipal


E D I T O R I A L

B O A R D

CONTENTS

37 Securing future repair capacity

Neil Marcus, Marketing Director, Selsia Vehicle Accident Centres

SECTOR SOAPBOX 43 New challenges

37 Where they lead, others often follow

Nik Ellis, Managing Director, Laird Assessors

39 There are more alliances, partnerships and joint ventures in the industry than ever before. Why do you think this is, and what sets these services apart?

43 Working together

Dr Matthew Connell, Director, Policy and Public Affairs, Chartered Insurance Institute (CII)

44 Brave New World or 1984?

Andrew Gibbons ACII, Managing Director, Mason Owen Financial Services Ltd; BIBA, Chair of Industry Claims Working Group

Andrew Chandler, Sales Director, FMG

39 A seamless experience

Paul Nicholls, Chair, Motor Accident Solicitors Society (MASS) and Senior Partner at Nicholls Brimble Bhol Solicitors

Aimee Shortman, CEO, Brand Biology

44 Response to MedCo

Gordon Dalyell, President of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL)

41 Improving the customer experience as part of the evolution of workforce optimisation

Lesley Jackson, Chief Commercial Officer, EDAM Group

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right people. right skills. right technology.

www.carpentersgroup.co.uk

END-TO-END COMPLETE CLAIMS & LEGAL SOLUTION


NEWS

The future of the claims industry Michael Lewis, CEO of Claim Technology, urges the industry to take action and make the claims process an easier landscape to navigate, creating capabilities that will settle the claim in real-time, putting the customer back in the position that they were in before the claim. t seems hard to believe that just a few weeks ago, I would be spending the weekend basking in the sunshine in one of London’s great parks, with picnic basket and prosecco to hand. The change in season triggers a fleeting thought about the need to prepare both body and home for the winter ahead, but rather than come up with a plan, I put the kettle on to boil and make a cup of tea. I know that if I get sick, I can rely on the NHS and if something goes wrong at home, I can always call my insurer. Tea in hand, I can go back to reading my book without a second thought.

I

If you can’t pro-actively prevent a claim from happening, turning a claim into an instant pay-out is the next best thing

Whether it is our NHS or our insurance sector, there seems to be a fundamental flaw in the way the service is designed. They’re both designed to provide a service when something goes wrong, rather than pro-actively prevent something from going wrong in the first place. As such, the cost of the service is several times higher than it could be otherwise. With UK insurers paying out over £40m every single day on home, motor, pet and travel insurance policies, or a staggering £15 billion per annum, we need a fundamental shift in thinking. We need to move from a mentality of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’, to thinking more sustainably about how we protect and maintain the things that matter to us the most.

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NEWS I recently returned from the InsurTech Connect conference in Las Vegas, having spent two days talking to exhibitors. One such company was Leakbot, a UK company that uses sensors to detect leaks, which account for up to one third of all domestic property claims. Their results – a 98% reduction in the number of claims. No wonder their stand was busy. But water damage claims can also be caused by leaving the taps on to run, or having a fault with the washing machine. On offer nearby was a consumer product developed by a company called Kangaroo – place their water and climate sensor on the floor in your kitchen, bathroom or laundry room and you’ll be alerted via your mobile phone if the floor starts to flood. Moving away from IoT and sensors but on the topic of floods, I met a company called Previsico whilst listening to two days of start-up pitches at Plug & Play’s insurtech accelerator in Silicon Valley. Previsico is a spin-off from a project at Loughborough University who use data science to predict which homes are at risk of flooding. They have partnered with Claim Technology to then broadcast SMS messages to at-risk homes with guidance on how to best prepare against the flood. Another simple, pro-active idea to prevent or reduce claim losses and make it easier to get help when in need. As we prepare for Brexit, it was great to see that Leakbot, Previsico and Claim Technology are all waving the flag for UK insurtech, but one US company also piqued my interest. They were taking a low-tech approach to preventing claims from happening. Their message resonated with me – that we all under-estimate the cost of things going wrong around the home – approx. £1,300 per house per year. Their pro-active maintenance team would visit policyholder homes, clear the gutters or drains etc. and had a proven ROI. If that’s the case, then we should turn our thinking about how insurance is sold upside down. Instead of asking me to renew annually (something I begrudge) and then manage claims/ operating costs, why not start from the premise of designing a model that prevents claims from happening in the first place, shift more of the risk onto supply chain providers and charge me a lower PAYG fee for a smart home insurance policy?

While we cannot pro-actively stop claims from happening, it is our responsibility within the insurance sector to make the claims process easier. Many travel delay claims are getting a lot easier. In fact, if you have an event that can be independently verified (i.e. a weather event), it is possible to use smart contract technology to validate indemnity, establish liability, value quantum and trigger settlement all in real-time. If you can’t pro-actively prevent a claim from happening, turning a claim into an instant pay-out is the next best thing. Progress too is being made on more complex claims. Whilst every insurer I have ever met aspires to provide the industry’s best claim experience, I have yet to find a single customer whooping about their claim. Instead, everyone has their own claims horror story they love to share. The industry therefore needs to take an honest look at itself in the mirror. The claims process resembles a manufacturing plant where the production line has been designed around the insurer and their supply chain. The customer has always been an afterthought. Moreover, I would hazard a guess that despite the hundreds of millions spent on implementing new claims systems, a claims handler still handles the same number of claims they would have handled 30 years ago – i.e. there has been negligible improvement to productivity. The claims process is now broken from everyone’s perspective which is why Claim Technology’s Claims-as-a-Service platform is so exciting. It achieves a fundamental shift of work from busy claims handlers to customers who willingly self-serve their claim, with cloud-based tools to validate indemnity, establish liability, value quantum, detect fraud and trigger settlement all in real-time where parametric smart-contract pay-outs don’t work. The future of claims is a world in which we either prevent claims altogether, or if they do occur, to have the capability to settle the claim in real-time and put the customer into the position they were in before the accident occurred. Which is what I thought my insurer had always promised me when I bought my policy.

The claims process resembles a manufacturing plant where the production line has been designed around the insurer and their supply chain. The customer has always been an afterthought

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Michael Lewis

is the CEO of Claim Technology.


WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF DIGITAL ENGINEERING & SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS

OUR OUR CORE CORE BUSINESS BUSINESS

EASYCLAIM EASYCLAIM

EXPERTISECHECK EXPERTISECHECK

SPECIAL SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS INVESTIGATIONS

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A A white white labelled labelled web web app app to to capture capture customer customer images images which which are are then then ininterrogated to allow terrogated to allow highly highly accurate accurate advanced advanced triage triage for for any any claim. claim.

Seamlessly Seamlessly blending blending Technology Technology with with Human Human Intelligence Intelligence to to technically technically engineer engineer 100% 100% of of motor motor claims without compromise. claims without compromise. ..

Specialist Specialist investigators investigators with with the the bespoke bespoke expertise expertise to to determine determine causation, causation, capcapture ture forensic forensic information, information, provide provide detailed detailed reporting reporting and and secure secure documented documented evidence. evidence.


INTERVIEWS

W H AT ’ S O N T H E H O R I ZO N FO R TECHNOLOGY?

It is an exciting time for technology, but with the hype growing we must be patient and pragmatic as Rob Smale, Non-Executive Director and Business Advisor, reminds us during his interview with Modern Insurance. Throughout our interview, Rob explores Artificial Intelligence and what everyone within the value chain is looking for in terms of technology as we enter a new decade of insurance.

Q

You have worked with Artificial Intelligence (AI) for several years. Please can you share your experiences so far of AI within the industry, and what we can expect from this technology as it continues to develop.

A

I first came across some of the initial AI technology nearly ten years ago, eventually ending up implementing Tractable into Ageas, where it was used in the motor claims arena, specifically in the back office of the engineering function. We chose Tractable from several AI products because it was designed for the back office rather than being customer facing. At the time we felt that too many of the new technologies were concentrated upon the FNOL segment of the claim. When I moved roles within Ageas, we did a study about what was available in terms of AI, RPA etc., and those technologies that operated in the back office seemed to offer, in what were those early days, the best route to fully exploit the opportunities we saw coming from artificial intelligence. We surmised that to simply use it to flatten and streamline a few processes would be a very short-term gain and what I was looking for was something much longer term; we needed to see how company structures could be changed in order to exploit this new technology rather than simply layering it on.

Q A

How do you see AI and other emerging technologies transforming the current processes within insurance?

There are some great opportunities to smooth and streamline current processes, because many are now clunky after years of evolution and development. The winners in the race to exploit technology in terms of artificial intelligence would be those companies that are prepared to completely redesign what they do. A lot of people are talking about job cuts when it comes to emerging technologies, but I see AI augmenting staff and taking some of that mechanistic grind away from people and allowing them to be more human in the way that they approach their role. AI and robotics will allow the people within insurance companies to act in the interest of the customer much more often and consistently, rather than just guiding the claim on its “prescripted” journey.

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Q

What would you say insurers are looking for in terms of technology?

A

We must be quite pragmatic as an industry, and whereas we might like to chuck all our existing technology out of the window and start again, that isn’t going to happen. Emerging technology must slot into the technology that we have already got. It must be able to be deployed relatively quickly and painlessly because of the pressures on insurer’s IT programmes and, for example, the cost pressures mounting in the motor arena – there must be a degree of pragmatism about how much it costs to deploy as insurers are looking at quite a surge of costs.

Q A

How is technology influencing customer’s buying habits? And how can insurers utilise this to their advantage?

To some extent you don’t know whether technology is influencing customer’s buying habits out of choice, or whether customers are being forced down a route. If you think about insurance in the 90s, call centres were introduced, but the customer didn’t demand that and the customer didn’t have a choice whether to use the service or not, but they were eventually happy to go with it because they saw benefits despite the poor deployment of the technology at the time and since. Some of the new technology may open the possibility for new products to come along, but insurance products have essentially not changed. We’ve seen changes in their method of delivery, and servicing but the fundamental product has changed little. If new products do emerge it will be interesting to see whether the customer buys those products and takes the time to understand them.

Q A

Would you say that insurance is shifting to a state of prediction and prevention, rather than detect and repair?

I don’t think it is shifting, but I think that it has ambitions to shift. But we are a long way from that, mainly because the technology and understanding of predictive technology is in its infancy, as is the availability of data.


INTERVIEWS

We are still very much in the detect and repair realm and we will be for quite a while yet until customers accept some of this technology more readily into their homes, like they already have started to in their vehicles.

Q

How has your experience as a Transformation Director framed your approach to technology and innovation now?

A

As a Transformation Director and as a Claims Director, I was interested to keep abreast of what technology and innovation was out there and keen to try it when I thought there was an opportunity. I did come across a lot of technology and potential innovation that I thought was solving a problem that I didn’t necessarily have, and I also thought that some of it was aimed at the wrong end of the process. When I was Transformation Director, I looked at some of our internal processes in the industry and I saw a lot of customer facing processes, although not perfect and a bit clunky, they were pretty good. Many of the issues that customers get within their claim’s journey were caused by the back-office’s existing processes and technology not connecting with the innovations and processes at the front end. One of the things I learnt as Transformation Director was that there needed to be a lot of work put into insurer’s back-offices to ensure that they can keep up with the advances in processes and technology being deployed at the customer facing end.

To some extent you don’t know whether technology is influencing customer’s buying habits out of choice, or whether customers are being forced down a route

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INTERVIEWS

Customers’ attitudes to technology may have to change a lot

Q A

What tech trends do you think will define the future of insurance?

AI will allow some of the other technologies that have been bubbling under for the last decade to really start to be exploited. For example, video technology and dash-cam video links, these technologies will have a massive impact on reducing fraud and enabling insurers to better understand the problem, the customer’s predicament, and allow the insurer to deploy the right assets and resources. Customers are reluctant to buy and use technology whose sole purpose is monitoring their homes. To overcome this big hurdle that we face, it will be overcome in the medium term by finding ways of piggybacking onto other technologies that the customer is already using and values in their lives, because this will then enable the start of benefit realisation to both the insurer and the customer.

In the home space I think it will depend on the willingness of customers to embrace technology. Customers’ attitudes to technology may have to change a lot.

Q A

What is your favourite aspect of technology and what it can do for its user?

In the answer to this question, I will change the word user to claims handler. I think technology is going to augment claims handlers and give a lot more freedom to them so that they can better understand what is happening to the customer and deploy the next best action on the claim. It will allow claims handlers to be a lot more imaginative and create bespoke journeys, while enabling the job to be much more rewarding.

Q

As we are about to enter a new decade, what do you predict for insurance in 2030 regarding technology?

A

I think that the frequency of claims will reduce significantly, especially within motor. But there is going to be an interesting transition period in the meantime as new cars are released with the new technology. We might see more autonomous driving and I think there is a big issue there about whether customers truly understand the different levels of autonomy.

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Rob Smale

is a Non-Executive Director and Business Advisor.


We’re investing in technology, but it’s our experts who make a difference when it matters. Our Investigation Services specialists delivered £47m in savings last year, a reassuring return on investment for our clients.

Making claims easier for everyone www.sedgwick.com/uk


INTERVIEWS

THE CONNECTED HOME

Centrica Home Solutions purely focuses on satisfying the changing needs of the customer, and as the rise of smart home devices continues to increase, those needs are constantly adapting and evolving. Peter Simon, Managing Director, discusses the connected home and how the advent of smart technology could impact on home insurance. 16

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By integrating [smart home technology] with an insurance offer, it will soon be possible to produce personalised policies based on risk profiles for individual homes

Q

When it comes to smart home devices and new data sources arising from devices, is the industry being innovative enough?

A

We already have a thriving and innovative ecosystem that allows customers to control heating, lighting and appliances remotely. Active heating thermostats enable customers to save energy by only heating the rooms they are using – it’s just one of the many ways we’re working towards a lower carbon future. These technologies can be linked to boiler repair, identify unusual water flow or leaks. They include motion sensors and cameras to help customers always keep an eye on their homes. Our energy heritage, our scalable and reliable tech platform, and the installation expertise of our 8000 engineers, gives us a potent combination of an innovative, future facing energy and connected home business working hard to meet the changing needs of our customers. Currently in the market, research tells us that four in ten people have a smart home device and the trend shows that people are looking for more ways to use voice to control devices via their smart phones. Such technologies also have the potential to make our homes cheaper to insure too. Flow sensors that detect a leaking pipe, for example, or devices that can shut off appliances accidentally left on, could all reduce the risk of an insurance claim. Home monitoring and a storage subscription service that allows customers to support insurance claims with downloadable video, or to access professional support and advice from engineers to fix a small boiler issue, is also a big area of growth for customers looking for potential insurance savings and greater peace of mind.

Q A

As more homes become connected, how will home insurance need to adapt?

The use of connected, smart home technology to provide a monitoring solution is a key area of future smart home growth. Research by Berg Insight reveals that the number of households in Europe using smart technology is expected to grow by 54% between now and 2020. In North America, with that higher percentage of households which already have smart home technology, the growth in adoption is expected to rise by 31% over the same period. We’re confident that innovation will drive a change in the traditional insurance category. For example, diagnostics that can help detect when a fridge might become faulty or innovation that could alert to the battery performance of an electric vehicle are all opportunities. By integrating these devices with an insurance or warranty offer, it will soon be possible to produce personalised policies based on risk profiles for individual homes.

Q A

What solutions are today’s consumers looking for from their smart homes?

The rising up-take of smart home devices has seen nearly every category of connected technology increase in ownership over the past year. Our own research, and that from several industry experts, suggests that most consumers in the UK start their smart home journey by remotely controlling their heating, remotely monitoring their home, or just looking for added comfort through device automation. We’re conscious Centrica provides solutions for customers that goes beyond

just the devices and the technology, so we’re moving beyond products to services that help people manage the home easily, in particular, the way they use and reuse energy that is both cost efficient and has a lower carbon footprint. Within devices, however, security and diagnostics are big trends we’re confident this will take off in the future with more robust and intelligent ways to monitor our homes.

Q A

How is data and analytics helping home insurers put customers first?

There is no doubt that smart home ecosystems will give us greater control over our lives, save us money and provide peace of mind. But with nearly all disruptive technologies, there are some obstacles and preconceptions to overcome. For example, the smart devices in our homes will need to share data with insurance companies about the way we live, raising issues around privacy. So, we take care to ensure people are reassured that their data is secure and never shared inappropriately. Our data and analytics mean we are uniquely placed, therefore, to provide a range of services that can not only detect problems before they can become bigger issues, but also provide solutions if things go wrong. So, for example, powerful algorithms to alert you when to check for a water leak, or that flag motion activity that’s unusual, or help you schedule preventative maintenance for expensive, critical assets, such as a boiler. Lower risk levels translate into lower premiums, claims can be reduced, insurers ‘reward’ customers with the right behaviours, personalising their products even more and create offers for new customers that are affordable and attainable.

The use of connected, smart home technology to provide a monitoring solution is a key area of future smart home growth

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INTERVIEWS

Q A

How can we better manage data in a Hyperconnected era?

We invest heavily in ensuring our customers data is secure and safe and we recognise how the IoT will become more common in our homes, making people’s lives easier and more enjoyable. As people entrust an increasing amount of personal data to online devices and services, the cyber security of these products is now as important as the physical security of our homes. We’re proud to have been one of the first companies to sign up to a pledge by the UK Government advocating for strong security to be built into internet-connected products by design. The Code of Practice for Consumer IoT Security supports all parties involved in the development, manufacturing and retail of consumer IoT. All our data traffic, including user credentials and video feeds, is secured with end-to-end encryption (HTTPS). So, for example, with our indoor and outdoor cameras, we use both client and server-side security certificates to validate the identity of both the camera and server, which prevents unauthorised access to data. We robustly test all our devices as well as supporting web and cloud services using in-house teams and third-party experts to ensure that we proactively identify any security issues prior to launching our products, as well as maintaining regular routine tests once they are in production.

Q

What would be the commercial impact of integrating smart technology and devices?

A

Centrica Home Solutions is growing in the number of customers and number of devices and services sold year on year and is currently the market leading connected home business in the UK. We know our customers want more than a clever piece of tech and are interested in technology that can help them solve a problem, that’s important to them. However, our business is more than just clever devices. It comes with a complete package of services that are of benefit. We know we can give people control over their use of energy, keep costs down and lower their carbon footprint. Today the

combination of home energy management, home remote diagnostics and monitoring, provide our 1.7million customers with a complete service and end to end technology solutions that are designed to make daily living easier, save money and make energy usage more efficient and to increase the options available for people to tailor make the way their homes work for them. We provide solutions for customers through the support of our professional teams of expert installers and engineers - we can not only install the devices but also fix and repair any issues to provide an extra level of peace of mind if the boiler stops working or there is a hidden leak. And with the growing use of voice activation, IFFT (Actions) and Alexa and Google Home, this makes using our technology even simpler.

Q A

Will smart technology bring down the cost of insurance premiums?

Price is a challenge, although some providers have considered offering devices free of charge. The fear is that what comes free may not be valued. Then there is the issue of compatibility and integration with such a variety of connected devices from multiple providers. Whilst much of the software to utilise and control these devices is open source, and compatibility with the large Home Control Apps is increasing, there are still issues connecting with some provider technologies. Insurers will also have to overcome the resistance of makers of alarms, thermostats and even digital locks to open their software to allow them to be used for the purpose of insurance risk assessment. Whilst the customer will be able to create a single interface for multiple device providers, using those propositions for the benefit of insurance remains a distinct challenge.

Centrica is already on this journey with Boiler IQ from British Gas, giving total peace of mind. A device constantly monitors the boilers performance and when it stops generating heating or hot water. British Gas will proactively contact a customer in the event of failure to arrange an engineer to fix it. And to the benefit of both the customer and company, the information received can ensure that the engineer will arrive with the correct parts to ensure the repair is completed.

Q

How are customer habits changing?

A

As the insurance industry moves towards embracing smart home tech, the benefits are in the peace of mind for homeowners and the savings they will find with lower insurance premiums. It is undoubtable that these savings will drive greater interest in smart home technology too as a result. We want to make people’s lives easier, by providing seamless, time-saving services that are easy to use and help save them money. Understanding and satisfying consumer needs is critical to our success. By adding value, reducing the cost of cover and changing how home protection solutions are viewed altogether, it could be as revolutionary as Uber.

Peter Simon

is the Managing Director of Centrica Home Solutions.

We believe in the integration of connected devices and related services into a single protection product. Smart sensors monitor the home, helping to detect problems and protect the home. Devices are controlled from an App. Subscription based monitoring and storage is provided. If needed, repair and maintenance services are also included to help customers solve minor problems and keep the home running smoothly. And finally, a comprehensive buildings and contents insurance safety net is in place should the worst happen.

There is no doubt that smart home ecosystems will give us greater control over our lives, save us money and provide peace of mind. But with nearly all disruptive technologies, there are some obstacles and preconceptions to overcome

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Crawford® is bringing together innovative solutions to meet our customers’ needs today while anticipating the needs of tomorrow.

Partner with Crawford crawco.com/civ Learn More 020 7265 4067 or information@crawco.co.uk


INTERVIEWS

A G N I E M H T O C F E O B RT ON PA LUTI SO r n fo w o d n re k urce an a d t n al L e, reso s withi he c i n Tech nt of timtionship top of t m u m nt ela nd me Qua invest to the r ing the rvice a to r k thei rtise in ks, ma mer se e spoke nd r o e a exp netwo of cust suranc under, ns n r thei terms odern I and Fo peratio , to n list i tions. M r, CEO MIMI, O ical Ltd stry. e n solu d Punt MIOSH Tech he indu i m t Dav Eley C uantu ach to Q e Juli ctor at r appro i Dire ss the u disc

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INTERVIEWS

Q

Tell us a bit about yourselves and your roles at Quantum Technical‌

David Punter: I have worked within the automotive

repair and insurance claims (and laterally insurtech) sectors for over 34 years. I have seen a lot of change during my career, but the core engineering and technical skillset, which are my core values, remain centric to my vision, which have become even more relevant today with the intervention of technology in vehicle construction and reinstatement. Over the last few years I have been focusing on unlocking the customer journey in order to deliver great service (which we all want to receive), by giving choice and diversity in a market which has become very linear. As a Director of the Institute of Automotive Engineer Assessors, along with a number of advisory roles and charitable involvement, I am an extremely busy person indeed.

Julie Eley: I have been in the automotive industry for

over 15 years, with experience in various bodyshop operations, engineering, customer service, smart repair, network management and compliance. My role at Quantum Technical predominantly relates to the development of digital systems to overcome and streamline everyday challenges. These may be vehicle checks, compliance audits, H&S, claims tracking, etc. We are a small team, so we pull together and help each other. I also get involved in the day to day operations, PR and client relationships.

Artificial Intelligence certainly has its place, and we best understand how to unlock its future potential in this space David Punter

Q

What are the main directives of Quantum Technical?

DP:

Our directive is to be the “go to� company for anyone in the automotive industry with a challenge. We digitise current computerised and manual systems to help reduce time, money and effort. We realise that there are inherent costs associated with running a business. Some of this is unavoidable, but some can be avoided by digitisation. Time is often in short supply so we look at ways that we can help businesses and people to become more efficient and help them focus on the important tasks rather than time consuming paper processes.

Q

You have spoken a great deal about the coming of change from a digital assessing perspective, how has technology and the creation of Quantum Technical enabled a new approach to technical assessing?

DP:

Engineering/vehicle damage assessing is vital to help detect fraud, control costs and to enforce contractual, ethical and legal requirements of the repair process. Historically, engineering an estimate from inception could take several days due to stakeholders slowing down the process, with further protracted negotiations before an agreement could be found and the repair process actually begins. At Quantum Technical, we view this process from a different angle to reduce touch points and to expedite the process.

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INTERVIEWS

The core engineering and technical skillset which are my core values remain centric to my vision, which have become even more relevant today with the intervention of technology in vehicle construction and reinstatement David Punter

Q

How do you hope to change the market and match the needs of the industry while supporting customers?

JE:

Our team has many years of engineering experience and has seen that the process hasn’t materially changed since the advent of electronic estimating 25 years ago. We have several products which digitise the claims process without the need of speaking to people, unless the customer chooses to do so (we are always happy to help!). Again, here we optimise the majority of the process to fit a modern world way of working approach. We are proud to have developed several key solutions to fast track damage from video interaction, to decision and clear outcome in a near real time manner ensuring that the customer remains central to all we do and is offered choice. More importantly, they are offered involvement (if they want it), and our innovative tools provide the best service possible whilst engaging the stakeholders at key stages.

Q

Technology and innovation make up the basis of Quantum Technical; how do you see technology developing in the future in your area of the market?

DP:

Q

What is the SMART revolution?

JE:

The smart revolution gives us the opportunity to connect directly with the customer, and more importantly, the customer can see what stage their claim is at any time. Through selective processing and triage, the customer can direct their own repair process, whether localised repair or mainstream accident repair. Keeping the customer at the centre of the processing and decision making provides further investment from the customer so the outcome becomes their choice. Updates, imagery and general contact is available in the customer’s hand.

Q

What does the future hold for Quantum Technical?

JE: We already have some great partnerships with like-minded

businesses and are developing great systems to empower what they do, which will deliver real results. We want to continue to work within the automotive industry as that is where our passion lies, however our products are also being developed so that they are transferable to other sectors, so watch this space as we succeed.

Many people talk about Artificial Intelligence but don’t do it or fully understand it. The world of technology will tell you it is the panacea and will solve so many problems by empowering an end user. Therefore, it is clear that the customer has to be invested in the process of any claim in order for it to run smoothly. Artificial Intelligence doesn’t provide the warm fuzzy feeling that most customers want and recent industry research shows that whilst 70% of customers will engage with digitised systems, they still want a human sat behind the process ensuring that the right outcome is being sought. Our developers have worked at the highest levels designing government systems, gaming platforms and industry data systems. We are starting to use more virtual and mixed reality, machine and systems learning to improve our industry and to assist in decision making, whilst keeping the customer at the centre of the process. Artificial Intelligence certainly has its place, and we best understand how to unlock its future potential in this space.

Q

You invest a lot of time, resource and expertise into your networks; can you delve into the different ways that you help both customer and supplier solve their automotive needs?

JE:

Our view is that we aim to overhaul the processes and help the claims and repair businesses be the best they can and turn an unfortunate unrequested journey into one where the customer becomes empowered. Our production and operations teams experience in the claims process gives us a unique insight into where the friction is, and our innovative solutions provide the tools to overcome it.

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David Punter & Julie Eley CMIOSH MIMI

is the CEO and Founder

is the Operations Director at Quantum Technical Ltd.

If you are interested in working in partnership with us or just want to find out more about Quantum Technical, then please contact us at solutions@quantumtechnical.co.uk or call +44 20 8144 1360.

The smart revolution gives us the opportunity to connect directly with the customer Julie Eley


www.autowindscreens.co.uk

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INTERVIEWS

Defining a DIGITAL journey Steve Forcash, MarkLogic’s Chief Strategy Officer for Insurance, is all about using data to develop and leverage analytics to drive insights aimed at reducing fraud and creating an effective digital journey within the insurance industry. Modern Insurance spoke to him about the real-world technology challenges facing the industry right now.

Q

Last year it was quite clear that insurance companies were placing a direct focus on tackling the digital journey and embracing emerging technologies; do you think there has been a similar focus this year? And what can we expect of 2020 in terms of digital strategies?

A

I think that focus will continue, primarily because we are far from through it. The goal of emerging technologies, like drone photography, telematics and Artificial Intelligence (AI), is to help carriers provide a better and more efficient service to their customers, but it is still very much a work in progress. You will often see insurance companies struggling to see the value from their portfolio of technologies. Understanding that value all starts with data – a prerequisite for driving value for new technologies like AI is having high quality data at your disposal. Looking forward to 2020 and beyond, companies will be hyper focused on integrating the data they already have access to as a part of the broader process of leveraging new technologies. They can then make sure that they can start to get the value they were hoping for from the technologies they are likely already invested in.

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Q

Do you see the implementation of disruptive technologies as a top strategic priority?

A

You are either disrupting yourself or at risk of being disrupted. In the insurance industry, that has probably never been truer than it is now. Carriers across the border are hard at work trying to reimagine the entire value chain – everything from customer acquisition through to claims payments and settlements. Over the last year, the explosion of insurtech companies has created something of an opportunity for legacy carriers. Not only does it represent some risk, especially for the types of insurtechs that may be carriers themselves, but it really gives them the opportunity for those insurtechs that are really focused on one piece of the value chain – it allows carriers to almost stitch together a network of partnerships that allow them to move more quickly than they would if they had to build it from scratch. Given the age of many legacy systems, building from scratch isn’t always possible, so they are relying on those partnerships as their means to implement disruptive technologies.

Q

Insurance companies have large amounts of data available to them – how can this be properly leveraged across the business and what benefits would this bring?

A

Insurers have a large amount of data and it is constantly growing as new data types continue to emerge all the time. The ability to integrate all this data across the organisation has a ripple effect throughout the carrier. For example, the idea of developing a 360-degree view of the customer can offer value to the whole organisation, like personalising the user experience – the more you know about your customer, the more you know about how they want to interact with you. The better you know your customer, the better job the underwriters can do of assessing risk – so now you are pricing policies more accurately and aiding the claims process.

You are either disrupting yourself or at risk of being disrupted


INTERVIEWS

The technology systems that most insurers deal with are connected like a bowl of spaghetti – it is tough to integrate and tough to understand

Q

What challenges and/or barriers are there on the way to defining a digital journey for an insurer?

A

First and foremost, it is the age and complexity of the legacy systems that carriers deal with that are the biggest challenges to overcome. Many insurers have been around for decades and the growth of those companies has been a combination of building new products on new technology as new tech became available as well as buying other companies. The technology systems that most insurers deal with are connected like a bowl of spaghetti – it is tough to integrate and tough to understand. When you live in that world, creating a single, digital journey can feel impossible. In order to be able to execute efficiently, they must build a single, organised view of their data.

Q

What is the value of emerging technologies coming together and working collectively?

A

Insurance carriers have customers that are experiencing a loss, and their hope is to care for them during that vulnerable moment in time and do it in a way that the customer feels safe. The value in working collectively across carriers across technology is being able to more efficiently drive towards that type of protection, both the financial and emotional protection that the customer needs at that moment in time.

Q

You have said that in some of your past roles you’ve worked on developing and leveraging analytics to drive insights aimed at reducing waste in insurance – what do you define as waste?

A

Waste is cost that could have been or could be avoided. The most obvious form of waste is fraud. Fraud in insurance is a significant issue and leveraging data to identify it more accurately is a large area of focus for insurers. Another less obvious example is where human touch weaves throughout the value chain. A lot of insurers have limited, if any, data integration tools for their underwriting process – to price a claim, an underwriter needs sometimes dozens, sometimes hundreds, of data points, and many carriers are handing the data to the underwriter for them to integrate the data themselves. Think about how less productive that underwriter is by having to go back to the PDF file for the data repeatedly. We need to leverage technology so they can spend less time doing integration and more time leveraging their expertise and using the data so that they can identify what the right price is for a policy.

Q

How are customer expectations changing and how can the industry use technology to match those expectations?

treat each customer like they are a market of one. It is about hyper-personalisation and hyper relevance. A big push is needed by insurers to bring their data together and learn enough about their customer that they can treat each customer like a market of one. That is what is it going to take to match the expectations that our customers have today.

Q

Which technology do you believe will continue to have the most significant impact on the insurance industry in the next five years?

A

There is no doubt that the technology that has the potential to most greatly impact the insurance industry is AI. The ability to learn at speed and at scale, and to move through the amount of data that is at our fingertips, will launch the insurance industry into a new stratosphere across the value chain. However, that said, right now I think AI is more sizzle than it is steak because the underlying data is hard to get at and hard to leverage. Next generation integration tools with embedded machine learning are well positioned to be that key technology that helps us reach the potential of things like AI in the future.

A

The experience is changing. The ever presence of Amazon, Netflix, Apple, Uber, and Facebook, that permeates the lives of customers is who they compare us to. The commonality between those companies is that they

Steve Forcash

is the Chief Strategy Officer for Insurance at MarkLogic.

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EDITORIAL

BOARD

A change in pace With the recent announcement of Tesla Insurance, are we likely to see more manufacturers following in their steps? How does the insurance industry need to react? Motor manufacturers have always wanted a piece of the insurance pie, and why not? They have a good relationship with their customers, there is often a fair degree of brand loyalty, so two things already that insurers know they themselves to improve on. So surely it should be easy for them to gain a large market share, yet the reality is we see most manufacturers offering insurance, but not converting many customers, the vast majority of dealer based insurance deals being done when the insurance is provided ‘Free’ as a marketing ploy. Even then we all know every aspect of a deal needs to be priced in, so unsurprisingly ‘Free’ insurance seems much more popular with younger drivers, leading then to a profitability issue with the insurance carriers behind the scenes. A key point here is that existing manufacturer arrangements have insurance companies providing the capacity, so in effect they become distributors, not unlike insurance brokers. So why such low conversion rates if the product is the same? Well, the reality is that with such good access to customers the manufacturers often think they can make additional demands, controlling the supply chain for instance, insisting on all repairs being done in their own garages. Whilst I can see the sense in this, they then want a labour rate paid that is often three times the amount that insurers can negotiate

with approved repairer networks, often getting the work done in the same bodyshops that the manufacturers will use behind the scenes! This immediately has an impact on pricing, and the manufacturer deals then become uncompetitive – we have a ridiculously competitive motor insurance market in the UK, and their prices just can’t compete. So, will Tesla change all that? Well not yet, whilst we were all expecting something exciting using the data they have from the vehicles, so far it looks very much like any other deal, there is an insurer/reinsurer behind the scenes, and yes they want to control the supply chain. The difference is, I suppose, that Tesla currently are unashamedly ‘niche’, and they have a brand loyalty/fan base that rivals probably Apple in some ways, so I do expect it to be more successful than some other manufacturer deals. Also, your average Tesla owner is probably a bit less concerned about saving money on their motor insurance premium, which combined with a general reluctance from some carriers to insure their vehicles at all, that competition dynamic is very different. So, my conclusion is we need to watch these developments carefully, but a more impactful change would be one of the other manufacturers asking for less commission and applying less of a stranglehold on parts and repairs, then maybe they could really make inroads. And at that time insurers will be ready to partner with them, just as we always have been.

David Williams,

Managing Director, Underwriting & Technical Services, AXA Insurance (UK).

A new era of telematics Telematics has now entered its third era. While the first era was characterised by experimentation and pilots, and the second era saw many Tier 1 insurers and others launch and expand their own programs, the third era sees the expansion of telematics in more sophisticated value propositions that leverage more data insights to move beyond premium reductions as a central benefit. Telematics is getting smarter and expanding into new areas, as the concept manifests in the Internet of Things, wearables, and other devices in which the collection, transmission, and analysis of realtime data can be applied to other insurance lines, to both add value to the customer and reduce claims. Thanks to this new wave of smart telematics, insurers can expand their value proposition with new offerings related to claims for both personal and commercial lines. The customer is the actual driver of change, and he/she is now looking for more value than just indemnification from losses. Telematics offers a variety of opportunities to improve on the traditional claims process and insurers can more actively partner with customers to reduce or eliminate accidents, lower the severity

when accidents do occur and offer new services that capitalise on the real-time data from telematics devices. Telematics and device capabilities are continually evolving and Octo has been focused on maturing telematics in new directions. We have engineering and R&D staffs that focus on the “next best thing” in the device space to keep their offerings relevant and to improve business outcomes. The true value is in the data. Being able to leverage the data across claims and on into risk analysis and risk management is critical. The almost 18 years of experience in the field of telematics and big data processing, put Octo in a unique position to help insurers put the customer at the centre, tailor their offering, and allow them to deliver innovative, more sophisticated value propositions to enhance the customer experience.

Martin Williams,

VP Revenue & Sales, Octo Telematics.

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EDITORIAL

BOARD

Data driven claims management Where do you see the greatest need and opportunity for the smart use of claims tech in the future? There are still many untapped opportunities to utilise technology to a greater extent in claims. Digital devices connect us with our homes and our cars and are certainly going to continue to shape our daily lives and the insurance industry. However, the application and opportunity for technology to make big changes ‘behind the scenes’ in how we manage the claims process is just as great. We talk about first notification of loss in claims handling and for me even this term implies that this key step, first contact, is just a report stage, where information is taken for further assessment before any action begins. However, think about first call, or contact, resolution (FCR), a phrase which I think much better conveys the intention to assess, review and instruct the necessary actions immediately and therefore minimise the disruption for the policyholder. This is where I see one of the greatest opportunities in employing technology in claims. Data augmentation and AI, which happens in conjunction with the information the policyholder is providing,

whether via the phone or another channel, gives a better understanding of the requirements of the customer, and the resolution steps necessary, right at the start of the claim. In a motor accident claim there is some essential information which, accessed straightaway, will enable a proper assessment of what is involved and expedite the progress of the claim. A good illustration of this point can be seen in how total loss claims are progressed. Our research has shown that 20% of vehicles that go on to a repair track, and into a garage, are then written off some days later. This isn’t a good experience for the customer and adds significant costs to the claim that could be completely avoided if that decision had been made sooner. The application of technology such as AI and data science at first contact transforms the way a claims handler can manage the process. Extensive vehicle data and image recognition AI, coupled with historical repair and a salvage valuation model, combine to create a powerful decision support mechanism. Technology can drive a smarter way of working from the outset and prevent frustration and delays further down the line. Discover the Cobalt way at: cobaltsolutions.co.uk

Jason Tripp,

Managing Director, Coplus.

A partnership approach Is AI the ideal solution when tackling the challenges of fraud detection and claims automation in the insurance industry? There’s no doubt that AI enhances fraud detection. But it’s no panacea, and may never be the ideal solution because it’s the interpretation of what the analytics tell us that’s paramount, and therefore human intervention and understanding is fundamental in order to make best use of AI. AI can’t replace gut feeling, common sense and even a healthy degree of cynicism, and I don’t see it doing that anytime soon. It’s unable to replicate what a trained claims handler does, but together with human skills, AI improves our chances of detecting fraud. We’re using some of these advanced AI tools at Sedgwick to help with our fraud screening and I’m satisfied that using AI in real time at notification of a claim to help screen for fraud is a winner. However, the jury’s still out when it comes to machine learning, a sub field of AI, and the combining of ideas from statistics, computer science and other disciplines, to design algorithms that process data and make predictions. Claims fraud doesn’t always lend itself easily to statistical analysis, because the rules of the game aren’t fixed. Perpetrators think differently, often randomly, and their motives/

methods change. It’s important to get the interpretation of fraud analytics right to ensure the correct customer journey for a claim; we should never forget that the majority of claims are valid. It’s encouraging to see the landscape changing when it comes to how we identify suspect claims. AI tools, coupled with better cross industry collaboration, are providing more meaningful detection processes. However, we shouldn’t underestimate the resolve of some fraudsters and their determination to beat the system. Fraudsters who deliberately invent claims will no doubt invest their energy to try and work out how to exploit weaknesses in fraud defences – including AI. Personally, I’m not an advocate of the case put forward by some in our industry who aspire to digitise the whole claims process. Criminals will always find ways to bypass detection measures. Whilst removing human interaction may make sense from a cost benefit perspective, the impact on fraud rates must be considered. I believe in a ‘machine and human’ partnership approach rather than see the challenge as ‘machine vs. human’.

Steve Crystal,

Head of Financial Crime, Sedgwick.

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EDITORIAL

BOARD

More data, more customer loyalty How is data that is just around the corner helping home insurance providers deliver rightfirst-time quotes and increase customer loyalty? Understanding risk in the home insurance market has come a long way in the past two decades. As the use of perils data has become ‘the norm’, risk analysis in home needs to move on to the next level to help insurance providers differentiate their offerings and improve performance. Home insurance providers need to be able to access more insight about the properties they insure, and data attributes based on property characteristics, and more granular details of past claims could provide the answer. Data Prefill is already enhancing online applications and delivering a smoother customer experience, whilst also improving accuracy of pricing. However, point-of-quote enrichment, using property attribute data, allows an insurance provider to rate and price on a much wider range of property related attributes that can deliver greater insight into how a property is used, without having to ask multiple questions homeowners may struggle to answer, or at the very least, validate that the answers provided by the customer are correct. The good news is that much of the data required for this has been collected and is available today. As it’s been gathered by various organisations for vastly differing purposes, the challenge lies in amalgamating, cleansing and normalising the data. Keeping the data up-to-date is also a consideration – properties change, are updated and extended, so the dataset is constantly evolving.

Another element to be considered is data from surrounding properties. Whilst one home may present a very low risk, looking at claims from the neighbouring properties could change an insurance provider’s view. Real-time proximity data can show more about where the property sits, the context and the nuances around the property. Based on the address, the insurance provider can gain an overview of the risk based on perils data, location of trees, crime data, and distance to emergency services for example. Adding previous claims data sourced from a market wide contributory database related to both the property and the policyholder can build a fuller picture of the risk posed by the asset. This wider view helps insurance providers to determine their underwriting strategies based on specific geographies and better monitor exposure to risk. Ultimately, home insurance providers need access to deeper data derived insights on the home to be insured, and on the homeowner to deliver quotes appropriate to both the personal and the property risk with minimal reliance on the customer to provide the information. New data around property characteristics is the first element in building this capability. The next stage is integrating granular past claims data again on both the property and the person, contributed and accessed by the entire market through the creation of a contributory claims database for home.

Neill Slane,

Sr Product Manager, Insurance, UK and Ireland, LexisNexis Risk Solutions.

Where do you see the greatest need and opportunity for the smart use of claims tech in the future? Claims management companies have to be fast, efficient and accurate. That has not changed but the tools we use to achieve that outcome and improve our service are evolving fast. Technology is and will continue to play a growing role in every stage of the claims process. That starts with digital first notification of loss (FNOL). If you want to remain relevant, you have to be able to accept claims from any source at any time, from smart sensors to self-service apps. Image interrogation tools, video uploads and live streaming will all increasingly be used to help us assess the cause and scope of claims, and using AI driven triaging will direct the claim on the optimum service and handling path. That might be straight through processing and settlement, commencement of fulfillment services, a Looker inspection, field adjuster deployment or a hybrid. Virtual/augmented reality technology continues to improve and enhance the adjusting process by allowing us to record loss sites in 3D, annotate these images and provide commentary. It is extraordinary how immersive the experience is for a stakeholder who has not even visited the site. Unnecessary follow up site meetings can be minimised with all stakeholders being facilitated with virtual meetings equipped with the 3D augmented reality imagery. The positive impact on time and cost in more complex cases is substantial. Additionally, with the quality of the imagery and facility

to notate and comment, there is a good argument for substituting traditional written reports with this approach. These innovations are all united by the need to generate faster, more accurate outcomes, which leads to improved customer satisfaction, longer-lasting relationships and reduced claims costs. Digitalisation also generates vast volumes of data from which to draw insights, including identifying claims drivers and conducting granular analysis on the nature of claims. Over time this will help clients underwrite and reserve more efficiently, and help us improve our service. The ultimate goal is to have human talent intervening in the claim process at critical value points where their expertise can add real value and customer care. We will of course need people with claims experience overseeing processes, reassuring customers and expediting claims, and on large and complex losses there is no replacement for human adjusting expertise. Technology will augment and accelerate the process and ensure consistency and accuracy of outcomes. It will continue to help us remove friction points from the process and take more menial work off people’s desks, allowing that talent to focus on adding value for clients and customers. At Crawford we have made many advancements and 2020 will see us continuing to roll out an evolving range of tools and supported operating models.

Kieran Rigby,

Global President, Crawford Claims Solutions. MODERN

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EDITORIAL

BOARD

Cyber crime – staying a step ahead “It could be you”. A phrase once used optimistically for a national lottery campaign becomes rather more sobering when applied to the world of cyber-crime. Any business, large or small, faces the very real threat of a cyber security breach incident and globally cybercrime is on the increase, rising by 67% over the last five years.1

and remove the threat as quickly as possible. However, it seems it’s taking longer for companies to do this; the average mean time to contain (MTTC) a breach increased from 66 to 69 days between 2017 and 2018.3 This is partly due to the increasingly sophisticated nature of such attacks.

A cyber breach can have serious financial repercussions for a business, with losses reaching up to 25% of a company’s revenue.2 Potential additional costs range from customer breach notifications, regulatory compliance fines and loss of intellectual property. On an operational level, there may be business disruption and an impact to supply chains, which in turn could lead to reputational damage.

Whilst most data breaches occur as a result of a malicious or criminal attack, nearly half of cyber security incidents can be attributed to system glitches or human error. This illustrates the importance of awareness campaigns to educate employees on the right behaviours. It’s important for business leaders to understand their company’s exposure and have incident response, business continuity and IT recovery plans in place. Directors may also want to consider cyber insurance policies which offer pre-breach and post-incident response services as part of cover.

Such attacks may be financially or politically motivated or committed by a disgruntled current or former employee. Types of attack include hacking, ransomware (where a criminal locks down a computer then demands a ransom to restore it), or distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. Today we see the development of more sophisticated and devastating viruses (e.g. Shamoon) that are designed to wipe clean computer equipment of all data including boot records, which effectively destroys the machine. Many businesses may perceive the likelihood of an attack to be minimal, citing protection from IT security software. However, reports of governmental agencies being hacked prove that any organisation is susceptible. The key actions following a cyber breach are to identify, contain

A combination of risk management practices, insurance and robust incident response plans can all help companies prepare for an attack and stay one step ahead of the cyber criminals.

Christian Simpson,

Cyber Account Underwriter, Allianz. 1. Ponemon Institute LLC (2019). The Cost of Cybercrime. Ninth Annual Cost of Cybercrime Study. Accenture 2. Arthur, J. (2019). Why the mid-market is prone to cyber attack. [online] Grant Thornton UK LLP. Available at: https://www.grantthornton.co.uk/en/insights/why-the-mid-marketis-prone-to-cyber-attack/ 3. Ponemon Institute. 2018 Cost of a Data Breach Study: Global Overview. 2018

The rise of the insuretech Technology has driven the rise of insurtech’s, but incumbent organisations are starting to recognise that there is an innovation gap. Is the partnering between these organisations and insurtech’s the better option when it comes to keeping up with changing consumer behaviours and market demands?

disciplines such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and analytics which discover, interpret and communicate meaningful patterns in data will form the foundation for the insurance products of today and beyond. This critical intersection of data and customer provides the perfect place for InsurTech’s and insurers to collaborate and between them, learn how to bring true value to each other.

It’s a familiar but absolutely correct statement that the UK insurance market is one of the most mature and commoditised industries in the country. For many organisations, daily operations bring with them a high degree of complexity played out against a backdrop of underwriting and claim performance, delivering strategies and maintaining market position.

For insurance organisations there’s an obvious benefit to finding an external technology partner to inject this innovation understanding instead of building something in-house. Creating an internal innovation capability and philosophy from scratch can be an expensive and challenging endeavour. In addition, having an external ‘critical friend’ can be a great help in challenging what can sometimes be hard to break internal habits and processes.

I don’t feel it’s a controversial statement to make that on the whole incumbent organisations don’t hold innovation within their core DNA and that an increasing number are looking externally to facilitate their drive for efficiency, high performance and a demand for speed and personalisation which aligns with customer expectations being set by other service industries.

Of course, the onus isn’t solely on insurance organisations to step into a partnership with an InsurTech who’ll provide them with all the answers they seek. InsurTech’s in turn need to gain specific knowledge of the market they’re entering and must take time to listen and understand how their shiny new skills are best able to solve genuine problems for Insurers who want to change but perhaps don’t quite know how to.

The accelerated influence of insurtech’s on the insurance sector has more than equalled that of an already-maturing fintech sector. In fact, it’s an accepted truth that the insurance industry can realise even greater benefit and heightened levels of disruption from this surge in innovation.

The critical factor is that both sides should choose their partners wisely. If the right marriage is found then insurance organisations, insurtech’s, and most importantly the customer, will stand to benefit hugely.

Data continues to be the critical fuel that fires the insurance decision engine and more and more organisations are acknowledging that

Regional Managing Director, ControlExpert UK Ltd.

Paul Sykes,

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EDITORIAL

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Combatting fraud Is AI the ideal solution when tackling the challenges of fraud detection and claims automation in the insurance industry? We all know that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is coming down the insurance track at a speed, although companies appear to have mixed views about how important it will be to future financial success. Newer insurtechs, intent on shaking up the sector, are likely to be at the forefront of developments in utilising AI for better customer service and improved chatbots, data crunching to improve risk assessments and quotations and auditing to reduce claims in the first place. Combatting fraud is likely to be another key area for AI and other advanced technologies. New technology, analysing huge volumes of data, will be at the core of fraud prevention in the future. AI will work integrally with cutting-edge predictive modelling, link analysis, exception reporting and crash algorithms to detect whether an incident is true or not based on the evidence and immediately discredit claims that are patently fraudulent. It will not all be plain sailing though. Whilst the growing pains of new technology will undoubtedly be overcome as insurers improve how to integrate data systems into their underwriting systems, the more

significant challenge will likely be the fundamental shift that AI is supposed to assist – the automation of claims processes. Frictionless claims made digitally and with fewer human checks will pose a major challenge. At least in the short to medium term, cyberfraud is likely to increase, as new systems, such as the claims portal currently under development, are exploited for weaknesses, caused by undue political haste and a lack of forethought in their conception. Technology-based solutions do have the capacity to fight fraud if they are fully integrated. They can also enhance the focus on the customer and reduce the severity, impact and cost of claims. We do though need to think carefully about their application. As Amanda Blanc said as Chair of the ABI: “The world of big data and artificial intelligence and the arms race to be more sophisticated uses of data than anyone else presents significant risks… As the AI develops further, we must ensure that we remain on top of what our algorithms are doing, and that we are comfortable with that.” Customers will rightly expect that genuine claims are settled fairly. If a digital algorithm creates a barrier to this, the relationship between insurer and customer will progressively deteriorate.

Donna Scully,

Director, Carpenters Group.

The case for sprinkler systems in schools There are around 1,000 fires in school premises every year in the UK, with the larger fires costing on average over £3 million, and in some cases over £20 million. Fire risk is still a real threat and whilst, according to official figures*, there were no fatalities from school fires in the eight years up to 2017/18, there were 244 casualties. Official date also shows that 673 schools have been built and open in the UK since 2011 and just 15% were fitted with sprinkler systems**, despite the evidence from Chief Fire Officers Network suggesting that sprinklers are 99% successful in putting out fires where they have been activated.

negates the aftermath which often leads to months or even years of disruption for children’s education while the school is repaired. Zurich has recently published results of its school property surveys, which shows that two-thirds (67%) of English schools are rated as ‘poor’ for fire protection systems. In Scotland, where sprinkler systems are legally required in all new and major refurbished schools, almost three in 10 (29%) of Scottish schools are rated ‘excellent’ for fixed fire protection systems, in stark contrast to English schools where only one in 20 (5%) achieved the same rating, which shows a growing gap between the two countries.

It’s not just the financial cost but the impact on education which largely goes unreported. Fires disrupt the lives of pupils and school staff, often forcing them to retreat to temporary classrooms for considerable periods of time whilst everything from examination papers, school records, student submissions, university applications as well as a lifetime of teaching notes and aids can be lost forever.

We have probably a once in a generation opportunity to change the law to protect school communities from a devastating impact of fires. Let’s not wait for a real tragedy to happen before taking action and make sprinklers a legal requirement now for the long-term benefit.

A change in Government legislation to make sprinklers in schools mandatory, which Zurich has repeatedly called for, could not only help protect children while they are in school, it often contains the fire to the room it starts in when it happens out of school hours. Not only does this minimise the level of damage caused, it also

Tilden Watson,

Head of Education, Zurich Municipal. *https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/ attachment_data/file/823436/fire-statistics-data-tables-fire0301-080819.xlsx **https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answersstatements/written-question/Commons/2019-03-12/231539/

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EDITORIAL

BOARD

Securing future repair capacity How is technology enhancing auto repair capabilities? Do you think this will have a positive effect on encouraging more people to enter into the profession? Body repair is one of those essential but underrated, highly skilled professions which doesn’t get the recognition it deserves, and it’s not attracting as many young people into the trade as it used to. The number of bodyshops has been declining rapidly over the last twenty years due to insurers’ direct repair programmes, the cost of investment in new vehicle repair technology, lack of sales and marketing skills, the cost of operating a bodyshop, no succession planning by owners, acquisitions and consolidations by regional groups and most worrying, a decline in the number of young people coming into the profession. Car, van and HGV repairers who have been able to invest in new repair technology have developed efficiencies to repair and continue to receive work involving aluminium substrates, high strength steels and plastics, ADAS collision avoidance technology, system re-set programmes, passenger protection systems including advanced air bag technology and most recently, the growth of alternative fuel technology such as high voltage electric vehicles. Repairers have also had to invest to attain the industry’s principle Kitemark PAS

125/ BS 10125 accreditation. In addition, environmental and health and safety legislation has compelled repairers to invest in new spraybooths, equipment and emission controls as well as the use of more expensive low emission coatings such as waterborne and high solids refinishing systems which help to reduce the emissions of volatile organic compounds. This is all very positive, but the problem is, we only have around 3,000 primary accident repair centres and 80 fully equipped HGV repairers in an industry which many young people are not overly keen to enter. The prevalence of jobs which are IT based as well as university degrees, which raise people’s expectations, hasn’t helped to attract young people into what is regarded as an industry where you need to get your hands dirty. Repairing vehicles isn’t the cleanest of professions, but there are jobs which can still attract young people into the trade such as in sales and marketing, customer care, working with cloud-based estimating and repair management platforms and repairing alternative fuel vehicles which are helping to reduce the impact on the environment. Salaries must also become more competitive and this can happen with strengthening repair rates to secure future repair capacity.

Neil Marcus,

Marketing Director, Selsia Vehicle Accident Centres.

Where they lead, others often follow With the recent announcement of Tesla Insurance, are we likely to see more manufacturers following in their steps? How does the insurance industry need to react? Elon Musk announced Tesla Insurance a while ago now, so it would seem they’ve put a fair bit of effort into fine tuning their offering. They’re the first manufacturer to offer insurance directly, although I’ve heard that both BMW and Volvo are working on their own insurance solution. BMW are arguably the most innovative manufacturer and Volvo seem keen to topple Tesla’s electric crown with their Polestar brand so I wouldn’t be surprised if they followed suit. Where they lead, others often follow. So why would Tesla become involved in an industry outside their core product? Well, so far they’ve made reusable spaceships, solar roof tiles, huge tunneling machines, even flamethrowers, so car insurance doesn’t seem too outrageous by comparison. Manufactures cottoned on to selling a raft of extras with a car many years ago. Service packages, wheel refurbishments, breakdown cover etc. are commonplace, and so are subcontracted insurance products; vehicle cover, GAP, excess etc. To my mind, Tesla are taking a fairly logical step of bringing it in-house similar to their attitude towards production. Tesla proudly produce almost all their own parts; significantly more than most car manufacturers. Are there other underlying reasons though? The traditional insurer and manufacturer have an uneasy relationship. Insurers sometimes use non-genuine parts to save costs. This can

unbalance warranties and in some cases diminish the value of a repaired car, whilst the manufacturer loses out. Repair methods can differ between manufacturer and insurance. Tesla’s own bodyshops certainly understand their technology, materials and build methods better than any. Their primary focus is to repair the car by reproducing the factory build as close as possible, with the emphasis on quality and safety. Insurers tend to be more focused on the cost of the repair which can sometimes have an effect on the chosen repair method. Technology Advancement From a technology point of view, Tesla have significant amounts of data live from their vehicles, making assessing risk much less unpredictable. The high level of autonomy has also demonstrated a very different damage pattern to conventional cars; something that traditional insurers are unlikely to take into account. There has been discussions around splitting driver and autonomous crashes so in the latter case Tesla would cut out paying for a middle man whilst understanding issues their antonymous vehicles face. Tesla will have instant knowledge if one of their vehicles crash, so can react much quicker and therefore provide a better user experience. With Tesla offering 20 - 30% typical savings on a premium, presumably simply added within the cost of the car, plus the above advances in customer service, they could be in an excellent position to genuinely disrupt the long standing motor insurance market.

Nik Ellis,

Managing Director, Laird Assessors.

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EDITORIAL

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There are more alliances, partnerships and joint ventures in the industry than ever before. Why do you think this is, and what sets these services apart? In today’s climate, most business models are underpinned by the need to meet the ever changing needs of customers. A wide range of business models now incorporate research and data analysis to understand customer behaviour, and thus ensure core competencies can evolve and innovate to provide solutions in line with customer demands, which in turn, will improve overall competiveness. In the insurance context, one of the key components in these models is the option to outsource. Despite operating in a mature industry, companies continually look to access the benefits of a competitive market by substituting an in-house service with that provided by a highly competitive service provider. As one such provider, our core focus is to continually identify innovative ways to bring value to Motor Insurers and Insurance Brokers to differentiate their customer offering. We consider ourselves experts in designing and building truly bespoke Claims Management services which compliment the core competencies of the partners we work with, whether we’re appointed to deliver one peripheral aspect of the customer journey, or the full end-to-end service. The benefits of outsourcing to a provider that boasts expertise and excellence within a competitive market are far ranging. There are a handful of key components that can set providers apart:

Enhancing the claims service with bespoke technology A claims management system can be tailored to suit clients’ individual requirements. For example, our latest iteration of Ingenium includes identification of key policy details through API integration to client platforms, along with the ability to pull and push data. Bespoke questions help accurately triage FNOL and trigger workflows accordingly. This improves speed and accuracy from the first touch point. A dedicated Centre of Excellence It is at the point of claim where market leading customer service can really be the ‘golden egg’. We are proud to operate a Centre of Excellence, which utilises case ownership to support client satisfaction and retention. In essence, our team has the ability to operate as an extension of the clients’ brand. Providing a wealth of insightful data With 24/7/365 access to all claims information, the wealth of data and insight instantly available is truly unique within our industry. For example, our Claims Portal provides the client with full management, transparency and control of the entire outsourced solution. The portal is bespoke at client-level, providing the precise information required by policyholders. Post-claim, the portal provides access to a full suite of reports.

Andrew Chandler, Sales Director, FMG.

A seamless experience How can we ensure that we remain humanfocused throughout a customer’s journey when switching between online and offline interactions?

The truth of it is, we’re all customers of something and our loyalty is driven by the experiences we have, both in the digital world and in the physical one. When we have a good experience because of great customer service, we are much more likely to become a repeat customer, which in the industry of claims is absolutely essential.

In an industry like claims, there is an obvious divide between the offline and the online service for customers; the journey in between this is crucial to the whole outcome from a customers’ perspective, and is only becoming more important in this heavily saturated market.

“96% of customers scoring a 9-10 in customer satisfaction also scored a 9-10 in intention to remain a loyal customer. This proves a 34% increase in customer loyalty than when customer satisfaction is only scored at 8-8.9” Page 10, ICS UKCSI Main Report July 19.

When it comes to ‘online’, personalisation means we expect tailored experiences. Customers are used to intuitive platforms that respond to their needs effortlessly, creating an experience that feels very personalised and individual to their needs. This increases our expectations as consumers and increases our demand when having to deal with a human being. Our expectation is that when we’re dealing with a human the experience should feel as branded and differentiated as the online experience. Even automated messaging bots are succeeding in more personalised responses to customers, making it harder and harder to keep up with expectations and the offline demand.

The challenge for this industry is to provide a seamless online and offline experience at every step of the customer journey. When consistency falls down between these spaces, the customer experience becomes disjointed thus reducing customer loyalty, trust and a likelihood of recommendation.

Aimee Shortman,

CEO, Brand Biology.

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EDITORIAL

BOARD

Improving the customer experience as part of the evolution of workforce optimisation At EDAM Group, we have built our reputation upon doing the best by our customers. Our focus lies squarely on delivering exemplary customer service and we’ve worked hard to refine the end-to-end process. As the UK’s market leading service provider of credit-hire and post-accident services, we realise the majority of our incoming calls are made by policy holders at an emotionally distressing time. They’re worried about prolonged time off the road, damage repair costs and a potentially complicated claims process. It’s our job to assure each and every person we’re on their side and always acting in their best interests.

improve) programme, investing in future leaders with the Top Right Leadership programme, and focusing on improved processes.

Of course, words only go so far – we know our highly trained team is the best in the business. But without a bullet-proof back office system, their efforts would be wasted. And so we’ve invested heavily in the right technology, we’ve identified the best way to work in a single system, we’ve built guided processes and have integrated FNOL and claims conversion, as well as a specially developed webbased user interface. We’re eager to make life as simple and stress free as we can – for our customers and our people.

Training is key. At EDAM, we have over 400 members of staff and we pride ourselves on their levels of expertise. We operate numerous programmes for their growth which reflect our core business values of innovation, integrity, respect, passion and fun, while working as one team.

And we believe in setting the bar high. The success of our ambitious 2020 Vision depends upon delivering a consistently seamless endto-end customer journey. We have identified three methods that engage our people to ensure this works; developing our Leadership and Development capabilities under the GTi (Grow, Thrive,

I encourage all businesses that run back office applications to keep refining their processes, to encourage (and heed) feedback and to never assume you have the finished product. Marrying your back and front office systems can be a prolonged and costly process of trial and error but keeping people at the forefront of all we do has led us to making the correct strategic decisions to suit our company.

We utilise all feedback, be it from policyholders or business partners, analysing complaints and playing close attention to our NPS (Net Promotor Score), which remains at 86 for the fourth month running. We’ve won numerous awards and our profits continue to increase. We’re leading the way when it comes to putting people first and ensuring our business works for those at the heart of it.

Lesley Jackson,

Chief Commercial Officer, EDAM Group.

Delivering Quality Technology Solutions Our technical transformation specialists provide businesses with innovative, relevant, and specific modular digital solutions, delivering key business improvement and customer satisfaction. Our unique approach to the challenges faced in the Automotive Claims sector, allows Quantum Technical to utilise its collective wealth of knowledge and experience to deliver excellent customer centric solutions, when they are needed and how end users will evolve to use them. Our services include: Technical expertise and support – Claims engineering services, vehicle disposal & training / mentoring Repair network management – Tracking, monitoring and management information Software development – Introducing the latest technology to your business to help you work smarter not harder-saving you time, money and effort Call us to discuss your needs and find out what we can do for your digital future. Contact us at solutions@quantumtechnical.co.uk or on +44 20 8144 1360 www.quantumtechnical.co.uk


SECTOR

Paul Nicholls,

Chair, Motor Accident Solicitors Society (MASS) and Senior Partner at Nicholls Brimble Bhol Solicitors.

SOAPBOX

New challenges The MedCo statement was bullish following the publication of the recent government consultation on its future. They are “confident that everything we are required to do will be successfully achieved before the April 2020 deadline”. This sounds positive for claimants. MASS’s primary concern with medical reports is that the accident victim must be fully protected and provided for from the first day of operation of any new system. Nevertheless, some of the fundamental issues with the evolution of MedCo to serve self-litigants remain. Where an unrepresented claimant is paying for the report themselves, a fee of £180 plus VAT may be a considerable barrier to access to justice, with some less well-off claimants prevented from bringing a disputed claim to trial before a court. Financial status must never be a barrier to being able to pursue a claim. Unrepresented claimants will require considerable assistance throughout the process. Understanding how medical reports are commissioned and by whom. The legal implications of a letter of instruction and how to commission additional experts. Links to websites explaining the distinction between a T1 and a T2 MRO/DME are all well and good, but for many self-litigants this will simply add to the confusion and difficulty of making a claim without legal representation. Commitments about terms of service and response times, length of appointment and appropriate venues for examination. There will need to be strict corporate sanctions to deal with MROs/DMEs who do not adhere to the rules that are established.

Working together

Understanding the actual reports and any medical or legal terminology. How to challenge reports if there are errors or disputes. Grasp the settlement process, the options available to them and understand who pays and when. A functioning audit process of MROs in place. It is good that the government is not proceeding with adding additional specialists to the MedCo process. Given the timeframe and potential complications this would certainly have been a step too far. MedCo has already just about navigated major changes in its short fouryear history. These new challenges must be overcome satisfactorily before the new process is launched. The system is already too stacked against claimants.

Dr Matthew Connell, Director, Policy and Public Affairs, Chartered Insurance Institute (CII).

The claims sector has one of the strongest stories to tell on automation. The sophistication of machine learning and image recognition means that robots can now examine damage to property, like cars, so cost effectively that they are performing checks that people never had time to do. They are not replacing jobs so much as doing work that was never done before. However, this doesn’t mean that people are being replaced. A lot of serious damage - such as the weakening of a car frame does not always have visible symptoms. There is still a need for human expertise to look at the context of a claim, and develop a range of tests to process a complex claim fully and safely.  We can see a similar story when it comes to consumer interaction. Our research through the CII’s Trust Index shows that clients’ desire to feel in control of their claim is almost as important as the speed in which the claim is paid, and technology can help with this enormously through claims portals that help both clients and brokers see every aspect of a claim, and keep track of how it is progressing. 

The CII’s Trust Index shows that respect for the customer is the third pillar in delivering a successful claims service, alongside paying the claim quickly and ensuring the client retains a sense of control. Only technically proficient people with a high degree of social skills and a deep awareness of the needs of different types of customer can achieve this level of service. Chatbots are still decades away from giving this level of service. The claims profession has gone a long way to incorporating the benefits of technology into the way it works - but its need for true professionals has not diminished in any way.

But again, although this information adds value, it does not replace the need for human intervention. Although machine learning has surpassed human ability in the area of image recognition, it is still a long way behind humans when it comes to understanding the subtleties of language.

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SECTOR

SOAPBOX

Brave New World or 1984? Like other readers, I have read Aldous Huxley and George Orwell’s versions of what our future may hold, but one wonders how the perception of brokers is being affected by factors in the insurance market. Specifically, a recent survey carried out by a rival publication determined that the vast majority of brokers (95.9%) felt that an insurer’s reputation in terms of claims handling was important when placing commercial business, yet 56.4% said that claims service was worse than 24 months ago, only 9.8% thought it was better. It is said that perception is reality, and despite vast improvements in the technology used to assist claims processes, it is perhaps of concern that we are still seeing survey results of this nature. From the tremendous work carried out by the members of the Industry Claims Working Group, chaired by BIBA, these surveys serve to highlight just how much work insurers and other stakeholders need to invest to try to improve customers’ claims journeys. We have seen how the deployment of artificial intelligence (AI) and chatbots by Zurich during the last major storm surge vastly improved response time. How remote inspections carried out by motor engineers has improved the repair time of vehicles and how behind-the-scenes technology promoted by Aviva to manage non-contended fault claims has also vastly improved settlement times. Claims portals have allowed clients access, like never before, to improve the transparency of the claims process. However, the perennial problem, as to what happens when an enquiry from the claimant falls outside the parameters of the capabilities of the technology, that the underwriting side of insurers has tried to solve is perhaps still prevalent in the claims arena. Further, I think that the time is coming when AI is used to assess policy wordings

Gordon Dalyell,

President of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).

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Managing Director, Mason Owen Financial Services Ltd; BIBA, Chair of Industry Claims Working Group.

and calculate claims decisions/settlements, which we are told, will provide more accurate decisions. Whilst those decisions may well be accurate, they will also be purely logical and perhaps also less sympathetic to the personal circumstances of the human beings they will affect. Therefore, whilst technology must be embraced in terms of moving the market forward, there are three principles that I believe insurers, brokers and all stakeholders must maintain. They must remain accessible to their policyholder, perhaps 24/7? They must proactively deal with claims rather than remain reactive and wait for the customer to chase them as the “instant” society increasingly demands this. They must also be responsive and settle claims quickly and efficiently with minimum fuss because whilst settlement capability is rising, it is perhaps not rising as fast as customer expectations. In summary then, whilst this digital age continues to expand, so does the scrutiny and transparency of the industry and to this end, I wonder what the two esteemed authors mentioned above would make of the digital footprint and interaction with technology that increases on a daily basis.

Response to MedCo After what felt like a long wait over the summer, the Government finally published its response to its consultation on provision of medical reports in the new small claims system for personal injury claims. The plan is to extend the MedCo system, currently only used by legal representatives, so that litigants in person can find medical experts for their claims. But the report fails to provide clarity at a time when people are looking for answers on how the new small claims system will work. One such predicament is what will happen to those people with genuine injuries and valid claims who cannot afford the outlay for a medical report? This is of concern to those injured people with cases in which liability has been denied. The Government’s plans are for the wrongdoer to pay the upfront cost of the medical report but only when liability is admitted or partially admitted. People with meritorious claims will face a financial barrier. Not everyone can afford to pay £180 up front. It would be very easy for insurers to play their usual game here. If they deny liability, some claims will simply go away. Despite acknowledging that the issue of who pays for medical reports had been raised during the consultation, including by APIL, there has been no suggestion from the Government as to how this will be tackled. If the new system is to be in any way fair, the insurer must meet the upfront cost of the medical report, regardless of whether liability is admitted.

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Andrew Gibbons ACII,

All in all, APIL is supportive of MedCo providing medical reports for road traffic claims under the new small claims limit. If MedCo did not, it would mean that unrepresented, injured people would need to locate medical experts by themselves. But the reform must do more than simply allow people to use the MedCo system. How it operates must also be clear-cut, undemanding, and free to use. Anything else would be a barrier to injured people obtaining their right to recompense for injuries which were inflicted on them by the negligence of other drivers.


F E AT U R E S

Industry Innovators Interview:

Pikl

The specialist insurance for Airbnb, JustPark and more, Pikl, the sharing economy startup, is expanding and on its way to further success. After spotting a gap in the market, Louise Birritteri, CEO, decided to go all in and start the online insurance company in 2016 – a site dedicated to providing specialist insurance products to sharing communities. Modern Insurance caught up with Louise and discussed the next phase of Pikl.

would you describe Pikl in Q How three words? A

Our company has a true desire to make our customers’ experience as positive as possible. We are a company that cares and we want to ensure that our customers are getting the right quotes, products and support at the point that they need them most. We like to do the right thing – as part of our proposition, we have identified a customer need that is not being met, and therefore we are trying to give the customer the right product for their circumstances. Doing right by the customer is really important to us. We are insurance people, and we are proud to be insurance people. We have got a lot of experience within the team, so therefore we try to use that experience in the best way for our customers.

We provide insurance to get you out of a pickle and back into action

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F E AT U R E S

Q Why Pikl? A

When we were deciding on a name we tried to think about how someone would feel when they have to get insurance, and usually, when they have got a claim they are either in a jam or in a pickle. We felt that that was a really nice way of explaining what insurance is really for: we provide insurance to get you out of a pickle and back into action.

Q

What makes Pikl different from other insurtech start-up companies?

A

We share a lot of similarities with other start-ups, but in the insurtech world there are not that many teams that have first-hand experience of insurance. My team has an insurance-based background and most of them have in excess of 10-20 years of experience in insurance, and we have some fantastic tech expertise too. It is all about how we put that experience into good use.

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A new business is all about solving a problem for someone and creating a great solution What would you identify as Q the gap in the market that Pikl aims to fill?

A

The first idea for Pikl sprouted in 2015 – I was just about to book a holiday and had decided to use Airbnb for the first time. As I began looking into it further, and with my insurance hat on, I realised that there was no cover for the people listing their properties on Airbnb! The more I looked into it the more I realised it was a really big gap in the market – and I decided that because I have the skills and the ability to develop a product to solve this particular problem, that I should create Pikl. I then had a chat with some of the founding team members and they thought it was a great idea too, so we went for it!

Pikl is a specialist insurance provider for the sharing economy, including companies like Airbnb, Deliveroo, JustPark, etc. These types of companies provide a platform where people share an asset on a peerto-peer basis, like a house, car, parking space or an item of personal belonging. We identified that that market place has a true gap in underinsurance at the moment, which is created by the lack of cover between home insurance and the Airbnb guarantee. We have created a completely new product called Host Insurance which will cover people who are using Airbnb at their property.


F E AT U R E S

We identified that that market place has a true gap in underinsurance at the moment, which is created by the lack of cover between home insurance and the Airbnb guarantee What were the main Q challenges in standing out and establishing yourself in a competitive market?

A

Having worked in the home and motor insurance market for most of my career, I knew that it was an incredibly competitive market space with a very big price war raging on. I knew that in order to establish ourselves we needed a niche and a specialism – an area of the market where we can solve a particular problem for the customer in order to be able to carve out a part of the market for ourselves which is what we have accomplished with Pikl.

We published a survey earlier this year and found that less than 30% of people that are using Airbnb have told their insurer. We spoke to 90% of the UK insurance market and 100% of them told us that they require their customers to tell their insurer whether they are active on Airbnb. It is clear that there is a big gap in understanding at the moment, especially for the people who are operating via Airbnb and what the insurers think they are doing too.

Q

How is the wider industry responding to challenges in your area of the market, and how are you tackling these?

A

Home insurance itself has not changed as a product for the last 30/40 years, but this new, short term letting that Airbnb has created is making the insurance industry think and function differently. We have found that insurers are now taking us seriously because they want to be proactive within this space, and hopefully we will start to see some changes for the consumer off the back of that.

How are existing Q customer buying habits forcing change?

A

A lot of people will buy their insurance through comparison websites, and those websites have been fantastic in terms of helping customers find and search for the cheapest product but they don’t necessarily guide customers into thinking what the product is that they are actually buying. A lot of people will go onto autopilot and fill out the questions, get to the end and automatically look at the cheapest price and off they go – they could be missing out on the right product for them.

unique about the Q What’s culture at Pikl? A

My team are really clear that we want to do right by the customer. We are trying to solve a problem and ensure that people have the correct insurance to cover them if a claim should occur. We are really just trying to use all of our expertise to ensure that the customer can get what they need and be supported.

do you see Pikl this Q Where time next year? A

Hopefully continuing to grow. We are currently getting ready to launch a new range of products, and 2020 will be the first year where we can spend some time advertising those products in earnest. 2019 has been a lot about developing our products and so we are looking forward to having a good strong trading year next year while continuing to grow the team, hopefully by the end of 2020 we will be ready for our next fundraise.

What advice would you give Q to anyone else looking to disrupt an industry?

A

In November I am supporting a startup event, Sync The City 2019, at the University of East Anglia, where you help a number of students create a start-up in 54 hours. I did the event last year and found that a number of students were asking me the same question: ‘how do you create a start-up business?’, and what I usually say is that you need to identify a problem that needs to be solved. For me, a new business is all about creating a solution to a problem.

The insurance industry needs to think about how they can help customers get the right products as well as the right price. The regulator issued the IDD last year, which was designed to make sure that intermediary insurers and regulated companies are clearly identifying customers’ demands and needs and helping them to get to the right product. There are a number of comparison sites and insurance companies that are still digesting those changes and thinking about what that means in terms of communicating with customers.

Louise Birritteri is the CEO of Pikl.

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LexisNexis Risk Solutions Roadshow 2019

While it is only now that data and analytics is more widely recognised as an enabler within the insurance industry, data and analytics has always been the basis for this gigantic infrastructure. Today’s insurance providers are leveraging data to attract, retain and service customers; develop new solutions and products; assess and mitigate risks; improve work flow; process claims; and manage financial performance. But the data itself is also changing. Data is now much more readily available, with the volume, variety and velocity rapidly increasing, insurance companies almost have too much to handle. This series of roundtables, co-hosted by LexisNexis Risk Solutions and Modern Insurance Magazine, covers some key areas of insurance that are or have heavily adapted the enormous amounts of data entering our systems; and discusses how data, analytics and technology are being utilised to improve interactions and services within those spaces. Taking place across Manchester, London and Birmingham, these events brought a fantastic panel from across the industry to answer those need-to-know questions, while offering some important insights for you to take away, within the motor, analytics and SMEs arenas. Our reasons for partnering was to generate insights from the industry in order to explore the transformative power of data and analytics within insurance and highlight what more we can do to better understand our policyholders and our business goals.

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LexisNexis Risk Solutions Roadshow Shines the Light on Innovation ‘We believe in the power of data and analytics’. ‘Harnessing the potential of data in ‘insurance’. These were the slogans for the recent roundtables we hosted with Modern Insurance with participation from some industry leaders. But the series of meetings on Data Science and the Commercial and Motor markets showed that innovation, and new philosophies around databases and skills, more open approaches to data and new data uses cases, really are coming down the track at a fast pace. It’s all happening under the bonnet of insurance, so to speak, and there’s much more change coming to the industry than the typical consumer realises. Here’s a brief summary from Trevor LloydJones, Senior Marketing Manager, LexisNexis Risk Solutions. It all took place in the spirit of testing the possible and the impossible, and making insurance better for the end-consumer. Our first roundtable took place in Manchester where experts from the Managing General Agents Association, Zurich, Marmalade, MASS (Motor Accident Solicitors Society) and BIBA discussed claims inflation, the dislocating effect of the Ogden rate change and the role greater precision and granularity with data can play in driving efficiencies in difficult times, however true artificial intelligence and the popular perception of automation may still be some distance in the future. But there is a role today for taking more steps in data enrichment, for more informed underwriting and claims, preparing for the future. There was a discussion around how data can play a role in the many consumer interactions and opportunities at the point of quote or point of need, as presented by digitisation, not just for improving underwriting, pricing and core insurance functions. New data sources from telematics and new risk classifications from vehicle build, driver assistance features and ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) are beginning to come in as new risk rating factors, possibly redefining motor insurance in some ways that are still hard to predict. Next we moved onto London, where data scientists and leaders driving transformation projects in insurance joined us from Zurich, AXA, Mark Logic, Aon Risk Solutions, and Covéa. Apart from being some of the smartest and funniest people working in insurance, the group discussed some of the culture changes that are coming to insurance in terms of how data becomes infused in every-day processes and projects, as well as ways to deal with the chronic skills gap in analytics. Many misunderstandings exist about analytics skills and what data scientists do on a daily basis, both inside and outside the typical insurance company. Insurance and wider society needs a big push to bring more understanding on

this subject, to attract the right skills and to ‘modernise’ the image of insurance. Data and leveraging the power of data to solve problems and drive the product architecture is going to become a gamechanger for insurance as for many industries. This group also discussed the role for data exchanges and greater data collaboration, breaking down traditional data silos, created for the days when insurance products were built up separately within different product verticals. Data scientists spend just a tiny proportion of their working day writing or defining an algorithm that actually gets implemented into the business. They’re much more likely to spend their time manipulating ‘dirty data’, normalising internal or (increasingly) external data, making it ready to be applied, working with other business leaders identifying and defining the right problems to be solved. These are amongst the key skills that are going to bring insurance value in the future from the ‘oceans’ of data that are coming on the horizon. Our final stop on the roadshow in Birmingham brought together experts in the world of SME and commercial insurance from Simply Business, Covea, Circle Insurance, Aviva and Allianz. Major weather events have been challenging property insurance providers in the areas of disaster response, for events such as flood or cyber. There is an opportunity for mapping technology to be overlaid with all kinds of powerful new data sets. There is an under-insurance gap of approximately £1 billion annual premium in the UK SME sector, equivalent to an average 50% below the amount required to cover the typical small business loss. Greater availability of data and normalisation of data across the whole industry can help solve this issue, for example with place of business address data for SMEs, greater insight into business owner data, business activity data, and data from the Open Banking initiative. Data insight is the fuel that will help to identify risk for SMEs that come in so many different shapes and sizes. It is what will drive efficiencies, making it possible to serve small business owners in the way they are used to being served for their personal insurance needs: typically online, sometimes with prefilled information in the quote process, and with greater knowledge about their needs and circumstances. When there are tensions between brokers, insurers, and the direct-to-the-customer relationships of those insurers selling to SMEs, there is possibly a need for ‘new world’ thinking around use of data and customer insight. It will take an ecosystem

About LexisNexis Risk Solutions LexisNexis Risk Solutions provides customers with information-based analytics and decision tools that combine public and industry-specific content with advanced technology and algorithms to assist them in evaluating and predicting risk and enhancing operational efficiency. We combine data and analytics with deep industry expertise to help customers make better decisions and manage risk. We deliver insight to insurance companies to help price and select risk more effectively, detect and prevent online fraud and money laundering. Globally LexisNexis Risk Solutions performs over 100m identity verification checks and over 100bn customer and transaction requests annually, supporting insurance but also other industries such as automotive, banking, fintech, e-commerce and the government sector. We work with more than 78% of Fortune 500 companies and 95 of the top 100 personal lines insurance companies.

with clearly defined rules of play, and a new way of collaborative thinking, to get the right capabilities to the end-customer quickly and more efficiently. It requires both the data scale of the insurers, together with the insight and local customer knowledge of the brokers, especially the independent and provincial brokers. As one of our speakers described it: “For me it’s like trying to break the model where the relationship between the customer, the broker and the insurer is an old-fashioned value chain… That way is transactional and it’s not an ecosystem. But it is the start of the collaboration between those three parties.”

Trevor Lloyd-Jones (Chair) Sr. Marketing Manager – Content LexisNexis Risk Solutions

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Manchester Motor Insurance: Driving the power of data

While discussing the effects from the Ogden rate change, our Manchester cohort focused on a wide range of issues within the motor insurance space, such as the further increase of digitalisation of processes within the industry and what effect this has across a business, plus, how data, analytics, and technology, can further be utilised to improve interactions and services within motor. If we turn back the clock to 2017, without warning, the Lord Chancellor changed the rate from 2.5% to -0.75%, a decision which caused great surprise and upheaval. “We have seen three rate changes since 2017,” exclaimed Trevor Lloyd-Jones, “and recently, the reports are indicating a rise in premiums again; what does the table think about that?” “It is probably not going to be a surprise,” announced Calum McPhail, “that Zurich, like every other insurer in the UK market, was disappointed with the announcement of the rate at -0.25%.” Expanding on McPhail’s comment, in recent months it has become clear that insurers have been frustrated with the Lord Chancellor’s suggestion that the change would lead to savings for insurers, especially as added and unnecessary burden is placed onto the industry with inevitable increased costs adding up. As uncertainty hovers over their heads, the insurers around the table made

The consumer is data savvy, and once insurers can embrace that, they will start to thrive Martyn Mathews, LexisNexis Risk Solutions 52

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it clear that they are trying to work with the changes and adapt as best they can. “There a number of advantages from investing in technology,” explained McPhail, “and we are also encouraging better rehabilitation in order to get claimants back to the best position possible.” Paul Baxter offered a slightly different perspective as an insurance broker; while fully understanding the issues insurers now face, Baxter believes the “quick and unpredicted swings” from the government are the real issue. “This has to come down to whether we are paying claimants fairly enough. We need to work with the government to have a better avenue for communication so that everyone is aware of the process; if a more transparent solution is to come and the discount rate works out as we hope it will, then perfect, because we will all be able to make much more accurate assessments going forward, but until then, we need a clearer and balanced relationship.” The word ‘uncertainty’ was banded between many of the panellists as the conversation continued, and was stated as “the single biggest factor in the industry” by Chris Collings. As Britain seeps further into this category of ‘uncertainty’, especially with a general election facing us next month and Brexit on everyone’s lips, it seems we could be in for further surprise and upheaval as 2020 approaches.

Rising claim costs

Our next topic on the agenda was the significant increase in injury claim costs, which has been accompanied by the upward spiral of motor damage claims inflation, plus the rise of repair bills. “With one of the main reasons being the rising cost of technology in today’s vehicles, what are the options for using RPA and AI innovations to drive costs down?” asked Lloyd-Jones. Baxter nodded and stated that vehicle technology should be driving down claim frequencies, however, as Collings pointed out, there is a “widening sea between those who are prepared to invest in technology and those who can’t;” MGAs and SMEs being an example. The black-box debate came into question, with the group giving the consensus that there is much higher societal expectation for young people to be driving their own cars and allowing insurers access to their data via a black box, but only if it is stated that the data collected benefits the policyholder. It seems that telematics will be the way forward as it works towards reducing costs via claims intervention.


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Manchester If we are going to maintain a competitive advantage, good relationships with our insurance partners and our customers, then we need to use data better Paul Baxter, Marmalade Insurance Steve White commented on the upward spiral of motor damage claims, introducing a couple of macro issues that appear to be silently brewing. One being Brexit and the availability of parts and labour, and the second being the US and China trade war, which will potentially impact on parts. McPhail acknowledged that while costs have gone up, it is something that needs to be addressed with the manufacturer and reflected in the ratings in terms of overall repair costs. “As we move forward and technology moves faster and faster, we need some kind of guarantee from manufacturers around sustainability; they need to not change the technology too much, otherwise in five years’ time when you come to sell your car, the technology could become redundant because it can’t be replaced.” The manufacturers will want to bring the repair into their own ecosystem, and the table agreed that manufacturers will be looking at new ways of driving income and forcing insurance repairs to be done through franchised dealers in order to recover some costs.

Demonstrating value

Attendees:

Calum McPhail

Chris Collings

Martyn Mathews

Steve White

Trevor Lloyd-Jones (Chair)

Paul Baxter

Head of Liability Claims Zurich Insurance plc

Markerstudy Group and MGAA Director

How might the motor insurance market use data and analytics better to find and build loyalty while demonstrating value? “Our business is all about how you use the data, what you do with it and how you communicate to your customers,” explained Baxter. “For us, one of the most important things is how we communicate with young drivers. We find that if we talk about their safety rather than their insurance then the tone of the conversation changes and they are more willing to work with us and see the value in our service offering.” Martyn Mathews agreed and said that we need to “turn insurance from being a grudge purchase into a valuable service. It goes beyond just paying premiums, it is a service that you can count on when the worst happens.” The discussion forced the question of ownership and whether we see the value of ownership changing in young people. Collings suggested that insurance will become a lifestyle choice, with the continuous urbanisation of the younger generation playing a factor, coupled with the realisation that not all of us need a car as much as we used to, and that the notions such as car sharing and car clubs encourages that change in mentality too. Personalisation seems to be the key for a lot of insurers now, but as White observed, at a more macro level, there is a real danger of insurers using individual pricing and running the risk of creating pools of uninsured or uninsurable people, potentially causing political consequences, which we need to be mindful of. The table’s final thoughts turned to technology and how we should be using technology to enhance the customer offering. “We are in the middle of an ARMS technology race,” said Collings, “if we are able to use data with the right technology then we can give consumers what they want”. “The consumer is data savvy,” explained Mathews, “and once insurers can embrace that, they will start to thrive.”

AI is not the answer to everything in the foreseeable future. It is never going to be one size fits all Calum McPhail, Zurich Insurance plc

Sr. Director Motor Insurance, Telematics & Connected Car LexisNexis Risk Solutions

Sr. Marketing Manager – Content LexisNexis Risk Solutions

CEO BIBA

Managing Director Marmalade Insurance

Paul Nicholls Chair MASS

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London Insurance data analytics

Data and analytics has the power to help us truly understand and minimise risk exposure and improve operational processes. London’s session focused on how the industry can further utilise and access advanced analytics in order to stay ahead, while identifying market opportunities and creating an effective business strategy. Trevor Lloyd-Jones kicked off our second event with the question: “Given that algorithms and advanced analytics are going to continue to become important areas of competition, how can insurers deal with the issue of skill supply not meeting the demand?” “This is a matter that is close to my heart,” explained Annarita Roscino, “over the last four years I have always had a vacancy within my team for data scientists. The insurance market is finding it hard to recruit for advanced analytics roles and identifying candidates that can actually do data science can be challenging.” Many of the table were in agreement, and while it became apparent that there is no lack of CVs, it seems that the skill sets are not up to scratch. Michael Calvert suggested that the key is about getting the right people to want to work in insurance. Insurance is often deemed to be the lesser exciting of many of the sectors, but when it comes to data and analytics there are many opportunities to get involved with. Webinars, apprenticeships and graduate programs were all examples given by the delegates, which they found to be a successful way of spreading the message while widening their net when looking for talent and the right skill sets.

Data opportunities and challenges The insurance industry faces a unique set of challenges in regards to data and analytics, one being the breakdown of data silos. LloydJones asked the table how the breakdown of data silos could facilitate

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proper sharing and use of data, and what effect this could have on the overall business. “There are many benefits to doing this but it is a very difficult process,” said Calvert, “getting all of that data into one place is time consuming, and many people don’t have the capability, technology, or appetite to spend that amount of money without an immediate benefit.” Graeme Howard had had success in centralising data, but it was not while in the insurance industry: “By having all of the data in one location, we could generate new services extremely quickly; unfortunately it is taking time to be able to replicate that in insurance.” Governance was quickly brought into the conversation - if data is to become more available and accessible, then a stricter governance process needs to be implemented. Data protection, governance and information security are extremely beneficial to businesses as they ensure data is consistent and trustworthy; as more insurance businesses start to rely on data analytics, it is vital that companies have enough knowledge to overcome any challenges that link to data governance. Another challenge to overcome is the buy-in from senior leaders, but also from the entire industry. Calvert explained that many of the solutions that they are building don’t have a direct impact on the business unless they are operationalised; and if the senior leadership team don’t understand the data or the benefits, then they are usually met with resistance. Roscino believes that culture is one of the biggest barriers: “Some individuals have been doing the same job for the last thirty years and might find it difficult to change their ways. Therefore, it is our responsibility to educate those people and ensure better usage and adoption.” Another aspect is the idea of the data strategy – Howard believes that we should be talking about an overall business strategy and how data and analytics fits into that strategy, rather than being separate approaches.


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London The data scientist makes data liquid and accessible Trevor Lloyd-Jones, LexisNexis Risk Solutions Attendees:

Alan O’Loughlin

All data is useful Michael Calvert, AXA Insurance (UK)

Director, Analytics and Modelling LexisNexis Risk Solutions

Annarita Roscino

Head of Predictive Analytics Zurich

What does GDPR mean for the industry? While GDPR can be restrictive, there is an alternative approach that can enhance how analytics works for the industry. This catalyst of change has initiated further trust between the customer and the insurer that their data will be safe, but it hasn’t been a smooth process. Insurance is still seen as a grudge purchase, explained Howard, and it is hard for customers to see the benefits of sharing their data unless they make a claim, which is the worst case scenario. Insurers should be more “out there” about the benefits they have to offer, said Roscino. “Data smooths the entire process, and equally it will help with the prevention of claims, and that is something we need to educate both our customers and colleagues on,” stated Calvert. If we can improve the connectivity and interaction between insurers and customers then the sharing of data will seem much more worthwhile. The table then focused on external data and what insights can be gleaned from external data such as social media, multimedia, smartphones, computers, and other devices, and how can this source of behavioural data help us to understand different types of risks and consumers. Does it have predictive value and how much is device data going to be important in the future? The table agreed that it will be extremely useful, but fraud teams are likely to have more appetite and leeway using this type of data. Frederic Valluet sees the value in being able to collect data directly from the customer, but explained that collecting it from other sources such as social media would be harder to justify and prove the value to the customer.

Frederic Valluet

Graeme Howard

Solutions Director MarkLogic

CTIO Covéa Insurance

Keith Tracey

Michael Calvert

Managing Director Aon

Head of Claims Analytics AXA Insurance (UK)

It is clear that we are moving at a faster pace than ever before, and that is down to a combination of elements, including a more customer-centric view point from the industry, plus the challenge of disruptors. The more disruptors that challenge the market, the more insurers need to change the way they are thinking in order to keep up. We are facing a wave of change, but there are plenty of opportunities available with the help of data and analytics.

Information is power Annarita Roscino, Zurich

Trevor Lloyd-Jones (Chair)

Sr. Marketing Manager – Content LexisNexis Risk Solutions

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Birmingham SMEs – Insuring a small to medium sized enterprise

There is a problem with underinsurance in the UK’s SME sector. SMEs face a number of insurable risks, including but not exclusive to, theft and damage to property and/or stock, business interruption, and cyber threats. However, unlike larger enterprises, SMEs tend not to have a specialist insurance function, and may lack the resources, time and money to correctly access their insurance needs. But data could be the answer. Our session in Birmingham examined the changing needs of this particular market space and how data enrichment could enable customers to make more informed choices, while better defining the risks, and emerging risks, currently associated with SMEs.

It is important that we have got the customer in our sights at all time Emma Jones, Simply Business

Trevor Lloyd-Jones’s first question for the panel was regarding mapping and location data: “To what extent do you think mapping and GIS data can help bring a new dimension to dynamic pricing, underwriting and resources management related to major weather and other catastrophic events? Firstly, a bit of background - GIS (Geographic Information System) is difficult to define but it could be argued that any digital data that contains location based information is in fact a GIS. This location information is called spatial data and could be anything from the location of a property, to a postcode, or a county. GIS data can be used for a variety of reasons, but it is mostly used by larger players within the industry to analyse data or create rating factors used for pricing and/or underwriting decisions. While there were many positive points shared around the benefits of mapping and GIS data, there were some concerns aired among the group. “When does mapping and GIS data become a barrier to the customer?” asked Emma Jones, “It is important that we have got the customer in our sights at all time, because whilst it is good to have granular sophistication and detail, if we can’t insure the individual because of insufficient data sources then we can’t fulfil our job.” Flooding was the example of choice for the panel, with a number of individuals stating that insurers usually have different data sets when it comes to checking for flood zones and risk, leaving customers in limbo as they try to discover the potential risks associated with their property. There is certainly a gap in the market here which the sharing of data could help to solve; it would certainly ensure more properties and customers are protected and help to put preventative measures in place in the face of major weather events. Jones explained how her company is exploring the use of GIS data and how this can enable dynamic pricing for the customer, meaning that customers can receive a price based on the risk. Dynamic pricing is a hot topic at the moment, and one controlled by GIS data. Tim Grant suggested that social media could also be used as a preventative measure, with further support guaranteed from having a claims team

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Birmingham Collaboration remains paramount; brokers and insurers need to work together in these types of situations for the collective good of their client Tim Grant, Covéa Insurance on the ground. “Do insurers not do that already?” asked Jonathan Guard. “We do, but the precision of forecasting event footprints is a limiting factor and one of the risks is crying wolf,” explains Simon Parrish, “We currently send out general messaging, but because we are intermediated, contacting the customer directly can be a slightly emotive subject for our brokers. We can advise our brokers about the at risk exposures that are on our books instead. We have the information and we can make sure it is available for use.” “While some brokers will prefer to handle the contact directly with the customer themselves, collaboration remains paramount,” said Grant, “brokers and insurers need to work together in these types of situations for the collective good of their client.” From the broker’s perspective, Juliet Williams said: “I would have no issue during a major event if the insurer wanted to take control because they have more capabilities than us as brokers. They are able to get the information to customers straight away.” It was clear that the table wanted further collaboration between brokers and insurers as they hoped it would create a more trusting and well-rounded relationship with customers and clients overall, but it is down to the industry to create that collaborative space.

Attendees:

Emma Jones

Snr Insurer Relationship Manager Simply Business

Jonathan Guard

Director, Commercial & SME Insurance LexisNexis Risk Solutions

How can we move into a digital space? We are currently seeing the market rushing to digitise SMEs. Customer preferences are changing, and with that the majority of customers are now purchasing their insurance online. However, as Will Wood pointed out, trying to generalise across the SME market is difficult because it is massively complex. It is not a one-size-fits-all scenario as there are still a lot of individuals that would prefer human interaction. Lloyd-Jones asked the table what other barriers there may be to digital processing. It was suggested that trust, awareness, the availability of data, connectivity, and the broker/insurer relationship were all barriers for further expansion into a digital space. “An immediate barrier to consider,” said Grant, “is the political and economic uncertainty we are currently facing in terms of Brexit. It is my understanding that small businesses are reluctant to invest right now because their future is so uncertain and times are difficult.” “Simplicity is key,” stated Parrish. “Data enables a slick interaction and the personalisation of cover but there are barriers in terms of customers being comfortable to share this. If insurers and brokers can offer SMEs simple propositions that provide them with assurance to protect their business, they really will be making their customer happy.”

Juliet Williams

Simon Parrish

Group SME Director Circle Insurance

SME & Corporate Partner Underwriting Allianz

Tim Grant

Trevor Lloyd-Jones (Chair)

As the data becomes more accurate and immediate it will enable a better journey, as Jones explained. “Insurance has a history of being quite inwardly focused, we need to turn ourselves inside out and truly think about what the customer wants,” finished Grant.

Trying to generalise across the SME market is difficult because it is massively complex. It is not a one-size-fits-all scenario as there are still a lot of individuals that would prefer human interaction Will Wood, Aviva

Interim Head of SME & Schemes Covéa Insurance

Sr. Marketing Manager – Content LexisNexis Risk Solutions

Will Wood

Head of UK SME Propositions Aviva

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Your eyes on the ground How is technology affecting the claims arena and what are the positive impacts of evidential tech in helping to reduce the lifecycle of claims? John Ridd, CEO at eviid, discusses.

W

e are living in an era of continual technology updates. This can only be a good thing, of course, as our industry finds new ways to be more efficient, to improve systems and workflows, and to improve the customer’s experience.

However, we must always be aware that we operate in a unique business environment with subtleties and requirements that any new technology must consider. A disruptive technology which is revolutionising another industry often won’t work in insurance claims. This is an industry where security and fraud prevention is essential – and for video technology, that is a huge factor. The most recent estimates suggest that there are now more than five billion smartphone users worldwide. These days most of us always have access to a camera. In theory, this is great for providing quick access to proof in insurance claims, however, what this almost universal access also means is a huge increase in those that have access to easy video and photo editing software instantly. Hundreds of free and inexpensive editing apps are now available at the touch of a button, so how can insurers really trust what they see in video and photo submissions? By its very nature the claims industry is one which is more susceptible than many to fraudulent activity. With often vast sums of money changing hands daily, it’s a tempting field for the budding fraudster. Naturally, our industry is no stranger to the threat of fraud, and stringent processes are in place to ensure claims are true and accurate. These processes, however, often require significant manpower which directly impacts the bottom line. But what if the same technologies that are opening up fraudulent video opportunities could actually be the solution to reducing them? The very fact that so many of us have access to smartphones makes this technology the ideal vehicle for technology which can transform workflows through video evidence. So long as the validity of that video can be verified, of course.

eviid’s patented, smartphone based, evidential video technology automatically dates, time and location stamps videos at source and creates a tamper evident file which cannot be altered. The patented eviid technology is the only the only technology capable of sharing and generating video evidence which is fully verified and suitable for use in court proceedings. Claims handlers can be confident they have an accurate view of the claim and underwriters can quickly make informed decisions. Find out more about eviid’s unique evidential video technology and how it can help your business by visiting www.eviid.com.

Using video within claims has the power to transform workflows by reducing unnecessary travel, keeping the claims process lean, empowering claims handlers to make informed decisions more quickly and is more efficient So why should claims teams invest in verifiable video technology? To put it simply, using video within claims has the power to transform workflows by reducing unnecessary travel, keeping the claims process lean, empowering claims handlers to make informed decisions more quickly and is more efficient. By integrating video into claims workflows, either through live video call or upload of evidential video, and enabling the capability to share with third parties including lawyers and contractors, time taken from first notification of loss to resolution can be significantly reduced. Field workers at the site of a claim can liaise directly with office staff and supply a fuller picture of the full extent of a claim much more efficiently than by submitting a written report. Face-to-face interviews can be conducted via live video calling, recordings of which can form part of a claim’s evidence without additional visits from field teams. Additionally, policy holders can easily upload their own evidence, from photos to CCTV and dashcam footage, which can then be verified by claims teams as accurate and evidential. Using video technologies designed with the insurance industry in mind can overcome concerns around validity and fraudulent video. A new technology must be able to guarantee that a media file is accurate and not tampered with. Insurers need to be sure that a video or photograph is an accurate depiction of a claim and that the time and location of filming is not manipulated.

John Ridd

is the CEO at eviid.

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Operational resilience, crisis and continuity Nousheen Hassan, Director and CEO of Innovative Risk & Audit Solutions, delves into the common causes of operational incidents within the insurance industry, offering her share of useful insights when combatting risk internally and externally. are the common causes of operational Q What incidents within the insurance industry? Operational incidents arising from operational risk can occur across an array of different areas in the business. These can include a firm’s governance structure and whether it is robust. This can range from a Board and its Committees’ composition and how well it can challenge and understand the different aspects and risks in the business, to holding those that are responsible for those areas accountable when things go wrong. The industry is going through significant transformation at the moment with a number of mergers and acquisitions and adoption of technology to enable the industry to become more dynamic. M&A activity gives rise to changes in processes, systems and people. Merging and implementing new processes and systems tends to give rise to a host of operational issues which may impact the way the business operates, taking time for the business to get back to a ‘normal’ state. This can also result in high staff turnover or demotivated staff and job losses, which may result in a high presence of operational risk. Where firms are increasingly adopting new technology and ways of working, this has the potential to increase failures around IT. As we move into a more automated and technical focused world, external and cyber threats are increasing. These are particularly difficult risks to manage and mitigate because firms may not know where the threats could be coming from. Often, there can be so

much focus on trying to understand the external IT threats, that the internal threats can be missed. It is important to understand these just as much as these may give to rise to operational threats by those that are close to and operating within the business. The industry is also heavily regulated. Insufficient understanding around what many of these regulations require, understaffed compliance and risk teams and tight submission deadlines can give risk to operational incidents in the regulatory space, which can lead to fines and penalties on firms. This continues to be a challenge for most firms where adherence to regulatory standards can become burdensome and can sometimes get in the way of trying to run the business.

Many of the businesses within the market need a more integrated approach to risk management; and their people need to understand risk better

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Risk management is evolving. However, the insurance industry is a slow moving sector and still has some way to go should be the key considerations in Q What resiliency and recovery planning? Some areas of consideration for operational resilience and recovery planning are your people, processes and systems; how adequate are your processes and systems? Are they working effectively? Are your people trained, skilled and/or qualified? I would say, try and be methodical and understand your key business services and what they are? Prioritise what will be needed to run the business should an incident occur. This helps to understand which areas of the business will be key when it comes to recovery. Get as much assurance as you can through your assurance functions (risk, compliance and internal audit) on your business control environment to understand how well business risks are being managed. This may help reduce the impact of any operational incidents faced and support build the firm’s resilience measures. It is key to have awareness training at the board level but also at the operational staff level. People need to understand what could happen if operational risks impact the business. It is also important to have internal and external communications with your suppliers and external stakeholders as they could have significant impact on the way the business continues to operate.

is technology transforming risk Q How management? Risk management is evolving. However, the insurance industry is a slow moving sector and still has some way to go. Many of the businesses within the market need a more integrated approach to risk management; and their people need to understand risk better.

We are seeing an increased use of data analytics in risk management and more so across internal audit functions, which enables outliers from certain data sets to be identified and used to understand trends and issues better. Risk functions are still trying to determine how technology can be used to make the function more efficient. Some teams continue to explore and implement GRC (Governance, Risk, and Compliance) solutions whilst others prefer to use standard applications such as Excel to support their risk management frameworks. There is also a need for more talent and skills in these areas which seems to be a challenge across many firms.

What in your view is a key emerging risk Q currently facing the industry and how can it best prepare? One of the key emerging risks is climate change. This is a significant risk for insurers. Firstly, you have the operational risk element (people, systems, processes) which may be affected by where a firm is based. The business may have offices and staff in regions that are prone to certain types of extreme weather and incidents impacting from climate change. This will affect how the business operates, whether it is resilient enough to withstand events and whether robust contingencies are in place. Climate change is also slowly changing the macro environment dynamic, making it much harder to predict what could happen when writing certain risks. This may be a particular issue for property, catastrophe and general liability portfolios. Underwriters need to think carefully about what effects climate change may have on their portfolios of business and work closely with actuaries in the business to understand the impact it could have on how they are writing risks and any unforeseen losses.

Nousheen Hassan

is the Director and CEO of Innovative Risk & Audit Solutions.

Underwriters need to think carefully about what effects climate change may have on their portfolios of business and work closely with actuaries in the business to understand the impact it could have on how they are writing risks and any unforeseen losses

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Award winning centrally managed accident repairs for all types of vehicles Voted the UK’s favourite accident management company by professional repairers

0845 468 6800 info@selsia-vac.co.uk selsia-vac.co.uk Safely back on the road.


F E AT U R E S

Dive In Festival 2019 Marking its fifth year, the Dive In Festival 2019 has certainly made an impact, with over 30+ countries and 60+ cities taking part in activities aimed at supporting the development of inclusive workplace cultures within the insurance industry, this global movement is continuing to develop awareness into action. Here you can find some of this year’s highlights.

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ive In’s opening event 2019 was hosted by Gold Sponsors Willis Towers Watson; Alistair Swift, Head of CRB & Head of Transportation Lines, welcomed a packed auditorium as we celebrated a fifth year of the festival.

Taking up the theme of #inclusionimpact, Alistair reflected on how the practice of diversity and inclusion has evolved and become a client facing imperative. He soon introduced Sir Trevor MacDonald as the first among the speakers, who acknowledged the festival’s global footprint while sharing his experiences in television. The rest of the panel, John Neal, Lloyds; Andrew Bailey, FCA; Fiona Luck, Lloyds; and Karen White, RMS; joined Sir Trevor and spoke of the challenges surrounding D&I in the industry and invited us to make seize the moment and make a difference. The opening event commenced the start of a number of seminars, lectures, presentations and workshops taking place in and around the UK; one being in the centre of York, which Modern Insurance Magazine were asked to attend, being a keen ambassador of the insurance industry and D&I in the North of England, it was our pleasure. The event, Learn how to believe in yourself and then how to promote yourself, took place at The Hiscox Building and included two sessions: Imposter Syndrome, and Putting yourself OUT there: Networks and Career Progression. Phillippa Hurrell,

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Hurrell Associates, introduced session one by outlining imposter syndrome – a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts his or her accomplishments and has a persistent internalised fear of being exposed as a “fraud”. During the talk, Phillippa, helped the attendees to be that bit braver, and to push themselves to aim that bit higher. She discussed the concept of self-doubt and explained how these types of thoughts and feelings can hold us back from operating at our best – she equipped the audience with a range of skills to take forward in order for them to enjoy life and play big.

Dive In promotes year-round best practice in diversity and inclusion with tools and advice and it is something that the industry needs to continue to be involved in


F E AT U R E S

Seize the moment and make a difference

Lauren Peel, Aviva, presented session two. She spoke about differing paths of career progression, and how being out and active with LGBTQ+ networks can lead to success, and how best to manage your personal networks. Overall it was a positive session, presenting some useful insights into navigating your career. Dive In promotes year-round best practice in diversity and inclusion with tools and advice and it is something that the industry needs to continue to be involved in. Reaching new heights in 2019, we can be sure that 2020 will being events to even more cities, countries and individuals across the world – all with the aim of raising awareness and creating a positive impact.

If you missed any of the Dive In Festival 2019 events but want to learn more about how to promote diversity and inclusion in your workplace – check out Dive In’s event reports to find out more: https://diveinfestival.com/category/event-reports/

This global movement is continuing to develop awareness into action

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Diversity &Inclusion

with Donna Richards, CEO of Carpenters Group.

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Q

A

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What would you say has been the impact of inclusion for you, both personally and professionally? My parents lead by example, with a great work ethic, encouraging me and ensuring that I believed that there should be no barriers to achieve what you want in life. I have always been lucky to be involved in businesses throughout my career that have provided a voice and a place for all, this has allowed me to progress, gaining professional qualifications and experience, becoming a mother and developing as a business person. I was able to become a partner in an accountancy practice and go on to have two more children, whilst still maintaining my role in that business. I have three sons who have grown up respecting that gender does not determine the roles and responsibilities of people both in business and life in general. I do appreciate how lucky I have been to have the support over the years of family and colleagues all of whom have presented no gender barriers. As CEO of Carpenters Group, I am privileged to lead a business that sees that people, values and culture make our success possible. The way we conduct ourselves and demonstrate our ethics and values at every level throughout the business is a testament to our belief in our people.

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How can we influence more businesses, leaders and individuals to create environments that enable inclusion to foster?

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The business case for a more diverse and inclusive workforce is indisputable. Giving all employees a fair chance, no matter what their personal circumstances, to develop and then creating the environment for them to progress will directly enable a business to succeed. Cultural change does not happen overnight; it must be encouraged, nurtured and driven. That is why it is important to keep pushing the message home, whether it be through events such as the Dive In Festival, sponsoring awards or articles such as this one. Nothing, though, beats everyday business practices that demonstrate what you say you stand for in terms of inclusivity, transparency, fairness and equal opportunities.

How has Carpenters Group been contributing to the conversation around diversity and inclusion within the workplace this year? Carpenters Group operates in a diverse and multi-cultural society with diversity being second nature in our employment practices. We have a fully integrated approach to diversity in every part of the employee life cycle. Our employment policies and processes actively promote inclusion by ensuring all employees are treated uniformly without reference or consideration to their backgrounds or circumstances. It is one thing to say you act in a certain way, and another to do it, for example we do not differentiate on age in relation to pay rates. We also work with organisations who actively upskill the long term unemployed to meet the needs of local business. These things together with flexi time and our ability to accept flexible working requests demonstrates that we actively embrace diversity. There will likely always be room for improvement in attitudes towards inclusion, which is why it is important that we continue to promote diversity and embrace it daily. We do try to operate a true meritocracy.

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What do you hope to see improve in terms of D&I in the next year, both in wider society as well as in the insurance industry? In addition, how do you think we should tackle that?

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As technological advancements continue at a rapid pace, it should further remove barriers to flexibility and open the workplace to a more diverse team. I would hope to see more diverse leadership teams evolving in the coming year, not just in the insurance sector, but also across industry.

How can we continue to move the dial on gender equality within the industry?

With a female majority on both our Executive and Operations boards, we can proudly demonstrate that diversity is an everyday part of our working life. The wider industry is going to be a tougher nut to crack, but progress is being made all the time. More and more businesses will recognise that they cannot be agile and adaptive without the benefit of a diverse and inclusive employee base, especially if the business is focused on customers. There are many gifted and able women in leadership roles in the sector and over time, they will break down prejudices and progress the advancement of women.

There are many gifted and able women in leadership roles in the sector and over time, they will break down prejudices and progress the advancement of women

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Cultural change does not happen overnight; it must be encouraged, nurtured and driven

Donna Richards

CEO of Carpenters Group


F E AT U R E S

Reflection leads to action in glass claims

The automotive glass claims industry is changing. James MacBeth, Auto Windscreens’ Managing Director, talks about the technological challenges and opportunities facing the sector.

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echnology and customer expectations over the past few years have been huge driving forces in the windscreen repair and replacement industry, adding new complexities to the claims journey.

Like the insurance providers we supply, these challenges are viewed by us as exciting opportunities to reimagine parts of our service to satisfy our increasingly tech-savvy customers, while also pre-empting the future demands of digitally raised millennials.

IT systems for a better customer experience Our booking journey has moved online, although our more traditional contact routes are still available – a must for any business handling ‘distress’ purchases. We have also launched web chat functionality, online payments and an Intelligent Voice Response system to facilitate additional customer communication preferences, alongside introducing a technician tracker and increased text messaging to create an all-round complete experience. A video vehicle inspection carried out by technicians prior to and after any work is also completed on every repair or replacement to reassure partners and policyholders, while protecting against fraudulent claims. These IT-led solutions are all supported by our sophisticated IFS Enterprise Service Management workflow solution, designed to provide superior customer service. More advancements are in progress, with potential here for us to adapt automation further to provide greater interaction options. A benefit of having the above systems in place, alongside the obvious customer expectation gains, is the amount of detailed data that can now be generated to develop our service. This information is also passed on to our insurer partners, helping them better understand glass claims and what is being delivered to their customers. We find that insurers are increasingly keen to have access to such information as a means to better control and understand windscreen claims. Peter Millis, Claims Operations Manager at Ageas, recently commented: “The data provided by Auto Windscreens allows us to see a comprehensive overview of the service provided to our customers including replacements by priority, completion rates, tasks per technician and the satisfaction

In response to the rapid developments taking place, the industry as a whole should examine their current service, and will benefit from understanding new vehicle technology, customer expectations and costs ratings of our customers. This information helps us to both monitor and plan customer engagement and experience.”

Vehicle technology altering the face of a windscreen claim It is not just customer service and workflow solutions that have advanced; vehicle technology has also moved on significantly over the past 40 years, and has been exceptionally quick to progress in the last five or so years. Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), such as automated braking and lane deviation warnings, now feature on many mainstream vehicles, operating by using lasers and sensors mounted on windscreens. These technologies have really challenged the glass repair industry, adding vehicle calibration to the claims journey for many customers to ensure driver safety. This has subsequently resulted in new training needs for our technicians and customer service staff and investment in equipment. While we have a solid, enhanced solution in place to handle ADAS screens and next generation vehicle technology, such as 360° bird’s eye view camera and fatigue warning systems, the additional service requirement has resulted in unavoidable costs to us and insurers. Windscreen prices for newer vehicles are, on the whole, also higher because they’re packed with features. We have forged strong partnerships to ensure we can successfully and sustainably manage these costs – something we’re confident we have achieved.

A partner of the future It could be argued that previously insurers had little need to understand the specifics of a windscreen replacement. Now however, in response to the rapid developments taking place, the industry as a whole should examine their current service, and will benefit from understanding new vehicle technology, customer expectations and costs. Selecting a glass repair partner that is similarly focused on policyholder retention and embraces costcutting digital technologies, whilst offering an exceptional service, is advantageous in these changing times.

James MacBeth

is the Managing Director of Auto Windscreens.

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CASE

STUDY

The future of motor claims management Introducing Cobalt, and everything you need to know about the future of motor claims management.

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n our evermore competitive industry, claims performance is a critical success factor, but in motor claims management basic triage, a lack of efficiency and poor communications are resulting in increased costs and customer frustrations. These are all parts of the process that could and should be better than they currently are. In order to provide our partners with a much-improved customer experience whilst simultaneously lowering operational expenditure, we knew we needed to start thinking differently. Take accident damage for example. It’s common practice for a customer to be waiting days to find out what is happening with their damaged vehicle and even then, they may not have a clear resolution. On top of this, silos in the supply chain lead to poor communication, as the integration of systems and data isn’t as effective as it could be, and poor triage upfront results in a longer claims cycle, increased operational expenditure and unsatisfied policyholders. Drawing upon these issues within the industry, we set ourselves a challenge; to drive a smarter way of working, one which uses informed judgement to achieve better commercial and customer outcomes in motor claims management – introducing Cobalt, brought to the market by Coplus.

We set ourselves a challenge; to drive a smarter way of working, one which uses informed judgement to achieve better commercial and customer outcomes in motor claims management – introducing Cobalt, brought to the market by Coplus The Cobalt way

Whilst we consistently move towards self-service models, a crisis like a motor accident brings the human touch and its reassurance to the fore. Combining our people’s expertise with the technology to provide a fast and efficient solution is key to what we do at Cobalt. We have re-engineered the process from first claims notification to enable us to make informed decisions about the best and correct action for the policyholder, immediately.

For more information about Cobalt, please visit our website at

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Using machine learning and image capture from the policyholder to understand vehicle damage in real-time, we ensure that vehicles are quickly passed into the correct repair track. In accident damage, 85% of claims are deployed into the correct track within the first call, with the remainder allocated within an hour following an expert engineer assessment. The same data-led decision-making approach supports personal injury assessment too. Our powerful appraisal tool uses information about the person, their injury and its severity, to help our claims handler find the best claims track for someone whilst in call and provide an expedited claims journey.

A customised approach

Cobalt is a series of motor claims solutions, all of which combine people and data to remove errors and drive efficiency right at the start of the claim. The services work independently or as a combined package scaled to meet the needs of any business. These include: • First Notification of Loss (FNOL) • Accident Damage Management • Third-Party Capture • Out of Hours Claims Management • Non-Fault Claims Management Our combination of improved data and integrated technology allows insurers to benefit from powerful insight throughout their entire business - saving time, money and ultimately, driving a more effective customer journey.

Building on the expertise at Coplus

Part of handl Group, Coplus is one of the UK’s leading motor, legal and property claims handling providers, with over 30 years’ experience. Working in the broker market we’ve honed our 24/7 operation to provide high quality, white label solutions increasing market share year on year. In Cobalt, we’ve built a motor claims management solution that combines technology with people to achieve better outcomes for our insurer partners and their policyholders. Put simply, it’s about doing the right thing at the right time. 

Jason Tripp

is the Managing Director at Coplus


F E AT U R E S

JUST A THOUGHT from Eddie Longworth

It’s the vision that matters Would it be too daring and controversial of me to suggest that Claims Technology is not the future of the claims sector? Of course, there will be vast investments in technologies of all different kinds and I continue to hear of and welcome major advances in AI, Analytics and Data Management. There are more Unicorns(!) roaming the forests of venture capital than ever before and my personal experience of chairing pan-European claims technology gatherings suggests that the movement is strong.

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Or is it? Aviva recently announced the virtual closure of their technology and innovation ‘garage’. Speaking to a Claims Director recently he described the role of his innovation unit as being to ‘sift out the vast numbers of irrelevant and unproven offers that we get from the tech sector’. At the same time, a recent project I saw that was designed to implement a new technical solution in household claims very nearly foundered on the rocks of supplier complacency, internal intransigence and poor change management plans. Technology is rarely the answer to any question. Instead it is an enabler to find the answers you are looking for which can then be used to redesign the way you work, the people you employ, and the environment that you build for claims management. The art of successful claims technology development lies not in the software, the programme or the algorithm, but in how you implement and use the new information at your disposal.

MI gives me a headache

How many pages does your month end MI pack run to? 5, 10, 50, 100? How many of those pages do you actually read? Most important of all – how much of the vast array of figures, charts, trends and analysis encourage you to stop and really, really think about where the department, function, or your whole business is really going? How much of that information is actually useful?

The art of successful claims technology development lies not in the software, the programme or the algorithm, but in how you implement and use the new information at your disposal

Of course, in the future, we will have ever more sophisticated analytical tools and RPA programmes that will sift, filter and present to us a whole new world of opportunity to manage claims better. But what will you do with that information? I have seen great demonstrations and even successful implementation of new AI based software that uses photo analysis and algorithms to accurately predict and audit repair costs. Instead of human beings doing the job, we now have a silent and everwatchful ‘eye in the cloud’ to do the job for us. But what difference has it made to the behaviours of suppliers now subject to this new regime? Does anybody know? What studies have been done (other than crude measurement of ‘costs saved’) to determine how this technology is really ‘the future of the claims industry’? MI and all the associated technologies gives me a headache not because Management Information isn’t of great value it’s because Managing Information is the secret story of future success in the claims industry.

Technology is great. Long Live Leadership

When Microsoft Word was invented and launched into the world there were great forecasts of the paperless office and, as we all know, the exact opposite has turned out to be the case. The program itself has proven to be a huge boon in all sorts of ways but also resulted in the redundancy of vast swathes of the workforce as the ‘secretary’ of yesteryear has largely disappeared. The internet could not have existed without the existence of a universal word processing capability yet modern kids exiting school have barely legible handwriting in too many instances. My point is simple. It is not claims technology that is the future of the claims industry but how the leadership of the claims function uses that information, works with real live people to deliver behavioural and structural change, and embeds new cultural norms. Give me new technology solutions any day of the week – but give the leadership skills, conceptual thinking and future planning that must go alongside it as well.

Eddie Longworth

is a Director at JEL Consulting.

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10

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10 mins with...

Darren Mendel Q A

Has the industry changed drastically since you started working in it?

Unquestionably. But generally, I believe, for the better. In my opinion, there is a greater focus on working in partnership with an insurer rather than working ‘for’ the insurer. And there is a real determination across the sector to apply a zero tolerance policy to all forms of fraud. The insight and intelligence exist to arm insurers with the most robust defence of fraudulent claims, inflated credit hire charges and unjustifiable cost applications.

on social media - despite claiming that he was injured utterly undermined his attempt to defraud our client.

There is a greater focus on working in partnership with an insurer rather than working ‘for’ the insurer

The relentless pressure on insurers to retain customers could also be seen as a negative when it comes to stamping out fraud. Insurance providers need to strike the right balance between settling claims quickly and investigating potentially fraudulent activity. Fraud still costs the insurance industry and its innocent customers a huge amount of money every year, and anything which distracts insurers from cracking down on that has the potential to embolden wouldbe fraudsters.

Fraud still costs the insurance industry and its innocent customers a huge amount of money every year, and anything which distracts insurers from cracking down on that has the potential to embolden would-be fraudsters

Q

Q

A

Anybody and everybody who has achieved success in the face of adversity. This list includes people like my mother, Oprah Winfrey and George Soros. However, Kenny Dalglish and Steven Gerrard will be in the top end of my list too.

What has been the key positive or negative impact of change in your area of the market? Positive – the attitude towards credit hire by the industry and the judiciary. There is now a much greater general understanding of the issues at large with common sense playing an increased role. Negative – the windows of opportunity for fraudulent claims remains as wide open as ever. And the audacity of some fraudsters is breathtaking. For example, recently, Horwich Farrelly proved that a claim made by a former Salford City FC player was fundamentally dishonest, with the result that he was ordered to pay costs of over £6,000. The fact that he continued to play football which was widely reported in the press and

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Who inspires you and why?

A

Q

Have you had/got a mentor? If so, what was the most valuable piece of advice they gave you?

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I don’t have an official mentor but I have met many people in my 30 years working in the industry who have imparted valuable knowledge to me. This continues even now. The best advice was ‘…always listen and think before you speak!’

Q A

If you were not in your current position, what would you be doing?

Ideally opening the batting for the England cricket team. But probably more realistically working in the police force. Tackling insurance fraud remains a strategic priority with one insurance fraud being detected every minute in the industry. Horwich Farrelly is the insurance industry specialist law firm which has built a market-leading reputation for providing insurers with a robust defence against all forms of fraud, combining leading-edge technological advances with best-in-class investigative expertise.

Darren Mendel

is a Partner and Co-Head of Credit Hire at Horwich Farrelly.


This is Cobalt The future of motor claims management A modular solution for first and third party motor claims management that combines expert people with data science, machine learning and AI to drive efficiency and cost reductions, whilst achieving a smoother customer journey and better claims experience.

Accurate Decision Making

Faster Settlement

24/7 Operation

Discover the Cobalt way at

cobaltsolutions.co.uk @Cobalt_Ins

Cobalt Insurance Solutions

Scaleable

Optimised Customer Journey


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Profile for Charlton Grant

Modern Insurance Magazine - Issue 41  

Modern Insurance Magazine - Issue 41