Advanced analysis remains a priority for re / insurers despite the challenges: WTW

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A new study from broker Willis Towers Watson (WTW) has found that expanding and improving the use of advanced analytics in several aspects of operations remains a priority in the strategies of North American P&C insurers.

In a new investigation, reinsurers across the board, but more specifically pricing, underwriting and claims, said their usage and advanced analytics plans have been revived in the past two years. years.

“Apart from a small number of respondents who expressed doubts about the business case for advanced analysis, either because of concerns about costs or the ability to explain results to management or to clients, the North American P&C market still appears to be on the path to increased use of advanced analytics, ”said Lisa Sukow, director, North America P&C practice, Insurance Consulting and Technology at WTW.

“The companies surveyed remain optimistic about the impact of advanced analysis on performance in terms of sales and profit,” she added.

Data management, handling and warehousing have been identified as key factors mentioned to slow or delay the progress of advanced scans, and the impact of COVID-19 has also limited the time and resources available, according to the WTW survey.

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“The pandemic has certainly increased the time pressures to do other things and delayed some investments in support of advanced analysis; however, it did not affect the plans much, ”said Nathalie Bégin, Director, P&C practice in North America, Insurance and Technology Consulting at WTW.

“Other reasons for some of the difficulties insurers face in keeping their ambitions on track can be found closer to home. These include the IT infrastructure, the dexterity with which they process data, and the cultural barriers of the business.

Nonetheless, advanced analysis is increasingly emerging as a key source of potential competitive advantage among insurers, and measurable progress has been made over the past two years.

As companies recognize the potential to increase the use of advanced analytics in pricing / pricing, bigger leaps are expected in the underwriting process, according to WTW, including levels of automation and l ‘decision aid used.

Additionally, the uses of advanced analytics in claims have accelerated at a faster rate, in part because there are more gaps to be filled.

“There are steps insurers can take to restore or build momentum behind targeted advanced analytics applications,” said Sukow. “Insurers can reduce costs and increase time available by investing in data analysis expertise, leveraging InsurTech, and having flexible IT capacity.

“More analytics means more data, which exacerbates issues of IT bottlenecks and / or connectivity between systems,” she explained. “Survey shows more companies are leveraging the cloud and upgrading analytics tools, but these have largely scratched the surface of what can be achieved with on-demand capabilities and API-enabled software. . “

Sukow also noted that insurers can maximize their internal data harvest.

“Many companies still hold huge amounts of useful but untapped internal data,” she noted. “With the right technology, the data available from sources such as images, unstructured complaints, underwriting and customer information, and text mining increasingly have the power to transform business proposals. products and profitability. “

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