You have just visited the grocery store and it is likely that you made a choice at the checkout. Did you scan and bag your items, or did you have a cashier scan and bag them for you? This may depend on how many food items you bought or how you feel about the technical level of your store.
Even now, however, it is clear that there are one or two next steps to be taken in grocery technology.
Where is the line where you simply feed your groceries onto a conveyor and they are automatically scanned and bagged? Where are the technicians who drive and pick everything off the shelves for you and deliver it to a waiting area, or to your home without a delivery driver? Home deliveries is becomes more automated. Uber Eats and Postmates are already using robot deliveries in high-density test locations.
Postmates food delivery on Sunset Blvd. in Los Angeles/Shutterstock
Which begs the question, how far can technology take any industry? In many cases, the technology does its thing so deeply that we can call it a no-brainer – like making deliveries from a restaurant with no driver, no fuel, no insurance, no parking problems and no delivery tips. From an insurance perspective, Postmates and Uber Eats are also looking at diminished liability issues. Technology is now the foundation of all businesses and here to stay. Managers need only ask themselves, “What technologies can take me to the next level of growth, profitability and customer excellence for my industry?”
Underwriting technology for commercial insurance is also a no-brainer. A no-brainer is that circumstance that has a solution so glaringly obvious that it’s almost not worth any discussion. When we look at all that today’s tech underwriting can accomplish and how it reallocates critical resources to smart tasks, it does its job. It is an “elegant” solution to so many commercial and specialty insurance challenges that it deserves an immediate appearance and rapid implementation.
Built to compete on the outside and collaborate on the inside
In my last digital underwriting blog, we looked at how underwriting, because of its position in the value chain, needs to be competitive. That is, it must improve an insurer’s ability to compete. This may have been a secondary underwriting objective, but in today’s commercial and specialty insurance environment, competition is now a priority for underwriters. Becoming competitive is an important part of insurance companies’ profitability.
Another profitability lever in underwriting is collaboration. The degree to which assurance technology will enhance and facilitate truly insightful collaboration is a measure of its value to the organization. It should require the right people and processes to collect, analyze and assess important information needed for issue decisions. Building on joint research efforts between Majesco and Strategy Meets Action, let’s look at the real benefits of today’s optimal insurance technology to see how it delivers collaborative results.
The pursuit of insights, integration and intuitive workflow
Insurers are seeking deeper insights to enable underwriters to focus on complex risk assessment, portfolio management and agent/broker relationships. They need to improve the speed of the process, making it easier for brokers to do business with the company, and ultimately they need to improve risk selection and profitability – not just for each policy and product, but across the spectrum of business and geography. They must turn complex concepts into insightful, simplified insights that benefit from the underwriter’s expertise.
If we look at the ideal – digital underwriting – we can get a glimpse of where commercial and specialty insurance is headed and what technologies currently exist that enable the ideal.
Digital thinking and platform vision
How can underwriting become a seamless hub of information, fed by the best data management and analytics methods available today? What progress makes a true competitive differentiator – moving commercial and specialty insurers from capable to innovative? What does this environment look like?
Forming a next-generation framework to support digital insurance requires thinking differently about the roles, processes and technologies that enable digital transformation. The framework must support the workflow of relationship management, transaction processing, collaboration with brokers and portfolio management of the entire book.
It must also support and enable the processes to take advantage of new data, new models and new analytics to gain new and deeper insights for improved issuance decisions and customer experiences. Next generation underwriters must provide a digital underwriting platform with the three key attributes of digital thinking:
What does it mean for a solution to be intuitive? In underwriting, the user experience should be tailored and personal. No two underwriters are the same. The new underwriter has a completely different set of tasks compared to a veteran underwriter. As insurers grow, their roles can and do change. But a digital underwriting platform will tailor its own processes and workflow based on underwriter specifications to provide guided and balanced experiences.
Underwriting has always been, and always will be, collaborative and mentoring. Today’s digital underwriting platform must include the ability to enable communication and collaboration between underwriters, brokers and others who may be involved in the process.
The first steps in underwriting automation were those made to integrate claims data into the scoring process and to facilitate the underwriting workflow. Today, this integration is greatly expanded to include connections to everything – data, collaborative communication and decisions. APIs must connect to centralized data platforms to provide real-time synchronization with policy administration, classification engines, various tools and spreadsheets, analytical/predictive models, transformation technologies, and new data sources (structured and unstructured).
It is in the layers of integration that everything gains its power. The workflow becomes easier to automate. Data becomes easier to access and understand. With advanced digital communication tools, information sharing becomes more fluid and automatic, both within the company and outside its walls. There are so many valuable data streams available today, but most are hindered by an inability to integrate data into the current workflow.
Insights consist of “just right” information presented in digestible views from multiple angles and layers. All relevant sources of data and analysis for the transaction, decisions and portfolio management are important and available. Dashboards, alerts, business intelligence and advanced analytics tools are made available across all data points and through any lens: product, broker, insurer, policyholder, market segment, region, etc.
Today’s digital underwriting provides the latest information and analytics for product/pricing/appetite and underwriting guidelines tied to intuitive and intelligent workflows and engines.
Technical capabilities that promote the underwriting of commercial and specialty insurance products
The technology to support new digital attributes goes beyond the basic assurance found in policy solutions. It is more advanced and comprehensive than even the previous insurance workbench which was focused on workflow and process. What is required is a digital underwriting platform that not only enables today’s workflow and process, but also elevates the underwriting process and decision-making.
This new underwriting evolution is driven by next-generation underwriting solutions that benefit from:
- a digital no code/low code platform
- AI and advanced predictive analytics
- new communication and collaboration tools
This is accomplished through a next-generation underwriting workbench that runs standalone and seamlessly integrates with other systems and data for rapid implementation and flexibility for future enhancements and upgrades.
A Digital Underwriter360 view for P&C use cases
Insurers have the opportunity to realize the benefits of a digital underwriting platform via Majesco’s Digital Underwriter360 for P&C. The solution is a cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS), automated, next-generation, insight-driven insurance platform for non-life and specialty insurance, to improve underwriting efficiency and profitability, powered by the Majesco Digital1st® Platform.
Digital Underwriter360 addresses current pain points and gaps and enables the vision of the future
described above. In addition, the pre-integration with Majesco Policy for P&C and automation of data prefills from EcoExchange enables faster implementation and reduced risk. The solution provides a 360˚ view, and the insurer, broker and customer all see the same information, improving collaboration opportunities.
The broker and even the client have full transparency, and the underwriter has views at all levels, from individual transactions to product/geographic views to the entire portfolio.
The data/analytics dimension of the platform is a differentiator, with real-time access to premium and loss data, including audits and all other transactions in the portfolio. Both structured and unstructured data sources are available, and both static and real-time data streams are analyzed with advanced AI/machine learning to provide intelligent insights.
Underwriting technology as a wise investment at this time
Most commercial and specialty insurance companies are adept at understanding their customers and niches. Now is the time to pay attention to the pain their business customers are experiencing.
As the economy causes headaches for businesses large and small and many businesses struggle to survive, cost areas are coming under fire. It is vitally important that insurers are seen as patrons of business – with insurance as a valuable asset – as opposed to just a necessary expense that can be shopped around like any capital expenditure. Commercial and specialty insurance companies must remain competitive by providing the accuracy, value and innovation that will keep the company’s customers loyal. Commercial and specialty underwriters must transform underwriting into a center of support, engagement and insights, ready to contribute to cost savings for their own business and all those they serve.
When you think about it, this makes the decision to modernize commercial and specialty underwriting with digital and advanced data technology a no-brainer. Every front-end improvement contributes to the insurer’s bottom line. Each step forward makes commercial and specialty products more competitive and makes insurance company solutions more collaborative. For organizations that consider themselves business partners, digitally enhanced insurance will build trust in the business relationship and protect both business and insurer from the unknown. Is your organization ready to take advantage of today’s next-generation underwriting platform?
To hear the latest from Majesco and SMA on Underwriting and analytics, be sure to watch Majesco’s webinar, The Art and Science of Underwriting Powered by Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.