July 26, 2019

Now Open: A Fast, Direct Route to Customer-Centricity for P&C Insurers

The IBI Team

Topic:   Industry Focus

What are the ties that bind your customers to your company? To your agents? To your products? What is it that attracts customers in the first place? What is it that makes some customers stick with you and others call it quits? Mid-market property and casualty insurers are going to need answers to these questions, not once and for all, but continuously, in real time. 

While current incumbents generally are enjoying a profitable run, their universal pursuit of double-digit revenue targets in a P&C market capable of, at best, 5% organic growth guarantees stiffer competition ahead and, inevitably, losers. More urgently, there are disrupters at the market gates. From behemoths such as Amazon, Google and AT&T (now registered to sell insurance in 48 states) to over 1,500 insurtech start-ups, they are harnessing big data to deliver the on-demand, personalized (albeit digitized) customer experiences people expect and increasingly prefer. 

Forrester analyst and fintech guru Ellen Carney provides a comprehensive survey of the emerging competitive landscape in our on-demand webinar, Insurers: Don’t Waste Your Data! Why 2019 is the Time to Take Action on Insights. The key take-away: for mid-market P&C insurers, the best (perhaps the only) way to stay in the game is to concentrate their resources on understanding, anticipating and exceeding customer expectations. 

We are not talking about re-scripting the call center here. This disruption demands a fundamental shift from a product-centric to a customer-centric business model. It requires an enterprise-wide realization that building relationships with customers now is not so much about what your company sells as about how your customers perceive the experiences you create “just for them.” Personalization on this scale demands robust data. To be customer-centric is to be data-centric.

Re-imagining the P&C business model

This is a grand re-imagining of the business, to be sure, but well within the grasp of mid-market P&C insurers who are, after all, masters of creating specialized products, highly refined market segments, and tailored pricing. They have also amassed a wealth of data on customers, markets, and product performance that should give them a home-court advantage over the disrupters. 

But every rose has its thorns. The specialized P&C offerings are the products of specialized operations and application silos, not to mention separate systems for unintegrated acquisitions and different states. Much of the accumulated data trove is archived and not readily accessible outside of the legacy systems that generated it. Assembling and analyzing the data for actionable business intelligence is itself a specialized operation, that can take days to yield answers to simple questions, months to fulfill more complex research requests. 

At Information Builders, we know that mid-market P&C insurers are acutely aware of their vulnerability to nimbler, data-centric competitors … and daunted by the prospect of getting their companies on a competitive footing. 

We know because we’ve been working closely with them to concentrate all our resources on developing an all-encompassing solution that speeds and simplifies the process of transforming their businesses.

The culmination of our 10-year journey, our new Omni-Insurance solution opens a fast and direct route to customer centricity. A mid-market P&C insurer can now, within a matter of months, leap-frog from disparate legacy systems and siloed data to a unified system of insight powered by harmonized, high-quality data from all sources and that delivers business-ready intelligence across the enterprise. 

Paving the way to business transformation

The Omni-Insurance solution consolidates all of an insurer’s data assets on a single hub with uniformly embedded data management for acquiring, organizing, cleansing, and integrating data, and web-based analytics. The insurer gets a unified view of the business over time, a view that is shared across the enterprise, with visualizations and analytic tools available to create consumption views of granular data. 

This single foundation enables the enterprise to refresh its pooled data with the new information generated at each touch-point, share what’s learned across functions, engage all knowledge workers in developing new insights, and close the loop by applying those insights to enhance interactions back at the touch-point. This is the foundation for a customer-centric strategy (indeed, just about any strategy in the digital era).

Our strategy to achieve this solution – and why we are able to deploy this solution for P&C insurers so quickly – is the result of these decisions:

  • We took as a model the Forrester concept of Systems of Insight that pull together the data generated by systems of record, automation, and engagement for a bird’s eye view of all the moving parts of the business in action.  
  • We organized this data by the most fundamental conceptual components of the business. At its core, Omni-Insurance data is organized by these subjects: premiums and exposures, quotes, commissions, reserves, losses, expenses, reinsurance expenses, and recoveries.
  • We simplified and accelerated the transformation of siloed data into business-ready data by building on-ramps for data sourced from the full roster of existing systems, including legacy CRM, Duck Creek, Guidewire, G. Ledger, as well as proprietary and external data sources. Our goal is to leave no scrap of data behind. Have we covered every database for every P&C insurer? Possibly not – which is why we commit to owning the process of on-ramping our customers’ data. 

Omni-Insurance Business Subjects

  • We applied what we learned at every step to speed the way for our customers. Our customers made us mindful of the third dimension to analytics value: In addition to realizing more BI value as analytics progressed from descriptive to predictive and prescriptive results, we worked to make BI pervasive throughout the enterprise. To jump-start ROI, we use prebuilt content, including KPIs, report templates, dashboards, and analytics for underwriters, actuaries, claims, and finance.

A new route, but well tested

P&C insurers who have made the Omni-Insurance transition with us report significant gains from more immediate access to data, greater clarity in determining pricing and premium indications, and self-serve analytics freeing their BI teams for high-level research, even as the transition process is underway. By-products of the process include a richer data environment as multiple data streams are integrated, and a reduction of unsuspected risks that can crop up in aging legacy systems. 

Most important, they are positioned to differentiate themselves by improving the customer experiences they deliver, already a more reliable path to profitable growth than raising advertising spending or lowering prices, as a search of the literature from Forrester and others, confirms.

A study from McKinsey, for example, found that over a five-year period, U.S. auto insurance carriers that reliably provided best-in-class customer experiences, generated two to four times more new business and about 30% higher profitability than competitors that lacked a consistent customer focus.

If increased profitability isn’t incentive enough, consider Darwin: “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, it is those most responsive to change.”