Last week, I was fortunate enough to attend the Insurance Networking News Analytics Symposium. This great event had several engaging speakers. As analytics becomes more prevalent within insurance, it was refreshing to see that many organizations discuss their successes and share best practices in this essential aspect of the business.
A common theme with the presentations was how data, analytics, technology and people are changing the insurance industry. Specifically three presentations caught my attention:
- Competing on Analytical Talent. In this session, Peter Hahn, Head of Predictive Analytics at Zurich North America, talked about how his organization was able to hire a team of 15 new data analysts despite intensive competition from other industries. While it is important that salary and benefits are competitive, specifically it came down to convincing the applicants that insurance is cool and detailing the type of exciting analytical projects like catastrophe modelling.
- Using Data and Analytics to Fight Claims Fraud. In this presentation, Tim Wolfe, AVP Special Investigation Unit, discusses how CNA was able to dramatically improve its fraud detection program by using analytics, thus saving the organization millions of dollars. Also, he spoke about the intangible benefits such as improving investigator efficiency and the reputation of CNA in the agency community by protecting its customers against the growth in claims fraud.
- Increasing Use and Leverage of Predictive Models for Mid-Sized Insurer. Mike Rowell, VP Business Analytics at Alfa Insurance, highlighted how his organization was able to compete with the tier 1 insurers by assessing the customer lifetime value of its policyholders. In particular, how Alfa Insurance improved persistency rates and influenced the profitability of its customer base. Interestingly, Mike Rowell, also shared with the audience that not everyone within his company had bought into the value of analytics. Rather than view analytics as complimenting their skill set, some knowledgeable employees saw it as competition even referring to as Voodoo Math or ass-alytics!
My take away from the conference is that analytics, despite a few naysayers, is now a strategic initiative of every insurer. Insurance companies of all shapes and sizes are finding innovative ways to use data to increase revenue or improve efficiency. To learn more about how analytics can help your organization download the Analytical P&C Insurer or Analytical Life Insurer white papers.
I’m Stuart Rose, Global Insurance Marketing Principal at SAS. For further discussions, connect with me on LinkedIn and Twitter.