Over the past decade in insurance, the rise of the aggregators (organisations that compare quotes between different insurers) and direct channels has had a profound impact on personal lines distribution in the UK.
However, personal lines brokers remain a critical route to market, especially at a time when many insurers have been centralising their offerings and closing local branch offices. In terms of distribution, brokers remain responsible for placing 35 per cent of personal lines business, according to Datamonitor.
And increasingly, this business is placed online, via aggregator websites, insurer extranets and comparative quote systems. Personal lines brokers have embraced the full cycle EDI model (electronic data interchange; an electronic communication system that provides standards for exchanging data via any electronic means), yet the ability to maintain a close dialogue with insurer partners remains critically important.
Beyond offering competitive pricing, successful e-broking requires referrals to be handled efficiently while the ability to tap into quote enrichment methodologies also improves the journey. Processes around electronic trading and product delivery are constantly improving, including the ability to cross-check information electronically.
Within motor insurance, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) MyLicence initiative was launched last summer. It allows brokers and insurers to access instant DVLA data on driving entitlements, motoring convictions and penalty points at the point of quote. The industry, through the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) has worked jointly with the DVLA and Department of Transport to develop the data sharing programme.
Credit scoring and telematics are other examples of how big data can be used to validate application information and reduce fraud. Third-party data can help establish identity, honesty and level of risk at the touch of a button without having to rely on the customer to go through lengthy questionnaires.
By offering intermediaries the means to access better analytics, insurers have an important role to play in improving the profitability of their core broker accounts. And by maintaining a close dialogue, insurers will be in a better position to tailor their products, via schemes and affinities, to meet the changing needs of their brokers’ client base, allowing them to exploit opportunities as they arise.
SAS Visual Analytics works with insurers to offer more precise insights based on all available data. Our insurance software allows clients to take full advantage of big data for telematics, social media analysis, catastrophe modelling and risk analysis. Download our white paper ‘What Does Big Data Really Mean for Insurers?’ and find out more about Insurance Solutions from SAS.