Transformation through Innovation in the (Re)insurance Industry

Transformation Innovation 2020

As part of the virtual SCOR Rendez-Vous webinars held in September, two sessions highlighted some of the digital transformation journeys undertaken by (re)insurers, looking both at transformation from within and external innovation led by InsurTech and start-ups

“Transformation through innovation: what is changing and what do we expect to change?” was hosted by Rob Larson, SVP in the SCOR Global P&C Pricing and Modelling team, and Thibault Antoine, Deputy Chief Knowledge Officer at SCOR Global Life, with the participation of Marc Guy Victor Sordoni, CEO of Unipol Re Dac, and Mark Allan, Group CFO at Brit and CEO at Ki. The session highlighted how different companies in the industry are making changes to meet the future needs of clients, and kicked off with a participant poll that asked: how far have you come in your data analytics innovation transformation journey?

Thibault Antoine shared the experience of his business unit: “Our transformation journey at SCOR Global Life started two and a half years ago. At that time, we had some machine learning solutions developed, but in isolated silos. We began an external exploration to better understand what clients, partners and industries were doing in this space in order to design a data analytics strategy that would deliver more value.

We discussed many things, including how to build a data lab properly, how it ought to be organized, what works and what does not work, because many data labs fail. We spent a week with Microsoft, which was a key milestone for us and enabled us to define four building blocks to a successful strategy that would bring value to the business. And today, we focus on improving each step of the consumer journey, from supporting product development (e.g. new consumer products in Asia priced with machine learning) to the claims process (with predictive solutions).”

Rob Larson shared the P&C perspective: “We're trying to focus on accelerating digitization by making some of our own processes more efficient. It's harder to promote solutions for our clients when we haven't “tasted the recipe” ourselves, so we have internal projects like Boost where we're doing some back-office digital transformation. We use a use-case factory to try and build data-driven models and projects that are truly beneficial to the organization. We're focusing on building a use-case mentality, based on the problems that we're trying to solve. We're also actively trying to expand the skill sets of our employees and create a more digital mindset.

In terms of innovation from the outside-in, another session was hosted by SCOR Global P&C’s Adrian Jones and Will Thorne, who run SCOR’s P&C Ventures group, one of the more active InsurTech investors globally. They spoke about the InsurTech space and how it is likely to evolve in the near future, comparing the European and U.S. markets in particular.

They pointed to claims handling as one of the areas (re)insurance companies are looking to automate, to predict large claims but also to get a better handle on loss adjustment expenses. Insurers are also making major efforts in analytics and modelling, especially around single risk underwriting, since catastrophe modelling has matured over the past 25 years. Smaller risks are increasingly automated via straight-through processing, with humans handling only exceptions. In mid-market risks, carriers are equipping underwriters with better quality external data and processing submissions more effectively, at a fraction of the time and expense. 

Adrian Jones described the opportunity: “What excites us is the combination of the industry experts who have done insurance for 30 years partnered with whiz kids from Silicon Valley who know where tech is going and how to build it. It can be an incredible combination.”

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