Sponsored: Lee Turner, head of schemes at Hiscox, explains how the insurer is overcoming information challenges
The insurance industry is hamstrung by the fact that market intelligence is siloed, with data stored in so many different ways that it is practically impossible to cut through the noise and get to the right businesses.
This harms the efficiency and effectiveness of insurer and broker relationships.
At Hiscox, our route to business is through brokers and, by talking with our broker partners, we know they face very similar information challenges. All parties tend to work in silos and the focus tends to be on the relationship – or the upcoming renewal – and not on the wider opportunities presented by data.
Recognising how this limits opportunities for us and our broker partners, we have been on a journey to overcome these information issues, leading to a number of innovative outcomes.
Firstly, Hiscox launched a new approach to schemes and our market engagement.
Key to this new approach has been the switch to an underwriter-led focus on customer sectors, instead of a focus on the regional accounts where they are based.
This was encouraged by our customers, who were looking for consistency and a deeper understanding of their sector and their needs, and by our underwriters, who were wanting more ownership and accountability to drive their careers.
Shifting our efforts away from a regional focus into targeting potential clients by line of business allows us to offer the expertise needed to fully consider the opportunity, significantly increasing the service offered to our broker partners. This approach has proved a win-win-win for our staff, broker partners and their clients.
Secondly, Hiscox is extending the reach of its data view by improving access to macro-market data.
From reviewing the way the industry currently operates, it was evident to us that most brokers do not have real clarity on market options for their clients. Likewise, insurers had a limited view of the scale of the market for their products.
One of the consequences of this is that insurers can miss out on business opportunities because we simply don’t know which businesses are out there that may be looking for our insurance products. We realised that, if we can make sense of the data available, we can better identify where our potential clients are.
A major component of our data view solution has been the use of Broker Insights and their Vision platform, which provides a data-driven connection between our appetite and the held books of our partner brokers.
As an insurer, getting the right data at the right time from brokers is crucial – the quality of data we get helps to drive a better return.
However, we know data is often a limitation for brokers and many have to look across multiple offices and systems to understand their business – it can take weeks to obtain the information needed to facilitate conversations.
Similarly, dribs and drabs of data or out-of-appetite proposals can create a lot of friction, resulting in underwriters facing ‘deal fatigue’.
We have found that Broker Insights Vision gives us access to data in a form that is immediately actionable and enables us to explore opportunities for immediate proposals and develop enhanced broker relationships and schemes.
Our approach to overcoming the data challenges through the use of innovative tools and thinking is bearing fruit – driving better business for Hiscox, better service for our broker partners and better outcomes for their clients.