Amanda Doran, head of underwriting at Peach Pi tells Insurance Times how insurers can best use data to offer customers the best cover

Data has always been key in helping the industry assess and underwrite risk. Only when we have a complete picture of our customers, their sectors and the unique risks they face, can we design cover that is fit for purpose and offers the tailored level of protection our customers need and deserve.

Traditionally, this intelligence has been gleaned from sitting down with customers face-to-face.

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Amanda Doran, Peach Pi

However, this more conventional means of data transfer is extremely time consuming for both parties and leaves the customer with a sense of unease at the amount of information they are expected to disclose beyond that related directly to their own business.

Data-hungry industry

Today, as businesses find themselves in a more dynamic operating environment and facing an ever diverse range of emerging jeopardies, we need to look to other sources to inform our decisions – we cannot and should not expect our customers to furnish us with the increasingly complex level of data required.

Consequently, the industry is data hungry. But that data must add differentiating value if it is to benefit our customers. Before investing in the ever growing data resources available to us, we must ask ourselves some key questions. Will this intelligence assist us in better understanding our customers’ risk transfer?

Will it inform our decision making to design and price superior products? Will it afford us the agility required to deliver relevant products to our customers more quickly? Will it enable us to evolve our appetite for risk to respond to our customers’ needs as they evolve?

The cover we provide needs to be developed in accordance with the specific and emerging needs of our customers in the sectors in which they operate. This requires data assets that will help us to predict risk as well as react to known jeopardies.

We therefore need to be clear about what information will help to more accurately underwrite risk and that we do so in a way which is seamless and integrated.

Customer demand for simplified cover that is fit for purpose has amplified as a result of the challenging months endured during the pandemic. Businesses have felt let down by their insurance providers at the very time when they needed them most. Understandably, trust is at an all-time low.

Rebuilding reputational trust

Paradoxically, this demand for simplification applies only to the products themselves that we deliver - not to the decision making process that is required to create them: in order to deliver simpler products, more complex technical knowledge is required behind the scenes.

The utilisation of data available through digital transformation will further strengthen the tripartite relationship between customer, broker and insurer.

By utilising and analysing relevant data assets, insurers can provide their broker partners with fit for purpose, unambiguous and competitively priced products built on a broad and deep understanding of the markets in which their customers operate.

This, combined with brokers’ detailed knowledge of their customers’ business, will go a long way in enhancing the customer experience and rebuilding much needed reputational trust in our beleaguered industry.

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