An industry slow to change now faces rapid development in data analytics

By Erin Ayers on January 20, 2017

NEW YORK — Predictive modeling has and will continue to alter the way insurance is developed and distributed, but insurers must determine the best way to harness the vast amount of data available to them and apply it in a valuable way for their customers, according to speakers at Advisen’s Predictive Modeling Insights Conference held here this week.

Panelists throughout the day discussed the rise of modeling and analytics and the impact on insurance. Most agreed that if advanced analytics cannot be blended effectively with traditional underwriting, pricing, and claims models, they are unlikely to be of much use. When used effectively, however, speakers during the event envisioned a world where preventive analytics could reduce or even eliminate many avoidable claim scenarios, create a “frictionless” consumer experience, and improve combined ratios. Several technologies have matured over the years – cognitive computing, cloud computing, the Internet of Things, to name a few – putting the insurance industry in a promising position.

The last five years brought about more change for the insurance industry than the previous 25, observed conference chair Kimberly Holmes, global head of strategy for XL Catlin.

“It’s remarkable that we’re talking about preventive analytics. It’s pretty cool to see this evolution. And every evolution brings opportunities and challenges,” she told attendees.

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Erin is an editor at Advisen. She has 15 years of journalism experience. Prior to Advisen, Erin covered property-casualty insurance for 13 years as editor-in-chief of The Standard, New England’s Insurance Weekly. Erin is based in Boston, Mass. Contact Erin at eayers@advisen.com.