2020: The year insurers didn’t have 20:20 vision
It’s been a tough few years for all of us in the insurance industry… and that doesn’t seem set to change. The next 12 months look to be packed with activity for us all as we collectively work through what both COVID-19 and Brexit will mean for the market. The global pandemic continues to mess with the best of business plans — with all of us having to move swiftly to answer the needs of our people along with the additional dimension of home working.
We all continue to fully assess and address the regulators’ concern around Dual Pricing, who recently released their paper on Pricing Practices for Retail Home & Motor (hyperlinked to FCA) which will drastically change the landscape with not much time to find a resolution – given that the expectation is to have the changes implemented at Q3 next year (2021). Throw in Business Interruption insurance claims with the courts going back and forth and I ask myself: isn’t it time for something good to happen?!
In so many ways, it’s a waiting game. No one can have a clear view of the future and so we must rely on experts, historical analysis, and the big thing: data.
A couple of years ago I remember hearing the newly coined term “data is the new oil” and it’s right; we’re moving away from the so-called Digital Age and into the Data Age wherein all decisions are precipitated by in-depth analysis. For the government, they’re relying on their daily figures to formulate their response to COVID-19 and, quite frankly, it should be no different for you as an insurer/broker/MGA: you should be using the data you have now to its fullest potential to sculpt the very decisions you’re making now.
The government didn’t have the luxury of time in building the much-maligned Track & Trace service for their data analytics… but we at SSP did for our insurance-related products. Existing customers who access our data use it to improve their profit margins and their competitive position even during the lockdown. SSP has built the data analytics tools of SSP Intuition & SSP Intelligent Quotes Hub over the last three years and are continually striving for it to be better and improved with every update.
SSP Intuition, powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS), is SSP’s centralised risk selection and rating data lake. It provides access to more than one billion quotes and quote responses from numerous sources and product lines. Through it, insurers can access invaluable insight delivered by the solution and, thereby, giving the company the ability to make even better-informed pricing decisions tailored to each risk. Our daily interactions with both brokers and insurers have enabled us to amass data for intermediated quotes along with details of quote returns and sales which, when anonymised and structured, provide insurers with insights never before possible.
When using SSP Intuition, insurers derive real-time results across the entire SSP estate with data for private motor, commercial vehicle, motorbike and household. The insights show market trends along with insurers’ own product and scheme performance. Insurers have the ability to analyse the impact of rating changes by rating factor, to uncover potential gaps across any/all product lines. The solution allows them to assess its position within the market with pinpoint laser accuracy, highlighting any potential pitfalls across all lines of business made through the data insight.
Sometimes you just need to accept what is staring you right in the face! The data is here and is available now and the tools are right there too: don’t hide your head in the sand and hope the pricing issue will go away. You need a completely unimpaired, non-blinkered view and full access to your data now. You can’t wait – and, more to the point, what would you be waiting for? Because waiting will possibly lead to sanctions if you’ve been unable to spot when you’ve price-walked or inadvertently discriminated against a particular demographic due to your rating rules. The FCA will enforce its new rules next year. And whilst you’re only looking with a restricted outlook on how to make things better, easier and simpler for you, your staff and your customers, I’m afraid you’re going to see your competitors who were proactive or reacted faster leapfrog and leave you in the dust.
SSP Intuition is my success story. We can show you how your quotes perform and how well you’ve sold to which age groups, insured how many of what make and model of a car, van or motorcycle, and conversely show where you’ve barely insured anyone and you can then look into why. And that is just the start of it. We don’t want to limit how you interpret the data, your data. We will give you the tools and show you how to use them but, at the end of the day, you will need to make the changes to move forward and stay ahead.