Insurance

Insurance companies are witnessing technological and digital innovations – which are creating both challenges & opportunities for growth. Can analytics and automation transform their operations?

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Pankaj Kulkarni

Business View

Pankaj Kulkarni, Vice President & Global Head – Insurance, Infosys

"The current developments in analytics and automation solutions aim to address these challenges and unlock the real value for insurer."


The Insurance industry is currently witnessing the best of times, despite being threatened by the onslaught of disruptive technologies and innovations. Insurers have a wealth of customer data lying in their systems. However, the major challenge lies in the imperative to blend this internal data with customer data from external sources (like social media), and engage with customers in real-time and in more nimble ways. With the ensuing data explosion, how do we derive meaningful insights, make informed decisions on product design and sales, and automate operations that increase revenues while keeping costs down at the same time? Moreover, how does an insurer translate its data research into providing an unforgettable experience to customers? Can the Insurance industry ever match the customer experience provided by online retailers or travel and hospitality sectors? Are we geared to face the millennial customer who favors a completely paperless way of doing business with an insurer? The current developments in analytics and automation solutions aim to address these challenges and unlock the real value for insurers – in reducing leakages, increasing revenues, improving processing times and enhancing customer experience.
Thothathri Visvanathan

Technical view

Thothathri Visvanathan, Global Delivery Head of Insurance, Infosys

"I think this is where analytics and automation can be the differentiators in moving business and technology forward in tandem."


The key challenge before many insurance providers today is to find a way to address the needs of the savvy, 'connected' and mobile-first millennial generation. Millennials only want to pay for the services they consume, not more than that. For example millennials do not want to pay for car insurance when their car lays idle in the garage. Thus, insurers needs to smart sell their products and services to this generation. Furthermore, insurance should have a 'switch-on' and 'off' feature like any other service, which can be managed from mobile devices. This calls for a complete revolution in product design and service, pushing the boundaries of 'pay-per-use' insurance. This is a completely different paradigm, and so far, insurers have been struggling to bring out a product that can satisfy both the new customer demographic and the business need. I think this is where analytics and automation can be the differentiators in moving business and technology forward in tandem.
Ramachandran Padmanabhan

Domain View

Ramachandran Padmanabhan, Principal – Business Consulting - Insurance, Infosys

"With changing times, insurers are keen to apply lifestyle analytics and solutions for analyzing the buying behaviors, investments, up-sells and cross-sells, and extending these to operations in analyzing the lapse propensity or claim recycling"


As the words analytics and automation pervade across all components of the insurance value chain, it becomes pertinent to recognize the inescapable position and potential they offer. Skeptics have always held that Insurance, as a sector, will be least prone to commoditization and that the traditional models are here to stay. This in itself is a quagmire for the sector, with the potential threat of competitive financial services and products slowly moving in, to question the need, structure and math of insurance. More than ever before, insurers are now forced to leverage analytics to bring about a revolution in product design, leading towards contextualized recommendations for the millennial customer. Insurers are investing heavily in analytics and applications surrounding them to untie the building blocks of insurance such as term, promises, and even pricing of the products. This ensures complete ‘customization’ and tailored underwriting, catering to customers’ dynamic needs. Insurers own most of the customers’ data, be it about health, finance, or even their household demographics, but still struggle to leverage the data and connect with customers better. This could be either due to data lying in scattered systems, or due to the regulations surrounding the data protection and privacy issues. With changing times, insurers are keen to apply lifestyle analytics and solutions for analyzing the buying behaviors, investments, up-sells and cross-sells, and extending these to operations in analyzing the lapse propensity or claim recycling.
Robert McIsaac

Industry Analyst View

Robert McIsaac, FLMI, LLIF; Senior Vice President, Research & Consulting, Novarica, Inc.

"Trying to do things at the lowest possible price point may miss significant opportunities to address the needs of different constituents to either create new sales opportunities or to retain existing relationships."


Insurance carriers face an intriguing set of challenges as they consider the future. The pace of technical change shows no sign of abating even as powerful regulatory and demographic shifts fundamentally alter the way in which both protection and investment products will be brought to market. For a conservative industry that has generally been accustomed to incremental changes over protracted periods, this "new normal" creates some very specific challenges to the business as usual paradigm. For example, in the past, carriers tended to try and optimize on a single best approach to marketing and messaging as it related to products and features. This "one size fits all" approach extended into channel support and service delivery models too. Of course the challenge now, in a world of mass-customization and vastly different views between demographic cohorts, is that "one size fits all" may be the functional equivalent of "one size fits none". Trying to do things at the lowest possible price point may miss significant opportunities to address the needs of different constituents to either create new sales opportunities or to retain existing relationships.

Technology will absolutely play a role in helping to determine what offers to make to specific target audiences and will be instrumental in delivering the desired experiences. This promises to be a very interesting period for the industry.