Many insurers are recognizing the pace of change in the demands on their financial and actuarial systems, and the associated implications for the skills and capabilities required to compete and succeed. Alongside more widely integrated and automated technology solutions that serve both diverse regulatory and reporting needs and wider business improvement opportunities we help insurers rethink their processes to optimize their investment in systems, software and people.
Pricing, product, claims, underwriting
While in the past, pricing, underwriting and claims teams have operated in silos, these functions are becoming increasingly interconnected as insurers turn to artificial intelligence, wider data usage and analytics capability, and advanced digital technologies to enhance competitiveness and customer experience, streamline operational processes, support revenue growth and maximize returns by reducing frictional costs across the insurance value chain. Our range of expertise helps bring these goals about.
- Pricing and product management
We can help insurers set prices more effectively and efficiently. This is critical in personal/small commercial insurance where margins are very tight and markets are very competitive.
We can leverage analytics to help claims departments increase efficiency (optimize claims spend) and improve customer satisfaction.
We can help personal lines carriers leverage analytics to reduce underwriting spend (e.g., models to inform which customers to run MVRs or inspect homes).
The proliferation of data available to insurers, both a product of insurers burgeoning digitalization programs and consumers’ increasing willingness to interact through apps and on-line, presents new and exciting opportunities for insurers across the value chain. Willis Towers Watson helps insurers unlock its inherent value by deploying advanced algorithmic techniques to build predictive models or to identify new insights that can be exploited to benefit consumers and insurers alike. Our cloud enabled software includes proprietary, insurance-tailored algorithms that can support seasoned data scientists or can fit within our automated machine learning environments for less experienced practitioners. And our insurance-focused consultants include functional experts who can drive analytics projects in underwriting, pricing, claims, new business and retention assignments. We have even developed our own advanced analytics 'university' – one of the tools we use to ensure our global consulting network maintains its data mining, programming and analytics skills needed to provide best-in-class analytics support to our clients.
We advise clients on the performance and optimization of specific distribution channels, taking into account their customer reach, underwriting footprint, product characteristics, the nature of the other channels they trade on, use of data, expenses, systems and other broader strategic considerations. This helps ensure a sensible complementary strategy and underwriting footprint for insurers with multiple distribution channels (i.e. aggregator, direct, affinity and intermediated). Typically, assignments will include follow-on support in areas such as intelligent segmentation of customers, use of data and insights, price optimization modeling approaches and management information dashboards.
We conduct behavioral analytics exercises using both traditional modeling techniques and advanced analytics. This helps insurers develop “Customer Lifetime Value” models to predict given customer behaviors, such as probability of conversion, propensity of upgrade/downgrade, expected time with company, expected profitability and client loyalty. Combining behavioral models helps us assess the relative business value of each potential customer and can drive multiple aspects of the customer journey including more targeted marketing activity, offers, customized pricing, and real-time responses.
We support companies to realign strategies and adapt business models to leverage technologies that will enable them to remain competitive, turn disruption to their advantage and drive profitable growth. This includes advisory support to help companies develop strategy and a roadmap towards a robust digital blueprint through to technologies that support automation, process transformation and leveraging areas such as AI. The solutions we provide to clients include:
- Development of digitalization strategy and a roadmap
- Assessment and understanding on potential of digitalization approaches and solutions to prioritize areas for investment including future workforce requirements
- Innovation Days/Workshops to identify tactical solutions that work within pre-agreed strategy
- Access to the innovation community and vetting of insurance technology start-ups, through Plug and Play and similar organizations
- Support development and implementation of future target operating model
- Development of organization design to support digitalization strategy and agreed target operating model
- Technologies to support automation, process transformation of areas such as pricing, underwriting, claims that support customer management strategies and use of advanced analytics and leveraging areas such as AI
Automation and AI
Automation has been the tool of choice for routine tasks, whereas until recently advanced analytics has required more handcrafting. But harnessing automation and AI in tandem – whether through automated machine learning or “smart automation” – can further streamline operations and create cost savings.
Through the application of specialist insurance technologies combined with seasoned experts Willis Towers Watson is helping insurers to automate business processes and analytics which enables tasks to be undertaken with more sophistication, efficiency and speed. We enable insurers to deploy automated analytics and process automation that help to unlock the value of data and apply this in their business. Our work extends across many areas including:
- Pricing, underwriting
- Claims processing
- Distribution channels and customer management
- Regulatory compliance and financial reporting
- Governance and management information