WIN Magazine - Spring 2016 - (Page 28)

FEATURE STAYING AGILE IN AN ERA OF DISRUPTION D ISRUPTION IS A natural stage of the business cycle, but has become even more prevalent in this modern age of fast-paced technology. Innovation in technology means a plethora of new opportunities and successes, but demands agility as more and more businesses now face the challenge of adapting or facing extinction. The ultimate example of disruption involves Apple, which made everything from CD's to Blackberry devices practically obsolete. Disruption is also evident in the world of social media, with the most famous example being Facebook's displacement of MySpace. Music, social media and financial services are natural breeding grounds for constant disruption, but these are by no means the only industries in which this evolution takes place. Disruption is rampant in insurance, as evidenced by the transformation the industry has undergone during the past decade. Innovators such as Geico, Progressive and Esurance have used simplified online-based models to break into a competitive industry and change the way policyholders think about buying and maintaining insurance. New technology, like wearable devices that gather lifestyle and health data, give insurance organizations an unprecedented amount of data on the risk profile of their clients. Information about exercise habits and other vital statistics are relevant in assisting companies to draft health insurance on a personalized level and price policies based on risk. Other inventions, like the self-driving car or the use of drones, will pose new challenges to insurance companies-like who would be at fault in an accident. Technology continues to change and set the pace for the insurance industry, but staying agile and adapting to new technologies give rise to the opportunity for new business models based on big data, analytics and transformative consumer behavior. For those of us who have joined the insurance industry recently, we can leverage innovations from adjacent markets - especially in SaaS and mobile - to help move insurance into the next wave of disruption. For example, the launch of Google Compare for Auto Insurance has the potential to radically change how customers search for and select insurance agencies. The convenience of a digital platform is just one way young, technology-minded consumers expect companies to operate. The digitization of traditional paper documents, automatic content extraction and electronic delivery of those documents to policyholders is a current trend pushing more companies into digitization. Those who continue to handle large volumes of paper documents can cause alienation of consumers who expect an accessible online platform. Additionally, a lack of digitization forces maintenance of overhead costs far beyond those of digitized competitors and can also lead to increased data loss along with the cost and risk of maintaining several systems. There are various different practices for data management across 2 8 | v i e w t h i s i s s u e a t | BY JOE MAGRADY many carrier organizations and even large agencies to help ease the management process and prevent loss. Many companies have a system for each business unit as well as support staff to manage their own individual data sets, but the cost and complexity for IT to replicate each piece of data within each separate system becomes exponentially greater as a business grows. More and more we are seeing a trend of consolidating data into central repositories and having many systems access that data from this central data store, or the use of web services to pull data as it is needed. The biggest advantage in utilizing a centralized data approach is the ability to directly use a single source to make any changes. This focuses scarce and expensive IT resources on validating the data instead of thinly spreading resources to validate changes and data in multiple storage locations. Not only does this ease the process, it allows data to be consistent and up to date throughout the organization. Many Vertafore® clients use a centralized data process, including major insurance carriers, managing general agents (MGAs) and managing general underwriters (MGUs), which positions the company to access and leverage the centralized data captured to benefit customers by utilizing it to their advantage. The adoption of big data practices not only enhances loss prevention and provides a more efficient process for agencies, but is also expected to allow for stronger relationships with policyholders, as well as improved pricing accuracy. Many auto insurance

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of WIN Magazine - Spring 2016

Surviving the Cyber-Liability Avalanche: How Contracts with Business Partners and Vendors Expose Companies to Cyber Liability
Data and Analytics: Another Dimension to Underwriting in the Specialty Insurance Market
Embracing New Technologies & Attraction Marketing Strategies
How the Cloud Levels the Playing Field for MGAs
Staying Agile in an Era of Disruption
Standardizing the Non-Standard Industry: E&S Working Group Champions Automation and Efficiencies
Using Technology Communities to Foster Innovation in the E&S Wholesale Distribution Model
Autonomous Vehicles: Considerations for Personal and Commercial Lines Insurers
AAMGA 2016 HeatMap of Emerging Issues and Trends: Challenges and Opportunities for the Specialty Insurance Industry
A Personal Note on Leadership: There’s Hope in the Young
In the WIN-ner’s Circle: Jim Mastowski and Coryn Mastowski Thalmann of Jimcor Agencies
Index of Advertisers

WIN Magazine - Spring 2016