IE magazine watched the fascinating video presentation by Artesian recently, which helped launch their new Connect platform which adds to the existing Engage product suite. Fascinating you say? Well that was because astronaut Tim Peake was also online giving us background on the ISS, Space X and NASA – proper rocket science stuff.
In the same way that Space X is making satellite launches, missions to the Moon and beyond potentially more affordable, automated and modular, insurtech companies are transforming every aspect of the insurance sector and its 300 year history. Artesian Connect is one of those data sifting platforms that can dice `n’ slice the good stuff from your Underwriting book. More importantly, it can help you assess – and price – future risk.
IE magazine spoke to Artesian CEO Andrew Yates to find out more.
IE; One thing I learned from the presentation generally was that Artesian Connect and Engage are actually sales tools that support the underwriting team, because it lets you see risk, trends and pricing way before renewal time.
AY; It certainly does and the reason for that is that there is no `one size fits all’ when it comes to underwriting. Every commercial building, vehicle fleet, marine etc. risk is slightly different and this is why a company like QBE might have 200-300 underwriters working for them. As you saw in the video QBE have tested and helped develop Connect and the one thing it brings is consistency in the way data is analysed. By structuring the data you get so many more insights and sales leads, potential upselling or cross-selling, is just one of them.
IE; All insurance is becoming more automated, but there is still a place for human experience isn’t there?
AY; Definitely. I can recall meeting an underwriter several years ago and asking how his department applied their expertise in a particular niche and he patted his stomach and said, `the tummy test; if it feels right, you go with your gut instinct.’ Now there is probably always going to be a need for bespoke quotes, unusual risks and so on. At the same time Connect can actually automate the data you need to put together a proposal that IS customised for one client.
So say your client has a portfolio of buildings and assets, some in potential flood areas, others may have a cyber vulnerability. You can use Artesian Connect to mash all the relevant risk data together; local flood history, previous cyber attacks, software used, building use, future developments nearby, crime stats etc. Then you can replicate these quotes thousands of times using the same underwriting principles. So you have a very efficient, data-rich system, that can be tweaked and presented to the client as something created specially for them.
Now that kind of approach builds loyalty, because a customer suddenly feels like you are taking a keen interest in their business and keeping it ticking over without any nasty incidents causing serious problems.
IE; So even a big broker or insurer could automate much of the underwriting, without it becoming robotic, too generic?
AY; Exactly. There are super brokers that maybe have 5%-10% churn on their policies each year. If they can figure out a way to underwrite the risk as efficiently as possible, whilst still maintaining the personal touch then the customer feels that they have the security of a big name behind them, but with a truly personal touch.
IE; What were the big changes you noticed last year after Covid?
AY; Probably the biggest trend has been towards stacks, or eco-systems of data. So in the past you might have had a legacy system that ring-fenced information, but now everything is integrated. It has to be. Connect seamlessly plugs into Equifax, LexisNexis or Thomson Reuters for example – I mean you don’t even see it any more, it just happens.
IE; How’s 2021 looking so far?
AY; We retired the ARCH brand name, as it would be too confusing to have that and the Connect/Engage brand names. We are also seeing some interesting trends in Premium Credit as companies seek to spread the cost of premiums out, plus look for more flexibility in their actual cover requirements.
You also see lots of partnerships and alliances now across the insurance sector, so a product like Engage which lets you automate lots of compliance and due diligence, is perfect for that emerging market trend. It really helps when agreeing to share knowledge and resources if you understand how your partner company is shaping up, in every way – not just the financials but the people and products too.
2020 was a tough year but we have tripled our footprint within the broker sector and by focussing on our core business we have grown too. Have to say that working from home and saying goodbye to all the insurance shows and conferences has helped Artesian get lots more done! I do miss the social side of the shows and hopefully they’ll come back in late 2021 but working from home has definitely boosted productivity across the UK insurance sector, and that can only be a good thing in the long run.