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Underwriters look to get the most out of digital data

Digital Insurance – by Michael Shashoua

The way insurers leverage technology to use data is key to deriving insights useful to underwriters, experts from New York Life, Swiss Re and EPAM said, in remarks at InsurTech NY's Nov. 15 event focused on underwriting data. Artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) can clear the way for higher-order thought and insights, they added.

EPAM, a leading digital transformation services and product engineering company, invested in augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR) systems for insurers to handle claims, and more, according to Lynn Rivenburg, managing director. "We're bringing it to underwriting, using it from a risk management perspective and also using it for claim adjudication," she said.

Insurers are new to unlocking technology, said Rivenburg's colleague, Gail McGiffin, managing director and global insurance advisory lead at EPAM, who spoke in an interview separate from the event.

"We're in the early stages of enabling underwriting, with new forms of access," she said. "I like to think of not just bombarding underwriters with more data, but really leveraging technology to aggregate, synthesize and identify patterns that are meaningful, apply semantic logic to the patterns of data, and the anomalies of data, and help the underwriter focus on what they should know about, when and what to do about it."

The insurance industry is used to "episodic" treatment of data for distinct events such as submissions, renewals and endorsements, McGiffin observed. Event-based continuous risk insights are new for underwriting, she added but will help with "no-touch" underwriting using rules-based technologies and AI/ML. "New technology will be leveraged across the operating models for underwriting as we know them in the industry," she said.

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