Notebook: Chubb CDO on small commercial, how Hannover Re handles insurtech and more

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From conversations at Insuretech Connect, day two:

Chubb chief digital officer Sean Ringsted says the company is motivated by small commercial customers to deliver the kind of experience they crave as insurtechs do the same. “You have to understand how the customer wants to buy the insurance, not on being an insurtech,” Ringsted says. “We’re invested heavily in tech to improve the customer experience, but it’s still an omnichannel approach. Some types of exposures have nuance that can’t be captured through a couple of UIs.” He cites the Chubb Marketplace, which launched in 2018 to provide an e-commerce-like experience for small commercial buyers, and the company’s efforts to get to “two-question underwriting,” as examples of how Chubb plans to remain a leader in the segment. “We have brand, balance sheet, ability to pay claim [advantages], but ultimately you just want the insurance buying process to be simple and painless,” Ringsted concludes. “We welcome competition in making us all better.”

Marsh’s new Blue[i] claims platform is aimed at helping workers’ compensation customers reduce their risk by comparing their losses to their peers. The anonymized benchmarking is combined with customers’ own data and presented via colorful dashboards. “In the past, what was missing was the aggregation of data in a meaningful way,” says Sri Sridharan, US Chief Claims Officer, Marsh. “Before, analysts would get Excel sheets and present this data, now we are able to give access to the clients, on a real-time basis, how they compare to every other client we work with. That gives significantly more insight.” Sridharan says there are plans to expand this kind of comparative dashboarding to liability claims in the future.

Hannover Re’s Partnership Solutions team is responsible for developing relationships with insurtechs and “marrying them to carriers to help them solve problems that they are facing,” says Sevilla Dees, manager of Partnership Solutions. “As a reinsurer we feel we are well-positioned to sit in that in-between relationship -- we can vet the model or data source and help our clients understand the offerings.” Hannover Re makes few investments on its own, but does have preferred partners; for example, the insurtech Sureify is recommended for customers that use Hannover’s Reflex data platform and need a digital front end. “We try to let them know what we have seen in the market that looks better, but don’t push one way or the other,” adds VP Mike Reeves. Vetted insurtechs go into the Hannover Re Equarium, a global effort that gives life insurance clients a place to view the universe of insurtechs that have been looked at by their partner.

Velocity Risk Underwriters, backed by Nephila, is using Cognizant’s recently released Cognizant Property Insights in its claims response post-catastrophe. The software applies AI to before-and-after satellite imagery to identify which properties are most impacted by an event. “Speed during catastrophes matter -- if you think about it service providers like plumbers are strained and getting our customers to the front of those lines faster” is the goal, says Rod Harden, chief claims officer of Velocity. “We got to use it a bit during Hurricane Dorian.” Cognizant leverages relationships with Pitney Bowes and other providers to get the imagery it needs. “The secret sauce has been taking a look at AI engines that can identify the pitch and type of roof, and what the total impact loss might be so carriers can post and report the impact earlier,” says Michael Clifton, SVP of insurance global strategy for Cognizant.

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Insurtech Chubb Marsh & McLennan