It’s hard to imagine an industry that knows more about their customers over time than companies that protect us and our assets against risk—yep, those folks that insure consumers and businesses. But while the insurance industry does a pretty good job bringing on new customers, it doesn’t do quite so well when it comes to targeting and selling more to the lucrative business they already have. Worse still is the fact that insurers often don’t know which customer segments generate the optimal “profit to risk” mix, meaning that that insurer may be hanging on to money-losing business (see also January 1 “Pricing Is The Sweet Spot”).

Given the knowledge they have of consumer lifestyles, why can’t insurers identify the ideal customer, and once that customer is on board, sell them more, higher-value services? Three hurdles get in the way of making customer insight actionable:

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