To beat their competitors, carriers need an overarching view of their customer data to discover new marketing and cross-selling opportunities. Some insurers have started to use predictive modeling and other techniques to methodically assess customer behavior and target the right customer with the right products and services.

Insurers have been slow off the starting line to embrace customer segmentation tools and techniques. While customer profiles serve as the basis for reaping greater profits from existing clients, and for attracting new ones, only about one-third of life and P&C carriers in North America have created a single view of the customer to be used for cross-selling and service, according to a study in third-quarter 2008 by Gartner Inc., a Stamford, Conn., research firm. In fact, 14% fewer P&C firms had a comprehensive view of customers that quarter compared to the similar quarter of 2007.

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