Increasingly, when it comes to the world of data, what lies outside of the traditional core insurance system landscape is fast becoming more interesting than what lies within it. For years, insurers have relied on their own data capture mechanisms to create unique insight enabling them to outperform the market when understanding the characteristics that make up a good risk versus a bad risk, and the end customer’s propensity to buy. Size was important—the more data an insurer had access to, the greater its chance of developing unique insight.

Now, I am not going to argue that insurer size is no longer important when talking about data, when simply, it still is. However, there are a growing number of external data sources fueled by the connected social generation, geospatial data and initiatives targeted at making public data more accessible, which may benefit insurers when combined with existing internal sources for use in underwriting risk selection, pricing and claims validation. Some insurers, both large and small, are starting to look seriously into how this data can be used to drive growth and profitability.

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