- When renewing your commercial insurance, a lack of detailed data can often result in higher premiums and unsuitable coverage for your needs. It is no longer enough to possess data; the value lies in being able to use it.
- Until now, most datasets have been unstructured and held in ways that make it difficult to transfer information quickly or organise it so it is easy to understand. Providing underwriters with detailed information is crucial for making an accurate assessment.
- For those who may not know where to start, we have created a valuable tool to help you begin future-proofing your renewal process by consolidating your assets into a reusable, up-to-date version of your asset portfolio that can be updated again each year.
- In commercial property insurance, companies use AI to accelerate processes, and tap into the ever-expanding pool of property data to assess risk and offer personalised, proactive coverage.
- The key to successful property insurance renewal lies in effective data management and harnessing the power of technology.
When renewing your commercial insurance, a lack of detailed data can often result in higher premiums and unsuitable coverage for your needs. It is no longer enough to possess data; the value lies in being able to use it. As a business built on best data management practices, we understand that resourcefully analysed and well-presented data engages, informs, and sells.
As the property industry adapts to the realities of a digital world dominated by cloud computing and, increasingly, artificial intelligence, there are now more opportunities than ever for insurance buyers to automate essential business processes that previously captured their data and use it effectively to achieve better outcomes during renewal season.
The devil is in the details
Before we discuss how better data management could improve your insurance outcomes, it is crucial to set the scene to understand how things stand currently. Data about a property owned or occupied by a business, such as the materials it is made from or the year it was built, should be freely available.
But, depending on the country, there are sometimes difficulties in finding out who holds what and where it is held. Is it nestled in some spreadsheet on a far-flung corner of an employee’s files, or is it hidden among the thousands of files on the company network under an obscure naming convention? Although hard for some outside the industry to imagine, data is still shared via hard copy, in leases or print-outs where a digital copy has yet to be created. Similarly, data privacy laws can also affect the ability for data to be bought or sold. All of this adds to the difficulties of data collection. Difficulties of collection aside, many insurance buyers find determining what data points to focus on or pull together ahead of renewal season a mysterious process of guesswork and luck.
During an industry event, a Group Insurance Director at a real estate investment trust company told the audience, “It’s trying to understand what insurers want and what can we give them because it’s all compartmentalised […] we’ve got information here, information there […] and it’s trying to get to grips with what we can do to support insurers in understanding the risk more.”
Providing this data to renew commercial insurance policies for one to five properties may be relatively easy and significantly impact time and resources. Still, it’s a different story for organisations with hundreds, even thousands of commercial properties in multiple locations worldwide.
When dealing with commercial insurance renewal on this scale, the detailed data required can mount up fast. Managing data sets on this scale without a proper framework is where mistakes can happen, and the potential for inaccurate data is significantly increased.
What insurers want
With these difficulties in mind, it is prudent to narrow down the requirements to focus on the key ingredients underwriters seek. Until now, most datasets have been unstructured and held in ways that make it difficult to transfer information quickly or organise it so it is easy to understand. Providing underwriters with detailed information is crucial for making an accurate assessment. This could mean a reduction in premiums but also added protection against any potential void claims in the future.
According to an independent survey of how submission data quality influences property insurance underwriters across the commercial insurance market, 72% say top-quality data moves them to the top of the pile. In comparison, 70% say data quality is often or always a critical factor in their process. Most underwriters surveyed were dissatisfied with their received data and stressed that data quality significantly impacts their pricing.
However, it is also important to remember that more information does not automatically mean a reduction in premiums for all organisations. Providing more detail to an insurer may lead to an increase in premiums. Still, by providing high-quality data, risk managers are meeting their duty of disclosure and ensuring that the coverage purchased suits their needs.
By understanding how this data influences the underwriting process, portfolio owners can learn to manage their risk data better, streamline the compilation of high-quality information demanded by insurers, adeptly convey their data-driven advantages, and ultimately enhance their insurance outcomes.
Try our data management tool
For those who may not know where to start, we have created a valuable tool to help you begin future-proofing your renewal process by consolidating your assets into a reusable, up-to-date version of your asset portfolio that can be updated again each year. Using this tool, you can effectively prioritise the collection of your data in an order which will make the biggest impact on your insurance renewal, in terms of pricing and suitable coverage.
Once you input all your relevant data, the document will automatically pull through the information provided into a template on a separate tab which presents the data in a ‘model ready’ format – brokers and insurers can load this data into their models for pricing, with little or no manipulation – reducing the need for back-and-forth requests for additional data, clarifications on the meaning of certain data points, and a reduced data cleansing burden for them.
Speaking on the tool and its broader applicability in the property insurance market, Tom Williams, Senior Product Manager at Insurwave explained: “So many property insurance buyers have told us about the challenges they face with consolidating data from across their business, and a gap in understanding in terms of the data points which really matter to the insurer which will influence the premium and coverages offered. We hope this asset will help provide a framework for capturing property asset data and assist in prioritising the data points which will have the biggest impact.”
How technology can help
As technology is now mature enough within commercial property insurance to help evolve its data capture process, what are some ways it can help? Automation is an obvious choice, with many basic business processes that capture, store and use data now can be taken out of insurance buyers’ hands to allow them to focus on more pressing tasks.
The precedent set by digital-first brands such as Amazon and Netflix has led consumers to increasingly favour companies capable of promptly anticipating and providing personalised recommendations to cater to their needs. In commercial property insurance, companies use AI to take on this role, accelerate processes, and tap into the ever-expanding pool of property data to assess risk and offer personalised, proactive coverage.
But while property data grows more valuable and accessible, the effort involved in sourcing and managing multiple data providers and synthesising a mountain of often contradictory data inputs has grown increasingly unrealistic.
However, with Insurwave, data from multiple sources can be captured and synthesised in one place, with all stakeholders sharing a single unified source of information. Our AI capabilities can provide real-time insights for every submission, and policies can be delivered to an underwriter minutes after the data has been ingested and cleansed.
“Providing underwriters with actionable insights on submission data within a minute or two of them receiving the submission is very exciting,” Tom added.
“By harnessing the power of AI and automation, underwriters will gain valuable insights into data quality, year-on-year changes in quality, coverage levels, and contract wordings. These insights will equip underwriters with a competitive edge from the beginning of the quoting process, enabling them to optimise premium and coverage offerings.”
The key to successful property insurance renewal lies in effective data management and harnessing the power of technology. While insurance buyers have faced challenges obtaining detailed and structured data for underwriters, data management platforms like Insurwave offer solutions to streamline data collection and provide real-time insights, empowering underwriters to make accurate assessments and optimise premium and coverage offerings. By embracing these technological advancements, businesses can achieve better insurance outcomes, ensuring coverage aligns with their specific needs and, ultimately, enhancing their overall risk management strategies.