Milliman: Maximising the power of data
Pat Renzi, a principal with the life technology solutions practice at Milliman, explains how access to data is driving technology innovation that will shape the insurance sector in the future
What technology trends do you expect to shape the insurance sector?
There are many technologies that are having an impact, including the cloud, the internet of things, artificial intelligence and blockchain. But the theme is leveraging these technologies to bring value to the customer through access to information.
Being able to understand data in new and different ways is really exciting and will allow the insurance industry to enter new markets and shape products and services to really meet the needs of customers. It will allow us to shift from a transactional customer relationship to an ongoing value-based one.
Will Covid-19 transform the insurance sector?
I hope so, but I am concerned Covid-19 could delay our digital transformation. Prior to the pandemic, I was encouraged to see more insurance companies looking at investing in disruptive technology solutions. But I worry the many other challenges that Covid-19 has brought to the industry will slow that trend as insurers have had to buckle down and deal with the immediate issues from the pandemic.
While the crisis has highlighted why the insurance industry needs to digitise, given much of the investment is through partnerships with start-ups, I worry those small start-ups are not going to be able to wait until insurers are ready to switch their focus back to innovation.
How has Milliman been able to help insurance clients during the pandemic?
Our solutions are focused on leveraging technology to provide efficiency and scalability. During the initial stages of the pandemic, one of our clients was monitoring its solvency position every two hours in real time. With our technology, our client could see what happened to the markets and re-run capital calculations to understand the impact. This is a great example of technology providing the data and insight to make informed decisions quickly and confidently.
Do you welcome the delays to the LDTI and IFRS 17 accounting standards?
LDTI in the US was on a very fast timeline and companies had to be extremely focused on implementation, and they still are. But in trying to deal with the Covid-19 crisis and internal and external issues, they really needed LDTI to be delayed.
But the bigger issue in my mind is giving companies time to understand how to tell the story around results. For LDTI and IFRS 17, having that extra year gives companies time to internally monitor the impact of new regulation and fully understand how and why results change from period to period.
What enhancements is Milliman planning to its products over the next year?
We are focused on expanding our data tools. To be able to look at data over time and support companies to better manage their business and help customers is our big focus now. We have built a powerful data solution within the Integrate platform.
From our perspective, we have the technology in place and now we are starting to work with our clients to help them fully leverage their data to add value to policyholders, shareholders and employees.
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