There has never been a more exciting time for pricing, data and actuarial teams.
The pool of information and data available to today’s underwriters has deepened considerably even in the last two years. We have seen insurers not only access new data sets but also rapidly analyse and productionise these as part of increasingly complex algorithmic pricing models. Insurers want to build their data strategies but also to test and deploy faster than ever.
The dichotomy at the heart of today’s market is between speed and sophistication.
Whilst our data driven world may eventually lead to fully automated self-learning machines identifying, creating and launching new insurance propositions, the fundamental templates and building blocks of insurance products still hold true today.
Insurers, Brokers and MGAs require a powerful set of tools to cover all the nuances, variables and permutations, when pricing risk to ensure accurate, efficient and ultimately profitable underwriting. The ability to define risk acceptance criteria, calculate premiums, cover multi instances of risk, generate documentation, whilst meeting regulatory and change control requirements, will continue to present challenges to some providers.
Insurance development platforms today strive to grant control to business users, avoid lengthy IT development work, reduce cost and improve speed to market. They also want to create simple customer interfaces to facilitate customer understanding, confidence and conversion.
Bridging the gap between legacy systems and fresh new digital platforms requires architectural consideration to ensure the benefits of any digital transformation journey are fully achieved.
Truly digital providers can benefit from enabling API led services to complement and enhance insurance platforms. The necessity to deliver this quickly has resulted in some providers designing their services and platforms with simple, easy to use interfaces with the business user at the forefront of their consideration. This simple and easy approach often reduces reliance on traditional IT resource resulting in lower roll out costs. However, by removing IT a risk of losing the strong governance controls they would have previously provided is introduced.
Underwriters, then, need flexibility and speed whilst maintaining pricing integrity and checks as fundamental part of the product development platform. Basing everything on a new rating spreadsheet may seem seductively simple, but a basic decimal place error in one of the 2,000 cells could mean your business writes more or a particular customer segment without intending to, or that it misses out.
As an industry owned organisation our desire is to deliver features and functions that allow business users, including underwriters, pricing and actuarial teams and more latterly data scientists to manage complexity within their propositions. Enabling business-controlled and delivered changes has been at the heart of what we do from the start and the reason why we have recently enhanced ProductWriter to create a route for insurers to deploy machine learning powered rating.
Our roadmap of ProductWriter changes and proof of concept work focuses on delivering simplicity to our customers in their increasingly complex environments and are driven by our community of users.
ProductWriter is used by over two thirds of UK insurers; so when we embed new functions, it enables the industry to collectively harness new technology and individual businesses to define how they use it.
The last ten years of change and innovation have been seismic to the industry and the next ten will undoubtedly drive even greater and more granular sophisticated pricing and smarter selection of risks. Organisational cultures have changed and will continue to evolve to bring new talent and ideas to the market. The expectation of future industry leaders will be to deliver simply and at pace increasingly complex propositions. Doing so will depend on having the right infrastructure behind the curtain.
Polaris is an industry owned organisation with the key purpose to deliver tools and services for the benefit of the General Insurance market. Our interaction with over 100 customers, including two thirds of the leading UK Insurers, grants us unparalleled insight into the evolving landscape of risk management and product definition and distribution.
ProductWriter has been enabling business users to build, control and distribute both simple and complex insurance products for over 25 years and is the dominant rating engine in today’s marketplace.
The end user toolset combines sophistication under the bonnet with simplicity at the user interface enabling business led development. Established product templates enable quick and easy product builds. The toolset grants users the ability to create complex rules using a business user interface; ProductWriter functionality is designed to allow quick and easy product builds, through to automated testing. Change control and audit trail requirements are met with ProductWriter’s repository functions.
ProductWriters latest release is designed with our users firmly in mind. Improvements to the user interface and a number of enhancements introduced in this release are designed to increase productivity, allow for simplification of product maintenance and improve the user experience.