Verisk Vision 2021: Data standards can fuel future efficiency and innovation

Events -- 20 July 2021

Author: Sequel Marketing

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Data standards coming to the London Market will bring much-needed efficiency to insurance transactions but will also lay the foundations for future innovation, Verisk Vision 21 delegates were told in a session featuring Verisk COO and Group President Mark Anquillare.

Digitisation is the future, and data and data standards are the fuel to bring that vision to life, Mark said while moderating a ‘Developing Market-Wide Data Standardisation’ panel discussion with Bill Pieroni, CEO of insurance industry standards body ACORD, and Ian Summers, CEO of Verisk company Sequel.  

“Everyone is looking for a seamless, interconnected ecosystem with increased automation driven by microservices and APIs. Simplifying the data transfer process will accelerate innovation and help innovators roll out new initiatives,” Mark explained.

Sequel has donated its IP and collaborated with ACORD and six leading London managing agents (known as ‘the Sequel6’) to develop the Sequel Unifying Risk Transfer Standard (SURTS), enabling market participants to send and receive data seamlessly via a standard API, data language and process. It is scheduled to be introduced in London later this year.

The standard will improve the speed and accuracy of transactions, enhance data quality and improve operating adaptability, the panel said. It will also make it easier for global markets to transact with London and allow powerful AI, machine learning, modelling and analytics to be more easily plugged into the insurance process at the point of underwriting.

“This means carriers can focus on the real sources of competitive advantage – relationships, profitability, underwriting prowess and bringing better products, pricing and claims experiences to clients,” Bill Pieroni explained.

Bringing high-quality augmented data into insurance processes earlier will also enable automation of some underwriting processes and many downstream processes, Ian Summers added. “Once we have the facts and figures needed to support a bind, this should allow us to process many more of the claims that follow automatically,” he explained.

SURTS will also address one of the key challenges in the market today – the increasingly complex web of proprietary APIs and portals in the market, many of which are not interoperable with each other, which Ian Summers described as “London’s portal wars”.

It also has an open design to make London easily accessible to insurance markets around the world, Summers explained. “Specialty is a global business, so the data standard cannot be London-centric – it must have global applicability,” he said.

“However, to get to that stage we must take the first steps, and Sequel and ACORD have also put in place a translation standard to help market participants get on board with the digital solution,” Summers added.

Pieroni confirmed ACORD will maintain and update the standard with input from stakeholders around the world to ensure its global relevance for years to come.

“Data is the lifeblood of the insurance industry,” he said. However, while the quality and utilisation of data presents an increasingly important competitive advantage for insurers, the data standard used to transfer that data is not – and investing in solutions to help lower the cost, risk and time of doing business benefits the market as a whole, he argued.   

“Digitisation is a future inevitability, so you have to allocate resources to help enable it. There is a positive return on investment in embracing in these standards,” he said.

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