CIODataData CenterInsurTech

Developing a Data-Centered Culture in the Insurance Industry

By Jen Dalton, Chief Information Security Officer at Brush Claims

In today’s technological landscape, it is crucial for all insurance organizations to remain data-driven with security top-of-mind. Insurance technology, or “insurtech”, spending in the United States is anticipated to grow by more than 25% between 2022 and 2026, and data is king in ensuring the successful implementation and security of new technologies.

Data has become one of the biggest drivers for making impactful business process improvements. Data is also more at risk now than it has been in the past, as privacy breaches and incidents can affect many different areas of a business, including its employees and consumers. Businesses must be proactive when it comes to data protection, by applying an objective and analytical approach in order to operate effectively. Ultimately, businesses can protect themselves by prioritizing data security, especially when setting up analyses and tools. It is also crucial to provide enhanced leadership to ensure no bias is introduced in these processes while adhering to rules and regulations when implementing new technologies.

Shifting the Insurance Industry’s Mindset through Insurtech

While the insurance industry has been relatively slow to adapt its traditional operating models, and getting businesses and professionals to start looking at data has been a bit of a challenge, it’s starting to gain momentum industry-wide. In order to enact actionable change, insurance professionals and businesses need to start looking at ways that data can bring new insights to the industry. Utilizing data when looking at homeowners and renters insurance is one example of this: An estimated 1 in 20 homes file a property insurance claim every year, totaling approximately 141.58 million houses in the U.S. every year. Looking into the data behind the large number of homeowner and renter claims that are filed annually helps us to make more informed and customer focused decisions.

By keeping a focus on the customer experience, insurtech can effectively showcase how data translates into impact for policyholders at the end of the day. Businesses should know what they want to improve, then utilize data to help make those actionable changes and measure the overall impact on a business. While insurtech offers solutions to this, businesses also need to pursue a holistic approach to thoughtful innovation where it makes the greatest impact. For example, changing one factor to a carrier platform may decrease the projected wait time, while changing three factors may eliminate the need to wait to begin with, exemplifying how change can positively impact the business overall. There is also a need for proactive claims management – companies should not force a digital path on their customers, but should offer solutions that meet consumer’s personal technology comfort level.

As business leaders, we have the corporate responsibility to ensure that new technologies adhere to local, state, and national data privacy regulations to protect our consumers.

Utilizing Tools and New Technologies for Today’s Insurers

Insurance professionals and businesses that want to adapt to meet the needs of today’s insurers must do so through the implementation of new tools and technologies. While Microsoft Excel can be useful for analytical users for compiling and analyzing data, visual and non-technical users can find it distracting, overwhelming and limiting. Additionally, tools like mapping features that aren’t intuitive make it more difficult for non-data driven users to get quick, actionable insights from their data. Today’s business leaders want to look at simpler graphics. They can then instantly view and compare their data, with trend lines and predictions in minutes, and take action rather than spending hours creating charts and graphs.

Platforms like Brush Claims’ Hubvia – a groundbreaking suite of insurtech solutions that are guaranteed to streamline the insurance claims process and deliver a five-star customer experience – leverage newer tools like Tableau, Power BI and custom-built analytics dashboards, in addition to Excel. This ability to meet users where they are provides all types of users with actionable tools and insights at their fingertips, while also allowing them to drill into the data behind the visuals. Enhanced platforms like these leverage technologies to offer automation and increase intuition for users, allowing employees to focus on more high-value initiatives like providing better customer service and creating operational efficiencies in their departments.

While new platforms and tools are game changer for businesses, it is more crucial than ever to weigh the risks that may be involved when leveraging third party tools and generative AI in data analysis. As the custodian of customers’ data, professionals need to ensure that the tools they are using protect customers’ data as effectively as the business does. Employees using tools like ChatGPT to enhance a business report might want to think twice. Research shows that employees are including sensitive business information within ChatGPT prompts, which could result in massive leaks of proprietary information and personal identifying information (PII). Businesses should take a microscopic look at the tools and vendors they are currently using or plan to use in the future and have a solid vetting process to ensure they handle data in a way that protects employees, consumers and other stakeholders.

Importance of Leadership in Promoting a Data-Centered Culture

Ensuring the right tools and processes are selected to promote a data-centered culture ultimately starts with the organization’s leadership team. Implementing new tools and processes means ensuring that employees are trained on these new platforms and ensuring that customers’ data is protected through the new technologies. As nine out of 10 Americans consider their online privacy to be an important issue, our customers are proving that security is on everyone’s radar. It is crucial to understand that security starts with the individual employee and building a culture of security starts at the top, and must trickle down.  It is vital for organizations to have an effective leadership team in place to prepare for data breaches or incidents, if or when one happens.

Building a collaborative, innovative team that knows how to leverage the best technology available provides a competitive advantage for today’s insurance companies. As business leaders, we have the corporate responsibility to ensure that new technologies adhere to local, state, and national data privacy regulations to protect our consumers. Being able to take advantage of leading technology in a way that safeguards data ensures that even change resistant industries will be able to better serve their customers and maximize their efficiencies.

It’s been a long road to shift the insurance industry’s mindset to leverage data and technology.  Businesses are beginning to utilize new tools and technologies to adapt to the needs of today’s policyholders. Businesses can find success in adopting new technologies by ensuring effective leadership planning is in place prior to implementing new technologies and processes. Businesses will find long term success in developing a data-centered culture to stand out and put their customer’s experience first.

Jen Dalton Bio: Jen Dalton is the Chief Information Security Officer at Brush Claims. With more than 20 years of experience working in the software development and information technology industries, Jen has held multiple roles throughout the software development life cycle, in design, and in management. She has a passion for security, data and systems, and how they all work together. In her current position, Jen recognizes the importance of security to better serve Brush Claims’ clients and continues to grow her expertise through certifications and additional education opportunities. In her spare time, Jen is typically reading, painting, kayaking with her two kids, or playing with her Saint Bernard.