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Catching Fraud: Why Insurers Should Consider Machine Learning

Insurance companies typically use a rules-based approach to catch fraud. However, machine learning from Metromile Enterprise can be more efficient and improve loss ratios.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, insurance fraud accounts for nearly 10% of the property and casualty insurance industry’s incurred losses and loss adjustment expenses each year. Ten percent is a stunningly large loss driver that is often under-captured, and it hurts carriers’ bottom line by billions of dollars every year. 
Looking on the bright side, the insurers who invest in reducing fraud effectively and improving risk selection and pricing will ultimately improve their loss ratio.
Fraud detection is an arms race, where insurers need to identify and block avenues for fraudulent claims as fast as fraudsters can create them. Here’s how insurance companies can fight back against fraud.

How is insurance fraud detected?

One of the most common anti-fraud technologies used today by insurance companies is a rules-based system. 

Rules-based systems serve a basic purpose of catching obvious fraud patterns with a “black and white” logic. The approach is generally not very effective at uncovering new and novel schemes or adapting to emerging fraud patterns or schemes. As a result, insurers’ existing fraud programs are vulnerable to many types of fraud that aren’t obvious.

How are insurance companies improving their fraud detection?

Some insurance companies understand the limitations of a rules-based approach and are increasingly turning to more sophisticated anti-fraud technologies such as predictive modeling, link analysis, and artificial intelligence.

Insurers should carefully evaluate fraud detection techniques and technologies to make the most informed decision. Generally, using machine learning models as a standalone solution or complement to existing rules-based systems is advantageous.

3 Key Factors to Consider in a Machine Learning Model 

1. Make sure your fraud models scale.

Your rules library must keep expanding and adjusting as fraud evolves. In short, you need to make sure your anti-fraud technology has scalability.

A rules-based approach can make the system slower and puts a heavy maintenance burden and cost on your team of fraud analysts, requiring an increasing number of manual reviews.

Machine learning requires minimal human involvement as the models learn automatically from both old and new data. 

Machine learning algorithms and models become more effective with increasing data sets. Contrast this with rules-based models where the cost of maintaining the fraud detection system multiplies as claims grow. Machine learning is more efficient, as it improves with more data and can pick out the subtle differences and similarities between multiple data variables. 

2. Models should have expansive detection coverage and accuracy.

Rules-based fraud detection systems can be too broad. They run a high risk of false positives. This reduces investigator efficiency and can lead to a negative customer experience when a smooth and empathetic customer experience is most vital. To prevent this, insurers often change the rules to capture only the claims with the highest probability of fraud. This is a flawed approach, as vast numbers of fraudulent claims can slip by and be paid out.

When special investigative units or other claims staff verify and self-report the claims they think are worthy of further investigation, machine learning models can learn and get better at predictions over time. 

Machine learning-based fraud systems can be more accurate, more configurable, and easier to improve than rules-based systems. This makes fraud analysis easier and more effective, especially to keep up with all of the latest scams or fraud methods. 

3. Models should optimize for efficiency.

Implementing if-then rules for a rules-based approach is easy at first, but it requires manual work and supervision to maintain. The result is a technology that doesn’t adapt well over time. It can be challenging to find the exact rule you might wish to change, and repeating this process each time, can be frustrating and time-intensive.

Machine learning can evaluate many claims fast and in real-time because it continuously analyzes and processes new data. You can set up machine learning from first notice of loss to claims closure. 

Moreover, advanced machine learning models such as neural networks can autonomously update their models to reflect the latest trends and prior fraud results. The system also enables a more flexible and automated approach that speeds up fraud management and conversion optimization.

The bottom line

Machine learning-based fraud systems enable the automatic detection of known and unknown fraudulent claims. It can analyze patterns at the first notice of loss and throughout the claims process.  

Unlike the rules-based systems, which only produce a yes or no response to fraud, machine learning produces a fraud suspicion score from 0 to 1000, like a credit score. It also provides context that allows insurance carriers to take different actions based on their different risk tolerances. 

In short, machine learning offers a more personalized and adaptive approach. Insurance carriers can automate the passing of less-suspicious claims for faster claims payouts and flag more suspicious claims for further investigation. Machine learning empowers special investigative units, claims teams, and other fraud professionals to make more informed investigation decisions faster.

Metromile Enterprise provides insurance carriers with machine learning technology to combat fraud. Machine learning models are better at surfacing suspicious claims than the rules-based systems most insurers use today and have a higher chance of identifying fraud that isn’t as obvious. It can also be more accurate and scalable. 

Whether used with existing rules-based approaches or on its own, machine learning-based fraud systems create net new opportunities for insurers to establish a robust fraud analytics program within their claims organization. The result is a nimble, cost-effective claims department that delivers strong loss and loss adjustment expense reductions.

To learn more about applying artificial intelligence and machine learning in your claims organization, contact us. A large P&C carrier established a robust fraud analytics program in less than six months with Metromile Enterprise.

How Metromile STREAMLINE Intelligent Process Automation Compares to Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

Metromile STREAMLINE Intelligent Process Automation

In the insurance industry, intelligent process automation and robotic process automation can optimize business processes and increase workforce productivity and efficiency. The result is a great customer experience and improved operational efficiency. 

But the devil is in the details.

What is robotic process automation (RPA)?

Robotic process automation (RPA) uses software or so-called robots to automate individual tasks typically performed by humans by mimicking their interactions with software systems. Think about an Excel macro recorder that performs a series of actions on a spreadsheet. Except, in this case, it works with screens and not just a spreadsheet.

What is intelligent process automation?

Intelligent process automation focuses on entire processes and workflows and can be more advanced than robotic process automation.

STREAMLINE is Metromile Enterprise’s proprietary intelligent process automation platform that focuses on digitizing and automating an insurer’s customer interactions and internal claims processing workflows end-to-end. It completes this work simultaneously, so it can be more efficient than robotic process automation. 

Compared to robotic process automation solutions, STREAMLINE enables faster and more seamless execution of customer and third party-facing workflows and decision-making. Contrast this approach with robotic process automation, which typically excels at simple functions like faster or automated data extraction or data entry tasks.

Here’s the side-by-side comparison of STREAMLINE and RPA in the context of how a P&C insurer could utilize the technology in their claims organization:

The bottom line

It’s essential to have a defined end goal from the beginning to drive success for your automation projects. 

The first step is to achieve an internal consensus on specific business goals and key performance indicators for your claims organization. For example, you may want to consider big-picture end goals such as: 

  1. Claims handlers handle 20% more claims each month with increased productivity
  2. Increase claims customer satisfaction scores by 8 points in the next 12 months 

Only once you have these goals in mind can you decide whether it makes sense to consider intelligent process automation like STREAMLINE or robotic process automation and assess what makes sense for you.

At Metromile Enterprise, we offer a proprietary touchless claims experience platform using industry best practices and workflows so that you can quickly realize all of the benefits of claims automation

Contact us if you would like to learn about how we’re helping other P&C insurers fast track their claims innovation roadmap and enable a modern, digital claims experience for their customers.

5 Things Insurers Should Know to Maximize the Success of Their Automation Technology Project

P&C insurers are grappling with massive headwinds. Insurance executives can turn to automation to save costs and improve the efficiency of their business.

P&C insurers are grappling with massive headwinds: a low-interest economic environment, new competitors, and rapidly evolving technology. Insurance executives can turn to automation to save costs and improve the efficiency of their business. 

Consider implementing these five fundamental principles to drive more value from technology.

1. Understand your status quo very well. 

Before getting started with an automation project, your organization needs to understand the current environment. Know and analyze your existing claims systems and underlying business processes. Then, you can identify opportunities to eliminate, simplify, and automate. 

To start, document, and analyze your current business processes if you haven’t already. The ultimate goal is to identify bottlenecks or inefficiencies. Next, identify the improvements that will deliver the greatest return on investment and increased customer satisfaction. 

Don’t swing for the fences to start. We suggest starting with a smaller initial project. You might want to break up the task into phases: Phase 1 can be automating a claims payment process end-to-end, as an example. 

2. Set a realistic scope of expectations. 

When redesigning a process for efficiency, think about how you actually work instead of how you should work or how you want to work. 

If you start process modeling from an idealistic point of view, the targets you set could become frustratingly impossible to achieve. On the other hand, when you begin adding improvements to the current process, you should set a realistic scope to see meaningful progress over time.

3. Take a step-by-step approach. 

It isn’t necessary to automate all of the necessary processes at once. 

Depending on your budget, resources, and business requirements, you can often divide the project into several phases. Selecting a light-weight automation platform can save you from costly consulting and implementation fees, which can be a good start. 

During your early sales conversations, ask potential providers how their solution and teams approach the customer journey and how they plan to partner with you along the way. 

If you’re starting a minimum-viable-product project, keep in mind a reasonable timeline shouldn’t exceed three to four months from configuring the project to completion. 

4. Keep the customer’s perspective front and center. 

Claims remain the “moment of truth” for all insurers and represent the best single opportunity for an insurer to build trust and loyalty with customers. 

Customer satisfaction and process efficiency can be tackled and improved at the same time. When starting an automation project, it is important to understand an efficient process alone won’t boost customer satisfaction.

Before embarking on your next automation project, ask how your customers will benefit from the changes you plan to make. Will they need to make one fewer follow-up phone call to ask questions about their coverage? Can they get their claim paid or settled faster from weeks to just days?

5. Keep processes flexible and simple

Over time, business changes and processes may need to adapt. Your automation solutions should be flexible enough to incorporate and reflect these changes as they happen. Automation aims to make business processes simpler and more straightforward, and if the process requires a lot of human intervention, you must understand that something is wrong.

The bottom line

Metromile Enterprise offers a proprietary touchless claims experience platform using industry best practices and workflows so that you can quickly realize all of the benefits of claims automation. Contact us if you would like to learn about how we’re helping other P&C insurers fast track their claims innovation roadmap and enable a modern, digital claims experience for their customers.

Here’s How Insurers Can Use Automation to Innovate Their Operations

Insurance companies can deploy automation projects easily with Metromile Enterprise. It does not require a heavy investment to make real business change.
Metromile Enterprise’s claims innovation expert, Matthew Walsh

Matthew Walsh spent his career in the insurance industry, managing complex claims, including exotic vehicles, motorcycles, and high-cost losses. He was most recently the director of claims innovation at Metromile, where he focused on automating claims, digitizing the first notice of loss, improving fraud tools and detection, promoting self-service, and telematics for the leading pay-per-mile insurance company.

While at Metromile, he partnered with Metromile Enterprise to innovate the insurer’s claims operations. He notes automation is a key competitive advantage: It enables the insurer to achieve significant customer experience improvements, boost employee productivity, and increase profitability.

Matthew explains how insurers can strategically deploy automation projects: “You don’t have to shoot for the moon to get started,” he says. “Start by taking baby steps and handling those low complexity claims.” 

How can insurers use  automation in an organizational capability?

Automation is a key competitive advantage for Metromile. The insurer seeks to remove redundant work and tasks to allow their employees to focus on value-added work: answering customer questions and strengthening customer relations. 

Automation is also the backbone of a self-service platform. Customers can self-service their claims when and where they want without giving up the support of a claims adjuster if needed. The automation powers the self-service tool, so customers can set up an appointment with their preferred repair facility or submit photos at their convenience. Metromile customers often boast about how easy it is to file a claim and how responsive the process is on online reviews.

Automation also allows Metromile to operate more efficiently to reduce their expenses. In turn, they can reduce rates to be more competitive in the marketplace. They pass their savings along to their customers. 

How do you decide what projects are ripe for automation, and how does technology play a role?

The best practice is to expand end-to-end, touchless claims automation capabilities. A good chunk of Metromile’s claims are fully automated end-to-end with either low or no human touch, for example. They are focused on fully automating low complexity, low fraud, single-vehicle type accidents with no injuries. These claims are the bread and butter of automation, and Metromile Enterprise does this very well.

When I approach an automation project, I look at automating the most frequent tasks that are also the least complex. This is the low-hanging fruit: I can deliver a solution easily and produce some positive business gains. For example, I go after high-frequency items or processes with low complexities first. They are the easiest to implement and where you can deliver the most bang for your buck. 

Further along, you want to automate the low frequency, highly complex items, such as when an attorney might be involved. There is a lot of foundational work that needs completing in the beginning, so you have to build up to this. You have to think about the incoming data for a claim and how you’re collecting it. You need to collect clean, structured data to make the right decisions downstream. 

Notably, Metromile evaluates, tests, and refines their approach to automating more complex claims, such as those with an injury. They enable third-party customers to service their claims just as easily as first-party customers do now. 

To achieve this efficiency, they leverage telematics data, which provides rich information from a customer’s crash. They say they can tell when a crash has occurred, when and where it happened, the points of impact, severity, and whether they may be liable in most cases. All of this data is a crucial factor in automating their exposures without a lot of adjustor intervention.  

Many decisions to automate or not to automate are dependent on the facts of ths loss. Some accidents are straightforward, such as when someone gets rear-ended, and you can predict and determine liability based on the data, but others are much more complex. You have to build along the way to get to this level.

Why is the first notice of loss important to automate? 

You’re gathering all of your facts of loss at the first notice of loss. It’s the key to accurate assignment and claims segmentation, including the decision to automate or not automate a claim. I saw firsthand working at top-10 insurance carriers the struggle of getting the right claim to the right person early. It often required claims to be transferred multiple times, creating delays and poor customer service. 

If you collect all of the right information, such as impact severity, points of impact, and injury information, you can direct the claim to automation or the right adjuster the first time. The result is a shortened cycle time and improved customer experience. You don’t have to shoot for the moon to get started. Start by taking baby steps and making improvements to your first notice of loss.  A good place to start is implementing a digital first notice of loss for your claims journey. 

What do large P&C carriers struggle with when it comes to claims? What are their most pressing pain points?

Many processes at traditional insurers are manual and labor-intensive, but they don’t have to be. For example, an adjuster typically collects and requests photos or payment information from a customer over the phone. The data is also collected downstream, late in the claims process, when the adjuster needs it to take action. Insurers know they will likely need this information to take action later, but they choose not to collect it early in the claims process. Instead, they contact the customer multiple times to gather what is needed one piece at a time, creating delays and inconveniencing the customer.

With Metromile Enterprise’s digital, first notice of loss platform, you can collect photos directly from the customer when the loss is reported. The images are available for the adjuster immediately before the customer’s first call, allowing an adjuster to expedite the claim’s handling. If the claim qualifies for automation, the photos can automatically be sent as an appraisal assignment to an appraiser, speeding up the estimating process.  

An insurer could also collect payment information securely through a digital platform before the estimate is returned so that payment can be issued instantly when an estimate is approved. The result is a significantly improved  customer experience, reduced claims cycle, and lower operating expenses.

What are the benefits of automating claims?

You can reduce loss adjustment expenses. Metromile reduced these expenses by increasing the number of claims handled without increasing headcount. Adjusters focused on more complex claims, while the automation handled less complex claims. As a result, you take away the cost of handling smaller claims. 

For customers, it also allows adjusters to be more available. They can answer more complex questions or support customers who need assistance. Metromile saw improved customer service and NPS scores as they gained capacity through automating less complicated claims. 

How do you strike the right balance between technology and manual processes?

Customers are still surprised an insurer can handle a claim without an agent. They might only file a claim once every five to10 years, so it is vital to balance automation and people-powered processes when customers have a question. 

Metromile Enterprise can be an electronic adjuster for insurance companies. For example, Metromile uses the same platform for its automated and non-automated claims. Human adjusters can easily step in to assist the customer if needed as a result. As customers get more comfortable with this technology, it is very important to have people available.

What are the biggest opportunities for insurers who are considering working with Metromile Enterprise? 

Insurance carriers often struggle to have a broader long-term vision for what the claims organization will look like in two to five years and the steps needed to get there. Many carriers are implementing small, adjuster-facing technology and process changes. They are doing this without considering their role in the overall end-to-end claims journey and their customer experience. They invest in technology to fit their existing claims process and the status quo, when they should be re-imagining what the claims process could be, and investing in that instead.

Customers want to file and manage their claims digitally. They want to be able to self-service their claims at their convenience and have someone they can call if needed. They don’t want to be required to call to move the claim forward. From a claims perspective, insurers want to reduce operating expenses, keep the loss ratio in check, and provide a positive claims experience to retain customers. 

Metromile Enterprise can help outline a roadmap for insurers and build and implement the products to meet both the customer and the insurers’ needs.

Digitizing FNOL is the First Step in Improving a Claims Journey

Insurance companies make an unspoken promise to their customers: we’ll be there when you need us. Unfortunately, when it comes time to deliver, many policyholders ultimately don’t believe insurance companies are fulfilling this promise. 

According to Accenture, 41% of policyholders who submit a claim are likely to switch insurance companies within a year. The survey also reveals that customers who have submitted an insurance claim in the past two years are almost twice as likely to switch insurers in the next 12 months compared to those who have not submitted a claim: 41% compared to 22%.

The importance of claims service

Claims are “the moment of truth” for insurers. Insurance companies might have no better opportunity to leave a positive impression and create loyalty then. 

According to JD Power, consumer switching all comes down to poor customer service. As a company whose focus is enabling digital insurance products and experiences, Metromile Enterprise sees many insurers lagging on technology, including using legacy approaches and processes to serve their customers. This doesn’t work in 2020 when consumers have become accustomed to digital and self-service. 

Today, we build relationships online. And because of this, digital laggards can find it challenging to establish relationships with their customers and differentiate their products, especially when they interact with them so infrequently. To improve customer satisfaction, insurers must focus on digitizing the claims process and, more importantly, give them the freedom to interact with insurers on their terms. To achieve this, insurers need to start with improving a customer’s first notice of loss (FNOL) experience. 

Why insurance companies should consider digital FNOL 

Companies like Amazon have set new consumer expectations, and consumers increasingly want digital options from the companies they do business with, including insurers.

By digitizing FNOL, insurers can move the claims process online and provide a more streamlined and improved customer experience. 

Compare this to the current FNOL model used by many large insurance companies: Call center employees manually collect incident data in an error-prone, costly, and time-consuming process for the insurer. 

Worst still, many insurance companies outsource their FNOL operations to a specialist contact center. Some customers do not want to rely on a call center through the claims process.

A recent survey by Intelligent Insurer found insurance executives identified FNOL (59%) as the part of the customer journey with the greatest potential for digitization, followed by payment (50%) and fraud checks (46%).

For the digital consumer, insurers must offer an omnichannel customer experience. Instead of relying on claims or customer service agents to manually collect and input data or provide critical information, customers should be able to serve themselves on their terms. 

Fortunately, some insurers are beginning to make progress. According to Novarica, midsize property and casualty carriers have been slower to adopt the digital FNOL solutions, but more than one-third either have or intend to pilot mobile FNOL soon. 

How insurance companies are digitizing their operations

Metromile Enterprise, the software-as-a-service business group of the namesake pay-per-mile car insurance leader, partners with insurance companies to help them operate with greater efficiency.

Insurance carriers are licensing Metromile Enterprise’s platform to automate claims to expedite resolution, reduce losses associated with fraud, and unlock the productivity of employees so they can work on higher-impact experiences.

In short, Metromile Enterprise focuses on providing insurance companies with the best possible omnichannel customer experience supported by intuitive digital processes.

Notably, Metromile Enterprise has a sophisticated touchless claims platform that can work on top of existing claims management software. Metromile launched Metromile Enterprise in 2018 to enable end-to-end digitization of the claims customer journey and make this valuable technology accessible to other property and casualty insurers around the world.

Report, our dynamic FNOL SaaS application, provides a way for carriers to offer 24/7 access to critical services, such as the ability to file claims digitally using their desktop or mobile phone. 

Report gives customers a modern digital channel to report a loss of any type and tailor questions dynamically to capture the most necessary and relevant loss information. On average, 55% of all inbound claims at Metromile are filed digitally with Report, and two-thirds of those claims come from a mobile app or mobile browser. 

Report is one of many cloud-based applications built on the Metromile touchless claims platform. Designed for claims teams at large insurance companies, Report allows claims subject matter experts to develop FNOL user interfaces without relying on IT resources or writing code. The web-native application can gather intel immediately after a loss through location services, image capture, video capture, and more.

Having a robust digital claim intake technology and process creates a strong foundation for carriers to develop claims straight-through processing capability. According to an Intelligent Insurer survey, getting value from claims data is most insurance executives’ top priority over the next 12 months. 

Report can seamlessly capture and pass on the detailed claim data of any loss type to any of the insurer’s existing downstream claim systems to initiate any next steps from claim segmentation, fraud check to liability determination instantaneously. 

When used with Detect, Metromile Enterprise’s AI fraud detection, and Streamline, Metromile’s intelligent process automation, Report can feed valuable loss information to Detect for automated fraud checks and to Streamline to give policyholders a digital claims experience, including the opportunity to self-service a claim without a claim adjuster’s help. 

Digitizing claims can pay off. By making systematic yet bold moves, insurers could see increased customer satisfaction and reductions in claims expenses by up to 30%

Reach out to us if you’re interested in learning about how we help insurers fast track their digital claims innovation roadmap. 

Amrish Singh is the general manager of Metromile Enterprise. A lifelong technologist, he has dedicated his career to helping companies operate with greater efficiency and provide a premium customer experience in the enterprise software industry.

Behind the Scenes with Bill Chval, Metromile’s New VP, Enterprise Sales

Bill Chval, an insurance industry veteran, joined Metromile as vice president, enterprise sales. He helps insurance companies worldwide accelerate their digital strategies, including their claims operations.
Bill Chval, Metromile’s newest vice president of enterprise sales

Insurance industry veteran Bill Chval recently joined Metromile as our vice president, enterprise sales. While he may be a new team member, Bill had known Metromile since our earliest days, when we had fewer than 15 employees in a tiny office in Redwood City, California.

Tell us a little bit about your background.

I started my career in the treasury bond options pit at the Chicago Board of Trade. Sales had always been a passion of mine. As a longtime athlete, I love to compete; and I think the two go hand-in-hand.

I had the opportunity to learn about the property and casualty insurance industry while at CCC Information Services selling estimating software. From there, I moved into the services side of the industry. Both stops in my journey were invaluable in the early stage of my career because I learned how important it was to apply a consultative approach to sales.

You’ve had a lot of experience in car insurance technology long before “insurtech” existed. What were the early days of insurtech like?

When I started in 1996, 30% of estimates were still written by hand. The other 70% were written in a DOS-based estimating platform with no communication tools. Customers would have to take physical photos and mail them to the company. Physical file storage was on-site in warehouses. The average auto claim cycle time was more than 20 days. Compare that to today: a customer can take photos on their phone, upload them to their carrier, and have their claim handled in hours, especially when using Metromile’s technology. 

Based on your vast industry experience, what’s an important area of focus people often overlook? 

Customer engagement is critical since the insurance market is hypercompetitive. Many insurance carriers invest a significant amount of their budget and energy selling and onboarding new customers. In some cases, they forget to support current customers, which causes them to wander during periods of uncertainty. In order to retain customers and ensure their satisfaction, it’s important to offer solutions with a holistic and scalable approach. Carriers often miss key opportunities to connect during a policy’s lifecycle, leaving them with lower renewal rates.

What attracted you to Metromile? 

Metromile’s talent, technology, and vision. As a Metromile business partner for the past six years, I’ve been fortunate from the early days to have a front-row seat to the company’s evolution and the power of AVA. Knowing Metromile’s claims team on the consumer side gives me so much confidence in Metromile Enterprise; I’m thrilled to be part of articulating it to traditional insurers.

I also love the team; the energy we have here is amazing. The team possesses key qualities needed to win: a relentless drive, a tactical approach, and the ability to deliver consistent value. 

What do you see as the big opportunities for our enterprise team?  

Customer engagement and digital payments are hot topics. Most carriers do a good job sourcing partnerships, but a below-average job enabling them. Presenting a solution that provides an “out of the box” touchless roadmap with business processes with little to no customization is a game-changer. Carriers heavily invest in multiple partnerships. I won’t name names, but a few big players are all segmented and have their workflows with multiple touchpoints. The process is not repeatable, and outcomes vary with too much uncertainty. With Metromile Enterprise, we’ll simplify that web and produce the consistent outputs these carriers don’t just desire but will demand in a post-COVID-19 world.  

Do you see traditional insurers accelerating their digital roadmaps amidst COVID-19?  

We’re going through a challenging time for our industry, but it’s also the biggest opportunity we’ve ever had. Since COVID-19, digital strategies have accelerated, and carriers are looking at claims transformation much more aggressively. Carriers that didn’t have a digital plan, do now. Those that had dipped their foot in the digital pool are now jumping in. It’s one of the reasons why I’m so excited to join Metromile. We can shepherd these carriers through massive transformation easily and painlessly. 

You’ve spent your careers motivating large sales organizations. In your experience, what makes a good sales leader? 

Six skills: vision, high energy, organization, patience, passion, and a consultative approach.  

How do you define success in sales?  

Success is not only defined in the wins, but in terms of long-term relationships and partnerships. I have customers who I have done business with for 20 years. It’s important to consistently provide solutions to your customer that not only add value today but position them for success in the future. One of the greatest compliments is to have customers look at you as their industry consultant. The Metromile Enterprise team’s relationship with Tokio Marine is a great example: the team has done an impressive job building a relationship with Japan’s largest property and casualty insurance group, and it’s grown over time into a true win-win for both companies. 

Just as important: how do you spend your time when you’re not working? 

I love fitness, working out, Spartan races, basically anything competitive and challenging. It probably goes back to playing sports most of my life, especially playing college baseball. I also enjoy coaching my daughters’ sports teams. And, I look forward to traveling again with my family once we’re able to do so! 

I also love cars. My first car was a project with my father: a 1965 Chevy Malibu Super Sport — fire engine red!

InsureTech Connect 2019: Are Insurers Building the Next Amazon Experience?

Metromile recently attended InsureTech Connect 2019, the largest conference dedicated to insurance-technology, and met some of the more than 7,000 insurance leaders in attendance. As “the world’s largest gathering of insurance leaders and innovators,” many insurance companies and insurance-technology startups announced their latest partnership and product improvements. We asked Xavier Keil and Jason Thom from the Metromile Enterprise team to share some highlights.

What was everyone the most excited about at InsureTech Connect this year?

Traditional insurance companies are quite interested in using artificial intelligence and automation to stave off new, tech-first competitors. Major insurance providers are worried an upstart will be able to overcome the regulatory challenges and meet the capital requirements necessary to disrupt the industry drastically.

People were also fascinated by the growth of InsureTech Connect since 2015. They saw the ever-growing number of attendees as a signal that insurance-technology is getting bigger and bigger. There are a lot of new opportunities for insurers and startups to collaborate and thrive together.

What is your top takeaway from InsureTech Connect?

Sincerely, this is probably the most exciting time to work in insurance since the invention of the automobile. Conferences like InsureTech Connect have informed insurers about trending technologies like artificial intelligence, blockchain, and the Internet-of-things, especially in the last three to five years. And insurers now have sharper eyes to distinguish between hype and reality and are laser-focused on which technologies offer the best solutions to their problems. New technology is beginning to open new lines of business, which comes with significant risk, but also an enormous opportunity for the whole industry.

Did anything surprise you at InsureTech Connect?

We were surprised to find a significant focus on technologies that are rather far from implementation, such as drone-based accident-site surveying or self-driving vehicle products. We worry the industry may be missing out on benefits that can be realized right now from proven, existing technology like artificial intelligence and automation, which can drive real customer experience improvements.

From your meetings at InsureTech Connect, what excited people the most about Metromile?

Most InsureTech Connect attendees, especially those from the U.S., recognize Metromile as the pioneer in insurance-technology and were excited to learn that we’re licensing our technology. Traditional insurers are worried about disruption, so naturally, they were very excited to hear that we work with other insurers. Different types of insurance carriers also came to the conference looking to improve their operational efficiency and customer experience and wanted to learn from our success. 

Auto insurers or not, they’re looking for our help future-proofing their businesses.

Based on what you saw at InsureTech Connect, what are the biggest opportunities for insurance companies?

People accept a customer experience from insurance companies that they do not accept anywhere else in life. If Google asked you to fax them a form to open a Gmail account, they would probably have next to zero customers, but insurers routinely require people to send them faxes.

Traditional insurance companies have a great opportunity to improve their customer experience from the initial quote through to the claims process. Companies with the best experience bring new customers faster and keep them for longer. The insurer who improves their user experience will have the best customer-retention and enjoy a compounding advantage over time.

What is the future of insurance and the insurance industry?

The future of insurance will be highly personalized products, delivered with more modern customer experiences, powered by artificial intelligence.

If someone wants three days of motorcycle insurance and increased health coverage while visiting a friend, they should be able to buy it immediately and through a mobile app. If someone is about to fly a drone, they should be able to purchase coverage for just that flight.

Artificial intelligence will also be used by insurance companies to accurately price these products and reduce the workload for their employees. It will do this by collecting and processing massive amounts of data. 

The best insurance carriers will also use automation to empower their customers. People are proactive and want to take action, so insurance companies should create processes to give their customers a sense of ownership. Each business interaction should benefit the customer.

The Bottom Line

Look out for insurance companies to provide highly personalized products and better customer experience, ideally on par with the service of companies like Amazon and Apple. Insurers will need to offer an online experience that is seamless and user-friendly, just as we have come to expect from our consumer-technology.

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Xavier Keil is Director of Product Consulting, Enterprise and Jason Thom is Senior Manager, Strategy and Operations.