The role of data and analytics in becoming an “intelligent insurer”

Metromile VP Sathish Koteshwar recently spoke at Gartner’s Data and Analytics conference in Orlando. With several insurance-focused tracks and more than 4000 attendees, he came back even more pumped about what we’re doing at Metromile and our opportunity ahead. He shared some highlights with us.

What piqued your interest at the conference?

SK: For starters, I’d say Gartner’s own research struck the biggest chord. For example, Gartner predicts that by 2025 AI will become a requirement, not a competitive advantage. It made me realize we have a huge leg up at Metromile.

 

Gartner described the “Intelligent Insurer” as having four fundamental requirements:

1) A clear and innovative vision for the organization  

2) A strong data and analytics foundation

3) Industry leading leadership/people/culture

4) Cutting-edge technology and platform.

 

It’s exciting to be so far ahead on these fundamentals when others are just getting started.

 

Why are other insurers lagging?  

SK: The concept of telematics is new for many insurance providers and they are still figuring out how to incorporate it in their business models. It’s harder for insurers to pivot – given the size of their organizations, their complex hybrid infrastructure and lack of driving data around their policy holders. Their model is so different than ours, since we’ve built the very core of its business model around telematics.

 

What was the biggest takeaway on the claims front?

SK: I learned that many other insurers are just starting to implement some form of automated claims. They realize there are cost benefits and the fantastic customer experience it creates, in doing so, and want to drive those efficiencies for their organization. Yet, they’re very much in the early innings compared to where we’re at at Metromile with AVA, our AI driven claims system.”

 

How about in the area of fraud?

SK: Insurers are spending a lot of money on fraud detection — but they’re doing it with an army of humans trying to manually track it down, because they don’t have big, high quality data sets. Hearing that gave me an even greater appreciation for the fact that thanks our Pulse device we have 100% continuous telematics across all of our policy holders. This data — a 100% footprint of driving / behavior data — prevents so much fraud from happening in the first place; and if it does occur, we’re able to quickly root it out. This further enables us to pass these savings to our customers and offer really competitive pricing on auto insurance.

 

Were there many insurers like us, who are 100% in the cloud?

SK: Many still have a hybrid implementations within their organizations. They have some systems running on premise and some running in the cloud, and slowly moving more to the cloud. I think it would be really tough to do what we do if we weren’t 100% natively in the cloud. It means we can be so nimble and move really fast, and be that much further ahead of the competitive curve.”

 

What are the data and analytics themes that emerged for 2019?

SK: According to Gartner, the six key themes are:

 

  1. Focus on intelligent processing
  2. Maximize customer segmentation through life event/style modeling
  3. Enhance the customer experience through personalization and automation
  4. Build quality algorithms through improved data science.
  5. Build strength through more / better  data (eg, IoT).
  6. Augment humans through machines

 

Given our work at Metromile, I wasn’t surprised by these themes, but they reinforced for me that we’re focused in all of the right areas.

 

What’s next for you?

SK: Getting back to work! I’m even more excited about our future here at Metromile. Our big head start is a huge competitive advantage, and it’s definitely going to help us win market share.

 

The Gartner conference helped drive a new level of understanding and purpose in my team’s work, our strategy, and how we will help Metromile revolutionize insurance.