Well who would ignore a favourite saying of Steve Jobs? 

Celent insight from ITC 2021

 "Customer experience is currently a top priority for many carriers as it is still a place where there is much room for improvement. A Tier 1 CIO says his firm lives by the words of Steve Jobs: “You've got to start with the customer experience and work backwards to the technology.”

This chimes with research from Altus on the digital maturity of UK carriers - up to the start of 2020 the emphasis has been on customer experience.


So quote and buy is where a lot of investment in time and money has been spent inhouse and with technology partners.  Claims is still the poor cousin of the four categories Altus analyse whilst typically 70% of a carrier's cashflow is tied up in claims. 

And where is that money spent in claims innovation? 

FNOL has certainly been a major area of investment

There is less evidence of investment across the whole journey though. Take this home claims picture

Again less progress outside the FNOL stage.

That is why it is heartening to see insurers tackling the whole claims journey. 

Four recent digital announcements raised answers and questions about insurance digital claims goals, strategy, innovation, transformation, and technology.

First, the AA partnering with Synergy Cloud to develop and deploy a next-gen digital claims platform meeting not just its needs but those of all insurers, brokers and MGAs. Working back from the customer, including the needs of the repair, replacement and engineering supply chain and not forgetting the requirements of claims adjusters, fraud teams and inhouse specialists.

Second, AXA UK has rolled out a new machine learning tool to help streamline and accelerate complex property claims. BETSIE (Buildings Enhanced Triage Steering Intelligence Engine) increases the speed and accuracy of claims resolution by capturing essential data points and simplifying the claims triaging process.

The tool, which was built inhouse by AXA, uses data, analytics and machine learning to accelerate and improve decision making and triage management. This enhances customer experience as fewer questions need to be asked and the potential for rework, delays and further costs are reduced.

Third, Zurich cut property claims settlement times to under 24 hours with its latest state-of-the-art industry-first AI solution. During a pilot between December 2020 and February 2021, the technology created in collaboration with Sprout.ai delivered automated policy checking through the use of Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Knowledge Graphs to deliver a brand-new capability to the market, Automated Policy Checking.

Fourth, HUG HUB receiving investment from and collaboration  with Verisk which potentially covers all aspects from Quote & Bind to claims settlement. 

 HUG HUB provides a digital platform that transforms the way insurers, managing general agents (MGAs) and brokers engage with their customers. By integrating legacy systems, providing a single customer view and using data and customer behaviour to hyper-personalise customer interactions, HUG HUB helps insurance retailers grow their businesses.

Adding the Verisk ecosystem capabilities is an interesting combination. Whilst Verisk offers broad use cases it is particularly strong in the auto markets in the same way that CoreLogic is strong in the property markets from financing, selling and managing property to claims management, underwriting and risk prevention. 

It is of course a marathon and not a sprint, another insight Celent presents.

  • It’s a marathon, not a sprint: Persistence is key. This year’s ITC had a vibe that is reflecting a maturing market for early entrants who were startups 3 years ago. This is very good news for longevity sceptics and means that insures must get beyond just a ”cool use case” by pursuing solutions that must expand their enterprise value—adding increasing value over time.

You might say that the Altus data is out of data but that is not proven in practice. I analysed all the insurers in the DigitalBar and found that in Spring 2021 there had not been a major change for the better. It is indeed a marathon. 

You can read more on that in these two articles: -

Auto insurance, digital maturity and how to transform it

Is Home Insurance digital transformation lagging behind Motor?

I am looking forward to the 2021 updates to the Altus DigitalBar in the next month and also a more granular analysis. Love to find similar research in the USA and Canada and mainland Europe. 

See how each insurer is running the digital innovation marathon when the new DigitalBar is published.