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The insurance industry, like many others, is trying to keep moving forward with business as usual even with an entire workforce now working from home, as lockdown conditions are imposed on countries around the world. Business continuity plans are in play, but with the speed of the change, the continuity could still be a work in progress. How can primary insurers, brokers or reinsurers emerge through these exceptional times and move on to tackle these three major challenges with regards to data analytics:

  1. Catastrophe modeling teams were typically operating at peak capacity before having to work from home. Even with business continuity plans working in, with the best endeavors of your team, issues such as not having access to exposure management systems through to reliance on poor data connections could hit productivity. The “business as usual” tasks, such data processing backlogs, account and portfolio level analysis and regulatory filings still need to be completed in a timely fashion.

  2. Data volumes are increasing, whether it is rising levels of structured data which a business is familiar with or unstructured data from new, external sources. There is also the challenge on how to manage the volume and ensure data quality and compatibility. With this new data is a requirement to generate new, valuable insight from data analytics that will move the business in this ever-competitive landscape while ensuring speed to market and informed decision-making.

  3. Speed now provides a major competitive advantage. A recent McKinsey article talks about how businesses need to act at the “… speed of digital.” Leaders who understand digital transformation and the value of data, according to McKinsey, tend to move four times faster than their peers. They use their data to help spot new opportunities or identify unmet needs – on at least a weekly basis, and review portfolios well ahead of peers. How can risk analytics deliver at the speed of digital?

These challenges are familiar to our clients. How can business continuity plans be built to protect core exposure management and risk analytics? How can teams concentrate their firepower on activities that add the greatest value to the business – getting rich data insight into the hands of decision makers faster. It was a tight labor market for skilled analytics professionals before the lockdown, and it is not easy to expand a central analytics team. More than ever, these “bursts” in workloads around renewals and regulatory filing periods, knock teams off course and away from high value add tasks.

Many insurers are working hard towards digital transformation, updating their systems, looking to automate data handling processes, but as the lockdown shows, there is much work to do. Much resource is still spent on data processing – completing data records, cleaning up files, routine analyses and reporting. New versions of risk models need to be incorporated and validated. Again – business as usual takes time, even more so now.

There is help at hand. To break this cycle where cat modeling teams are currently struggling, or find themselves too tied up in the routine and want to tackle the new challenges that the industry faces, many companies are turning to “smart” resourcing where skills, technology and capacity are available to blend into operations as and when needed.

Insurance is a highly skilled industry, and quality and accuracy are paramount, so any resourcing partner needs to have professional staff and robust systems, the same as an in-house cat modeling team. A partner would need to understand exposure, risk modeling, analyses, reporting, and able to advise and consult.

For well over 15 years, RMS Analytical Services had delivered this smart resourcing approach for clients large and small, around the globe. We are here for our clients in these difficult times, as an integral part of their continuity plans. It is interesting how our partnership with clients grows, and initially, clients will take advantage of the speed, accuracy and capacity we can offer with data processing and standardization, assessing and improving data quality, filling in gaps for better geocoding resolution or helping with model validation. With 415 analysts, there is ample capacity available to manage these workload “bursts” around renewal season and for ratings and regulatory filings.

Over the last few weeks, RMS Analytical Services has been instrumental in onboarding new client during this crisis, balancing client business continuity requirement with surge processing, and partnering with clients to guide them on portfolio intricacies even when resources are limited.

But look ahead to when the lockdown lifts, once our clients have taken back control of these more routine tasks, and have the confidence that they have the capacity and skills using RMS Analytical Services to always address workload issues, it is then that the door opens to address the growth business challenges.

Clients have the time to think more clearly about their strategy, about regions or perils that they would like to explore for new business opportunities – whether they own a risk model or not. They can decide whether they run a risk model themselves, or whether we run it for them and provide the output. With access to RMS experts we can accelerate implementation and validation of the entire suite of risk models, including new high-definition (HD) models. RMS Analytical Services clients enjoy the level of control and accessibility they have to the entire range of services on offer, from a one-off analysis to a long-term engagement.

Supporting over 100 clients, RMS Analytical Services are ready to help your business to get through data backlogs, increasing processing productivity and tackle the routine tasks. For risk analytics teams facing growing pressure to cope with the lockdown, expand their scope, move faster and be more strategic in their business, RMS Analytical Services offers a smart solution that works together to complement and enhance in-house teams. Find out more – email sales@rms.com

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Piyush Zutshi
Piyush Zutshi
Senior Director, Analytical Services
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