Insurance makes things possible. It protects us against the risk of something going wrong with our cars, homes, possessions, or health. Insurance allows companies to take risks, while managing the impact if something goes wrong. Technology is rapidly transforming the world of insurance. A new generation of insurtech companies are reinventing traditional insurance processes, and even the most traditional insurers are getting to grips with a digital future.
Technology creates almost limitless new possibilities. It’s no longer uncommon now for insurers to offer coverage by the hour, with premiums based on detailed location and usage data from black boxes, smartwatches or in-vehicle drones. Meanwhile, our increasingly connected hardware universe, and the so-called Internet of Things, enables real-time monitoring of everything from the contents of your freezer to fire and flood hazards.
My own journey down the path that led me to the intersection between insurance and technology began in Japan in the 1980s. I went there from Ireland as a young man as part of a government-backed program to gain experience in the most dynamic tech economy in the world at that time. The years I spent in Japan left a lasting impression on me. They imbued me with a quality and service-oriented mindset that inspires everything we do at DOCOsoft to this day.
Since the company was founded 15 years ago, we have evolved from providing document management software to the highly sophisticated insurance claims management systems that we now specialize in. The combined commitment to innovation and engineering excellence that I encountered in Japan helped us compete and win against much larger technology companies. As an independent company, with no outside investors to satisfy, we are free to do things on our own terms and remain fully focused on our customers.
We provide critical back-end systems for global insurance companies such as Munich Re, Chubb, The Hartford and SCOR. Over 30% of Lloyd’s managing agents use our claims management systems, representing £15 billion in premium income. We handled around £10 billion in claims payments in calendar year 2021, with around half of all claims messages in the London insurance market going through our platform.
When a claim comes from a customer, claims handlers must check it against the relevant insurance policy and a range of other information to determine if that claim should be paid. Our systems bring together all of a claims handler’s information needs into a single dashboard, speeding up the entire process and eliminating manual errors. We find ways to automate routine tasks that add little value to the claims process. We apply artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve process efficiency and enable data-driven analysis and decision-making.
Much of what we do in practice is enabling our customers’ systems to integrate and interchange with other systems and platforms in the market. Using Application Programming Interface (API) software, we can connect to external applications, bringing data from a wide range of sources to inform and strengthen the management process. complaints. Going forward, open APIs will drastically reduce the time it takes to connect to external systems, expanding different features like Lego bricks to create systems that are greater than the sum of their parts.
For example, the subject of sanctions has been in the news a lot lately, and our complaints management platform links to official lists of sanctioned individuals and organizations. This means that when a claim comes in, claim handlers can quickly see if the recipient of a payment is on a sanctions list (in which case the claim cannot be paid) without having to leave their board. dashboard to manually check the lists. This speeds up the process and eliminates the risk of input error or other user error.
Cybersecurity is a huge and growing area of risk for all businesses and organizations. Insurance companies have stepped up to cover these risks, but they face challenges. Bounties have increased significantly with the recent increase in criminal and state-sponsored cyberattacks since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, making cyber risk increasingly difficult to manage and, from a insurance underwriting, to be priced appropriately.
The scope and potential impact of cyber threats was clearly illustrated by the recent alleged cyber attack on Lloyd’s of London, an institution at the very heart of the global insurance market. We are well aware of the crucial importance of the security of our own systems. Many companies are still using outdated legacy systems. Older internal hardware is particularly vulnerable, while more established cloud-based systems are better secured and supported. Ultimately, insurance companies need to focus on their core business and outsource their technology to specialists like us, with their cloud-hosted back-end systems.
Technology opens up a world of new possibilities, but insurance companies need to take a hard look at what they hope to use the technology for – and the associated implications in terms of costs and benefits, risks and rewards. We work closely with our clients in the insurance industry, helping them get the most out of a targeted investment in appropriate technology solutions. The insurance industry must seize the potential of new technologies, but it must do so with its eyes wide open. This way, insurers can maximize efficiency and profitability, while generating competitive advantage by providing exceptional customer service.
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