Automation in underwriting could be rolled out in processes and decision making in the near future, one industry expert has said.
Speaking at the inaugural Insurance Business Insurtech Summit last week, Tim Johnson, head of insurance operations delivery at Suncorp, noted that automation will take a greater hold within the underwriting industry.
“The process and decision automation are the two big ticket items,” Johnson said. “We have been running the same mindset which is, I always say because I like threes and alliteration, it is about the risk, rate and relationship.
“They are the three things they should do well. Everything else, pull it away from them and have it done by someone else, which is how my team grew in the first place, or give it to a third party, or automate it.”
Johnson said that a lot of what the industry deems as decision making is more like pattern recognition – as an underwriter sees certain sections of a policy, they then know how to react – and technology will be able to replace these tasks.
“There is very fast emerging tech, and a lot is here already that can absolutely replace that and do it better and more consistently - it is just about putting the infrastructure in place that allows that to happen between different companies,” he said.
Johnson likened the changes to underwriting brought on by further automation to those seen more than a decade ago at Suncorp when pricing engines were first rolled out. Now, pricing engines are commonplace across the industry and Johnson said that he believes ‘decision science’ could be next.
“The quick win is the process automation,” Johnson continued.
“We did [this] 12 years ago with pricing engines and now we are saying for the more subjective decisions, how do we use more modern technology to start understanding and augmenting the human who is making those decisions to get more consistency, and faster turnaround?”
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