Industry needs proactive data collection method

17 Nov 2013

Industry needs proactive data collection method

A more proactive method of industry-wide data collection would benefit the New Zealand and Australian insurance industries.

This is conclusion of Luke Sharkey, senior strategic advisor with Suncorp Commercial Insurance, in the essay that helped him win the Aon Benfield Scholarship, 2013.

“Despite the existing methods of data collection and analysis being reasonably mature in the Australian and New Zealand insurance industry, they are fragmented,” said Sharkey.

“There are potential advantages to be gained from moving to a more proactive and consolidated method of industry-wide data collection, including lower premiums for customers and growth opportunities for insurers.”

A significant barrier to improving industry-wide data collection is the different formats used to collect and code data between countries and insurers.

“The complexity and cost of reworking this data is likely to be high and this is a disincentive when you consider that the tangible returns in the short term are minimal,” said Sharkey.

“The historical experience is that an external shock or a government-led mandate is needed to trigger the insurance industry to expand the amount of industry-wide data being collected.”