How analytics can feed competitive intelligence in insurance

Quantity of information is important, but quality is key

How analytics can feed competitive intelligence in insurance

Diversity & Inclusion

By Desmond Devoy

Karen Rivara, executive vice president at Alliant Insurance Services, is looking forward to sharing her cutting-edge view of analytics when she takes part in the “Competitive Intelligence – Market Trends and the Future of Insurance,” panel at the Women in Insurance Summit at the W Chicago City Center Hotel on May 11.

Rivara, an actuary, will be talking about a project that she is working on at Alliant, “where we are preparing analytics for our clients to help them better with their decision making, so it really fits the topic.”

While Rivara will be bringing her unique insights to the panel discussion, she is also looking to draw from the well of knowledge at the event.

“I’m looking forward to understanding, a little bit more, about the direction that we want to take,” she said. “Our clients are getting more and more sophisticated. And so, analytics is becoming a bigger and bigger part of decision making and those technology platforms are becoming more and more prevalent. Brokers are looking for that.”

This has meant a change of thinking for insurance companies who are “becoming more disciplined and tech-savvy, and clients are as well. What we are doing now is really building those platforms to help our clients make informed judgments, bringing in all aspects of their pricing and risk management.”

But even with an abundance of information at hand, “you have to temper that and have some level of knowledge already to find out if you’re getting the right information that you need,” she said. “There’s a lot that could be done there. Like, from a coverage standpoint, or from an analytic standpoint.”

Her role as an actuary is more mathematical, where “we’re quantifying everything.” That is part of the new challenge, “from putting a number on your risk appetite and your risk tolerance to fully quantifying every one of your costs and comparing them across all levels of volatility,” she said.

“Those are the kinds of things that we’re trying to do for our clients so that if they have a feel for what their risk appetite is, we can optimize that, create an efficient frontier for them that say, depending on how you feel about risk, and what your financials will tolerate, here’s what you should think about.”

Numbers aside, as a female business leader, Rivara says she is proud to “work with a lot of strong women. I’m looking forward to networking with other women and particularly in Chicago.” She lives and works just outside of Chicago, so she is “looking forward” to getting downtown for the event. A lot of her work is bi-coastal, split between Pasadena, California, and New York. “So, I work mostly coastal and so doing something in Chicago is kind of a nice twist for me.”

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