We have hit the conference circuit heavily this year, primarily with the goal of forging and renewing key customer and partner relationships. The networking has been phenomenal thanks to a strong return to in person events. When we’re not shaking hands and trading business cards, we listen for your voice in the informational sessions, learning what evolving challenges face the industry and how we can help be part of the solution.
There are a LOT of voices in the room and though the outliers are some of the noisiest, we’ve identified some common through-lines. Here are the universal themes we’ve taken away:
- The Universal Dilemma: Recruiting and Retention: The industry is bleeding frontline personnel at the same time that insurance ranks almost last among college graduates’ career considerations. To counterbalance that, there’s a heavy focus within the industry on both culture to make the employer an attractive option, as well as on automation to alleviate repetitive, unengaging work.
- Is it Artificial Intelligence or Machine Learning? Every executive is asking for AI, but the people tasked with sourcing it often don’t truly understand it! The vast majority of what is marketed as AI is actually just really good ML, and due to the push from above, we hear a trend of it being applied where simpler solutions would better fit the need.
- Climate Realities and CAT risk: Risk is increasing across the board and the old projection models no longer work. There’s a scramble for real-time data to better inform both underwriting and claims investigation. However, the challenge of merging those solutions into the workflow and existing technical ecosystem leads many to get less bang for the buck than they anticipated.
- Inflation Is Everywhere: Supply chain issues are increasing the cost per claim, often outpacing any built-in risk cushion. While this presents a longer-term data challenge to solve on the front-end, the immediate real-world impacts hit downstream in the claims department. Cycle time and vendor reliability are more important than ever for financial stability.
- Disrupters and Customer Experience: We’ve seen more start-ups in this area than any other. Slick chatbots are great real-time channels, but there’s a need for thoughtful interaction models. Optimal omni-channel takes deep knowledge of your policyholder base. That means there’s not a one-size-fits-all approach, yet those types of solutions dominate current offerings.
If you’re experiencing any of these challenges, you’re in extremely good company. The good news is that the industry’s collective brain trust is clear and consistent in defining the need, and I know the passion and investment we’re putting into solving these challenges is matched by dedicated companies across the field.