Insurers’ use of customer information driven forward by Big Data technology

The use of customer information by insurers is seeing huge growth, according to Adam Hamm, chairman of the US National Association of Insurance Commissioners' cyber security task force.

The use of customer information by insurers is seeing huge growth, according to Adam Hamm, chairman of the US National Association of Insurance Commissioners' cyber security task force.

Speaking at the Property/Casualty Insurance Joint Industry Forum in New York last month, Hamm said the speed of change within the industry is being driven forward by Big Data technology. “The amounts of information and data that are being used, collected, stored and transferred are growing exponentially,” he said.

Other speakers at the forum said the pace of change in the industry was ‘unprecedented’, adding that 2015 was the first year technology issues dominated industry conversation. With technology helping to create entirely new distribution channels, the audience was told that the impact of technology was also ‘far more profound’ in personal lines than commercial.

These comments echo the findings of a recent report by financial information firm S&P Capital IQ. The study found that multiline insurers had seen a significant decline in operating margins and were turning to technology as a solution.

The report warned that challenging industry conditions would mean insurers could be forced to ‘trim product offerings’ but greater use of customer data was providing a way to  address changing purchasing preferences.